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Forget New Year’s Resolutions! I Need to Get Back on Track!

By Dr. Markel, January 13, 2020

It’s the New Year and things seemed to have unraveled in the last month or so. Unfortunately, your current routine includes inadequate sleep, too much food and drink, and no exercise, Besides your stressed about the uncertainties during 2020. However, your small choices can have a major impact on your motivation and productivity. Focus on regaining those behaviors and routines that led to your past success. For many of us, it is too overwhelming to conjure up new resolutions. Besides, 88 percent of New Year resolutions fail (

Here are 7 tips to get back on track:

  1. Commit to adequate sleep. Sleep routines set the stage for motivation and productivity. Set a reasonable time to slide into slumber. If you have been up until the wee hours of the morning, begin your new routine by retiring one hour earlier every few days. Turn off all digital devices one hour before retiring and charge devices in another room.
  2. Arrange for healthier eating habits. Stop skipping meals, carry some protein bars or dried fruit, and cut down on those extra high-carb snacks and drinks. Plan some meals with friends and family, even if you share the meal while on Face-time or Skype.
  3. Take to heart the science regarding the benefits of exercise. You need at least 20 minutes of cardio, three times a week. Walk with a friend, join a club, use a workout video, or hire a trainer. You may need a trainer to get into a routine. If you haven’t stuck to an exercise routine, perhaps hiring a trainer for a few months is the way to go.
  4. “Put down your phone and look up” ( Inattention is a national problem. Whether in the city, office, home or countryside, you need greater awareness of the surrounding sights, sounds, and relationships. This enhances feeling of control and satisfaction. You can’t do that if your eyes are glued to your phone.
  5. Focus on health maintenance. Have you forgotten to schedule medical or dental checkups? Have you requested needed prescriptions? Are you compliant with medication regimes? People expect to get regular maintenance on their cars, but don’t give the same consideration to their health. Set a time to schedule appointments.
  6. Practice gratitude and positivity. Your positive self-talk and visualization influence your perspective and motivation, especially when you are vulnerable to stress. Albert Schweitzer reminds us, “At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Can you remember someone who helped you? Reach out to others and tell them ways in which they helped you.
  7. Once back on track, take small steps. Concentrate on only one work/life barrier.  For many, procrastination is a major issue. Sometimes it’s because tasks are tedious, difficult, or time consuming. Other times, it’s because you lack specific knowledge or skills, or you worry that you’ll fail and look bad. Still other times, you can’t make a decision, have unrealistic expectations, or are overwhelmed by the amount of effort required. Read a few simple articles ( and contact a trusted person to help break down difficult tasks, schedule times, or gather resources. Reaching out helps you feel supported and optimistic. If you have a persistent problem, perhaps it is time to contact a professional for a few sessions. This provides perspective on the degree of a problems and the negative impact it is having on your work/life.


Remember, the lower the stress, the easier it is to get back on track. What are your tried and true stress busters? Try some strategies to defeat the Stress Demon described in Actions Against Distractions: Managing Your Scattered, Disorganized, and Forgetful Mind (

Contact Dr. Geri for continued discussion and ways to support healthy changes in your lifestyle. You can gain greater work/life balance. Are you interested in greater satisfaction and productivity? Contact Geri at