Staying Loyal to your Health & Fitness Resolutions
It’s that time of year again. The gym is packed, the vegetable aisle and the supermarket is picked through, and social media “new year, new me” posts are rampant. What is it with new years resolutions that make them so hard? Resolutions are so difficult due to the fact that they require habit change. Time and time again, habit change continues to be one of the most difficult things we encounter in life. In outpatient physical therapy and other rehabs, outside of acute injuries, we are generally dealing with injuries that have arisen from years of a habit or pattern that needs to be changed. These are some of the tips we have picked up along the way:
- Showing gratitude: being grateful for the cyclical nature of the year and how the season of winter allows us to take what we liked from last year and build upon it while discarding what we didn’t. Research shows that brain chemistry can change with just one month of journaling three things that you are grateful for every single day.
- Accountability: For the very self-aware, it is easier than most. If left to our own devices, do we always hold ourselves accountable? For the rest of us, we need a team or a support unit that is aware of our resolutions. Either a spouse, friend, or even someone that has the same resolution. It helps to have a partner with similar goals/resolutions to keep yourself accountable, as well as you returning the favor.
- Reminders: Life is hectic. We never have enough time in the day. Unfortunately, we all find ways to fill our day, often at the expense of self-care. Leave a reminder on your phone, a sticky note on your mirror or in your car that reminds you daily of the decision that “past you” has made to encourage “present you” to work on self-care.
- Goals/Rewards: Operant conditioning works. Set weekly/monthly goals and rewards that are attainable. Treat yo’ self! What good is all the hard work/commitment if you don’t pat yourself on the back throughout the process? The long term goals are difficult to keep sight of throughout the process.
As always, be present, move more, move differently, and if you need help along the way, we are here.