Welcome 2023! We are hoping this New Year finds you happy and healthy and thriving after the busy Holiday season. This is a great time of year to make new plans and healthy choices to make 2023 your best year yet, but often New Year’s resolutions bring more headache than your holiday hangover. We, at the Physical Therapy Specialty Center, want to offer you a different way to look at the New Year’s resolution and make your goals more attainable and focused to help you succeed. Here are some tips to help you make and meet your healthy goals for 2023!
First, look at the resolutions more like “goals” to a healthier lifestyle. Be sure they are SMART goals, meaning Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. If you have a goal that “you would like to exercise more”, that is very difficult to tell if you are meeting the goal or not. If you write the goal for example “I will exercise for 30 minutes at least 4 times per week”, it is much easier to establish if you are meeting that goal or not. Also, if 30 minutes is not attainable, make it 15, or maybe 10. Any amount of exercise and getting into a routine is the main key here. Replacing poor habits with healthy ones is the biggest reason to set the goals, so make it work for you.
Second, make your goals meaningful. If you set a goal, but don’t really have a reason behind it or a motivation that is driving you towards it, you are less likely to complete it. By making goals like “I want to exercise at least 30 minutes 4 times a week” and then adding “so that I can stay active to play with my kids”. This reminds you of the reason that you set the goal and keeps your eye on the end result.
Third, all goals don’t have to be long-term goals. It is better to make several, short-term goals to achieve your long-term end result that you are looking for. Maybe start with a goal of 10 minutes of exercise 4 x per week consistently by April, and then make a new goal of 20 minutes of exercise 4x/wk by September, and then a new goal of 30 minutes of exercise 4x/wk consistently by December. This will give you little milestones and help you feel more accomplished and less overwhelmed, helping you to stay committed throughout the year.
Fourth, be open to rough patches and cut yourself some slack. Often, we are our own worst enemies and feel defeated easily. We also fall off the wagon with our goals when we backslide or maybe miss a couple weeks. It is better to put the small struggles behind you and stay focused on your end goal. Not all weeks are going to go smoothly and some days we will struggle, it is inevitable. The more that we can roll with the punches, the better you will feel in the long run. This is why short-term goals are beneficial.
Fifth, these goals do not need to be set in stone. Be flexible with them, if you are reaching your short-term, goals quicker than expected set new ones, and if you maybe set your sights to high and can’t quite reach your goals, readjust them to be more realistic. Remember these goals are to help you attain an end goal and provide you with a healthier lifestyle, so stick with it and adjust as needed.
Sixth, get a friend, family member, or co-worker to hold you accountable and also join in on your goal. We are a lot more effective if we know that someone else is in the fight with us. You don’t necessarily have to have the exact same goals, but having someone to eat healthy with, meet at the gym, drink a non-alcoholic beverage with, etc. is always more encouraging and motivating.
Finally, have fun with it. Most the time we are trying to reach these goals to improve our daily lives or our health in general, but we don’t have to be miserable doing it. It is easier to do something you enjoy, rather than something you dread. For example, exercise does not have to be going to the gym, or running laps, it can be going and chasing your kids around at the park for 15 minutes, it can be going to an aquatics aerobics class a couple times a week, it can be walking on your lunch break for 10 minutes to get some fresh air. If you are doing something you enjoy, it won’t seem as daunting or dreadful and will actually feel rewarding.
Hopefully, all of these tips will have you looking differently at your New Year’s GOALS! We hope that you reach your goals and excel to new heights in 2023. If you are currently struggling with an injury that is hindering you from you goals or dreams, or are just not sure where to or how to start an exercise regimen, give us a call. We would love to help make your 2023 a healthy and thriving year!