Do you view the annual resolution challenge as a reason to move ahead--or a reason to punish yourself for being a serial nonachiever?

Please stop beating yourself up. Instead of attacking or blaming, turn your energy to action. How? You can break the cycle of anticipation and disappointment by identifying what went wrong and using that knowledge to forge a new plan. My 3Rs technique--Recognize, Reframe, Reclaim--can help you do that.

Want to see how the 3Rs work? I'll illustrate with Robin, a woman who, like so many other patients and clients in my practice, wished to increase her fitness through regular exercise.

Step 1: RECOGNIZE the problem.
Robin knew that the long periods of inactivity that came with her desk job were part of the reason she felt fatigued and anxious even at times that weren't particularly stressful. She had tried many different activities and classes over the years, but she felt no enthusiasm for any of it. And the more she thought about all those failures to follow through, the more she felt she was just over it.

We discussed many options. Robin realized that she had no interest in trying the same old gym atmosphere again, and she needed something other than the vague notion of "fitness" to motivate her workouts. She decided on a new goal: running a marathon.

Step 2: REFRAME negative thoughts into a can-do plan.
Is a marathon a lofty goal for someone without physical fitness already in place? No doubt. But to Robin, removing the word "workout" from her quest also removed all the negative associations she had with failed past efforts. Robin's fitness goal didn't change; her mindset did.

Worn-out thinking: "It's the end of another long work day, and now I have to find the energy to work out, too. Yuck."

Renewed thinking: "Ten more minutes of work, then I get to jump into training!"

Robin had succeeded in reframing her thoughts. Now she felt her success really was within reach, partly because she began with good planning but also because she now viewed the goal as a game to be enjoyed rather than a threat to be endured.

Step 3: RECLAIM control--and the life you deserve.
Robin trained sensibly but regularly over the weeks and months. And when race day came, Robin literally crossed the finish line to her goal. She was thrilled with the day's personal victory, but in fact the greater benefits had come to her quietly all along the way. Her energy level, focus, and stamina increased as her training made her stronger and fitter--improvements that translated to a better sense of control and content not just with her physical health but in all facets of her life.

That's Robin's success story, but keep in mind that the 3Rs system can help with virtually any objective. Do you have a stalled goal of your own? Perhaps a recent New Year's resolution didn't work out, or maybe--like Robin and many others--you have a long history of stops and starts on one particular wellness, personal relationship, or career aim. Focus again on what you want using the lens of the 3Rs. You just might identify the shift you need to power your renewal.

Author's Bio: 

Roberta Roberts Mittman, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., M.S., is a nutritional and lifestyle consultant, holistic mindset mentor, and nationally board-certified acupuncturist. Using natural, drug-free techniques, Roberta opens the door to complete mind-body health. Roberta's goal is not only to relieve patients' illness and discomfort, but to help them set realistic goals for physical and mental preventative care and overall wellness. Roberta believes in empowering individuals to be their own best healers.