The Top 5 New Year Real-Solutions For 2009

From my own experience in counselling people over the years I would suggest that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work.

How about some Real-Solutions instead.

Here are the top 5 goals you might have (or you should have) as resolutions, and although you could see me in person instead here are the cheap, often no cost, steps to turn airy-fairy resolutions into New Year Real-Solutions.

Resolution 1 – Lose Weight

This old chestnut has to be the top of the Resolution list, but are you planning to just repeat the same old mistakes you made before?

Real-Solution 1 – Behave Thin

Stop with the dieting. Diets and diet mentality is a weight cause, not a cure. Make eating changes you can live with for the rest of your life. You too can eat and be like a naturally thin person.

Action Steps…

  1. There are about half-a-dozen reasonable books / courses on these natural eating approaches. The most effective I handout / sell in my own practice is this one I recommend has finally come out in the US on Amazon here.
  2. For longer term support access the online McKenna website here
  3. FREE version – Join my blog list at the top of the page, or if you are in my home town of Adelaide the local list here, and you will get a 30 minute mp3 of all the steps you need.

Resolution 2 – Improve Musculoskeletal Health

Most people would have this on their list, except that most people have given up. Often people want to improve their fitness for example, but they are scared of injuring themselves or making their current aches and pains worse.

Headaches, back pain, hip pains, arthritis, neck pain, etc etc etc. Enough is enough. Stop taking short term measures, or forking out for never-ending sessions of chiropractors, doctors, physios and all those other health professionals.

Real-Solution 2 – Self-Improve Postural Alignment

Treat the cause, which is almost always a postural problem caused by our all-too-convenient, ergonomically-designed, splinted, orthoticed, hunched-over lives.

Sure physios and chiropractors can put you back in alignment, but they won’t keep you there. You need the flexibility and muscle strength to do it for yourself at home, and you want it in days and weeks, not months or years.

Action Steps

  1. Visit one of Pete Egoscue’s clinics all around the US, or pay for online treatment at
  2. Buy one of Pete’s books. I’d suggest ‘Pain-Free’ is the best place for most people to start. The copy I had autographed by Pete is the book I would take with me on a desert island (it’s a fun read as well as being in depth and practical.) ‘Pain-Free’ is the book I have sold / handed out over and over to patients and throughout my family. Order ‘Pain Free’ at Amazon here.
  3. For free: Go to and click on Where is the pain to get a pair of exercises specifically for whatever body part ails you. Get functional fast.

Resolution 3 – Manifest Greater Success

In such turbulent times of financial crisis and worry, this might be higher on people’s list than usual.

Finally much of the hype has died down on the Law of Attraction. Thank goodness. Add in Giver’s Gain, attitude of gratitude, positive energy, Pay-It-Forward, karma, The Secret, or any of 100 other variations but the idea is that what you send out comes back to you 10 fold.

This is one of those self-help ideas that it is worth acting upon.

Real-Solution 3 – Manifest By Taking An Action

I was reminded of this when one of my former patients came to me after he was diagnosed with a severe and medically fatal form of cancer. He went off to a course with a guy I suggested interstate and came back and said something very strange to me. He said, “I don’t know how to say thank you to people. I need to learn to do this.”

Action Steps – all these are free

  1. Get your problems in perspective. If you’ve been caught up in a psychiatric diagnosis (aka label), then take this antidote test that measures your strengths, instead of your weaknesses. Details are here.
  2. Improve your happiness simply by writing down, once a week, 5 things you are grateful for. Check out the research evidence here.
  3. Recognize, appreciate and acknowledge others. Think of someone right this minute, and turn that thought into something that you and they will remember for a lifetime. Take action on your inner promptings with my compliments here.

Resolution 4 – Make A Change In Yourself

From stopping smoking and cutting back on alcohol, to sorting out how to get “unstuck” in your life, to learning a new skill there’s something in here for every one.

Real-Solution 4 – Don’t Kid Yourself About Changing

If you’ve failed before, get help. If you have a motivation problem check the fundamentals first. Maybe you’re better off not having that as a goal at all. Think about it.

Action Steps:

  1. if you are really stuck, two help-all products are the CD Your Instant Life Revolution and my own online “Self Help Meeting”
  2. For free: Habit Change 101 from the top internet self-help guru is right here.
  3. For free: Want to learn a new skill? This will multiply the chance you’ll succeed.

Resolution 5 – Help Out The Planet

Oh boy should this be on people’s New Year’s Resolutions. Think bigger than yourself. Unfortunately it rarely gets a mention.

Real-Solution 5 – Help Yourself (By Helping Out The Planet)

Call me a cynic, but I don’t think changes will work unless they are already in your self-interest.

Turning off the tap as you brush your teeth is fine, but I really think water just needs to be lots more expensive in the first place so people have their own incentive to think twice. Give people the consequences and habits change so much more easily.

Action Steps – these are free (or better)

  1. Find food that tastes good beyond the first chew. The most environmentally damaging food (eg those that required lots of transporting from far away, those that are out of season in your area, those that are mass produced for their pristine appearance alone, those that have lots of processing and packaging) often just don’t taste as good. It doesn’t have to be organic. It can be home grown.
  2. Spend less. One of the best things about this financial meltdown is that it will get people to spend less and spending less on fuel, new gadgets, electricity, food, clothes, etc etc is almost always an environmentally good thing.
  3. Try out My wife has been using it for the past 3 months or so and has only one suggestion – get in quick on the good stuff because it can go VERY fast.

Well there you go.

I’ve left off financial goals such as getting out of debt, making more money, and finding better investments than the stockmarket because I don’t usually cover these in my counselling practice. You can email me if you want my suggestions on those.

But I hope this has included something you had on your Resolution list, and given you a way to make it really happen before next New Year.

-Dr Martin Russell

12 thoughts on “The Top 5 New Year Real-Solutions For 2009”

  1. Jan Dodds says:

    As usual Martin, you are spot on and have creative ideas. Jan

  2. Thanks for putting this together.

    To Add

    Just one day a week go vegetarian in your food choices. That is how our family started and now we have had weeks with 3 and 4 days. Healthy for your own body and great for the environment. Cheers to 2009

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  4. Thanks Jan.

    Miami – they are almost all past or present goals of mine. Not necessarily New Year’s ones though.

    Kevin – I pondered hard about adding vegetarian. I agree it is one of the best steps for the environment that I can think of, but in the end I baulked. Glad you mentioned it.

  5. Happy New Year of The Ox to All!

    Martin – great post. I’m going to tweet this to my small but growing band of followers.

    re Res 3.2 (sounds like the UN Security Council haha!) – Yes, this is a great one for changing perspective from the worry-wart stuff to what makes life worth living.

    I kept a happiness list for the month of October and posted on it – see the url I posted!

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  7. Jake Cameron says:

    Very good (great!) advice. I really like your ideas.

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