I had a good laugh with one of my long-time patients this week when we were talking about our upcoming Best Year of Your Life workshop that I will be presenting at the end of January and the series of articles I will be posting starting with this one. She remembered workshop and articles with the same name each of the last several years and was joking about each year being the best. I pointed out that this was EXACTLY my point.
When we make sustainable progress in any area of our lives, it means we can build on it. When we create more awareness, learn new strategies, build new structures, and develop more wisdom we OWN those things and we can use them to take the next step for a lifetime. In this way – if we do a job of this – each year CAN be the best year of our lives regardless of external circumstances.
For this year’s series of articles I have decided to use Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and apply them to your health. Of course any and all of these habits can be used to improve your relationships, career, finances, or any other important part of your life.
There are several key concepts that run throughout Covey’s 1989 classic and will be important to keep in mind as you progress through this series.
This process is one that is, “Inside-out.” This means that in order to be healthier (or happier, or wealthier) you have to start by focusing on YOU. There is perhaps no other area that the average person is “Outside-in” than in the way they see their health. To be healthier, don’t start looking for it in a pill, a diet, a workout, a doctor (even an amazing chiropractor!). We will not start with anything outside of you. Starting on the inside will allow us to not only be more effective in choosing and using the tools we have available to us, it will also make the results much more sustainable.
Another principle is developing all 3 parts required to form a new habit. These are Knowledge(what to, why to), Skill(how to), and Desire(want to). Without all 3, our progress will be temporary at best as we will fail to fully ingrain the new habits we require – hence most New Year resolutions that rarely last into February.
The next principle is that of the Maturity Continuum. This continuum moves people from dependence, to independence, and further on to interdependence. A dependent person requires help from other people – it is a matter of survival, not thriving. Many people are dependent on a certain drug or doctor in order to stay alive or get by – while this may be necessary and is great to have available it can severely limit the level of health we can achieve.
An independent person takes things into their own hands and gets good results, while an interdependent person knows how to work symbiotically with others to get the greatest results possible. Habits 1, 2, and 3 will help people move from dependence to independence. Habits 4,5, and 6 will lead to Interdependence and the real fruits of your labour.
The final principle running through this series is that of P/PC balance, with P representing Production and PC representing Production Capability. This concept is famously illustrated by the story of the farmer whose goose(PC) laid a solid gold egg(P) each day. When the farmer focused too much on P, he slaughtered his PC in order to get more eggs. As a result he literally killed his capability to create wealth. The same applies to our health. How often do you go after a result in a way that actually hurts your ability to be healthy in the future?
I am looking forward to the next 7 or 8 articles and if you are in the area and would like to attend our in-office workshop on Tuesday, Jan. 8th at 7pm, give Adele a call and reserve your seat. This workshop is open to patients and non-patients alike.
‘For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.’