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HeadWay Issue #219 - Achieve more with Gradualism
January 21, 2023
In this issue:
Achieve More with Gradualism
Say what?! Written Goals
Achieve More with GradualismThe Collins Dictionary defines gradualism as "the policy of seeking to change something or achieve a goal gradually rather than quickly or violently, esp in politics".
Don't worry, we won't be talking about politics today. Instead, we're going to talk about the benefits and limitations of "gradualism" when it comes to migraine and headache treatment.
Migraine brains are often resistant to sudden changes. A change in schedule - staying up late or sleeping in. A change in diet. A day of unusual exertion.
At this time of year, many of us have made and broken ambitious resolutions. As a meme I saw today said, "Missed a day at the gym. That's 7 years in a row now."
Instead of making drastic changes, "gradualism" invokes the power of small but steady changes. One push-up isn't much, but what if, every two days, you added one more? In 6 months you'd be at 91 push-ups. Impressive! Sounds like a superpower to me!
Limitations: Small changes allow you to reach big health goals without triggering those migraine attacks. Sounds great, but you need to be aware of some limitations.
The biggest one, in my opinion, is lack of measurement. If progress is difficult or inconvenient to measure, you've got a recipe for failure. For example,"I'm cutting back on sugar" is vague and destined for failure. How will you measure how much less you're really eating? Do you replace that extra dessert with a small snack without realizing it? Exactly how much are you cutting back?
That's why, when it comes to certain diet goals, I'm actually in favour of the 100% approach, even if it's temporary. No added sugar/artificial sweeteners or refined flours for 6 months is often more obtainable than subjectively and gradually cutting back. Plus, after 2-3 months (or less) you'll see the benefits more clearly.
The other challenge is your commitment to progress. Gradually improving for a couple of weeks, and then going backwards, and then trying again, and then not bothering, and you've just wasted your time.
Recipe for success: So if you're going to use gradualism to improve your health, here's what to put in the original mix:
Say what?! Written GoalsUsually this section features a definition. But this month we're looking at a scientific study related to goal setting.
A 2015 study from the Dominican University of California investigated how writing down your goals contributes to achieving them. The results were obvious! If you want to reach your goals:
Thanks for reading! Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom. Your password is nomoache.
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