The beginning of the new year is a great time to make a fresh start, and for many Americans, that means writing a new chapter in the health and wellness department. But a staggering 80% of the resolutions set at midnight on the last day of the year fizzle out by the second week of February. Here are a few ways to make sure that you’ll be committed to your healthy pursuits—and will make them a permanent part of your life.
1. Make a list of what areas need improvement. Simply vowing to be healthier in 2019 probably won’t cut it—it’s best to be specific about the health and wellness goals you’d like to set for yourself. There are many important components of a healthy lifestyle— from adding more vegetables to your plate and exercising frequently to sleeping better and drinking more water—but it can be overwhelming to think about tackling all of them at once. By making a list of your personal health goals, you can get a better sense of your biggest priorities—and focus your attention in a ranking order.
2. You don’t have to go it alone. It’s OK to get some help along the way—from healthcare professionals and loved ones. Nutritionists, physical therapists and other healthcare practitioners have the background and training to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. For example, if you aim to be more physically active, a physical therapist can help you set realistic goals and will prescribe a home exercise program to help you safely build strength and endurance. And your loved ones can pitch in by providing moral support and by helping to create and maintain an environment that helps you achieve your goals. Research shows that you are much more likely to succeed if you have a coach, and a team.
3. Stay engaged and follow through on your goals. No one ever said that change is easy. In fact, even the smallest of adjustments—like, going to bed half an hour earlier every night or walking for 15 minutes every day—take discipline and sometimes sacrifice. By planning in advance and knowing what obstacles you could face, you can make sure that your goals are still met. For example, is there rain in the forecast tomorrow? Plan to walk with a friend at an indoor mall instead of choosing to sit on the couch and wait for better weather.
If you find that you’ve lost your motivation or fallen off track, experts say that you don’t need to wait until next year to resolve to be healthier! A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that Mondays are the best day of the week to celebrate a new beginning—and because they come every week, there are 52 chances a year to press the reset button. So, don’t get discouraged by the inevitable minor setback—instead, dust off and get back at it!
About The Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association
Founded in 1956, the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association champions the success of physical therapist-owned businesses. Our members are leaders and innovators in the health care system. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy nationwide. For more information, please visit www.ppsapta.org.
"I’ve had 4 surgeries with different physical therapy clinics and this was my favorite. I felt comfortable and felt like I mattered to my PT which was a good feeling. My progress was as I had expected and any time I had a question or concern it was always answered and my PT adjusted. If it needed to be to avoid the pain I had I didn’t feel pressured to have more PT appointments or pressured to do workouts that aggravated my pain. Thank you for your help! I think offering stem and ultrasound for every patient will be really beneficial. Great experience overall."
"I never thought I’d love PT, but now I do! I’m so appreciative that my first Pt experience has been with the most attentive and patient people possible. I’m thrilled the progress I’ve made and feel confident in my ability to continue improving at home. A huge thanks to the entire A2 team for being so welcoming and understanding. I truly can’t offer any recommendations, as you guys have a great thing going. (except for maybe more fruit infused water. Thanks again!"
− K. Paulson
"Physically and mentally as healthy as I can be is my goal. My father lived to 93 and fairly healthy physically and mentally. My mother is 96 years old and is failing mentally and physically. I have watched the good and bad of aging. My chances of longevity is good but I want to be mentally and physically as healthy as I can be. Not until I started working out with Kristi Cruz at A2 did I know how to prepare myself for my road ahead. Kristi has given me the tools and information for me to understand what I need. She has led me by my hands and feet to improve me physically and talked and explained to help me understand the process. Working out with Kristi two or three times per week is a priority and my recipe for good mental and physical health. My name is Geri Markham and I am 71 years old. I feel as fit as I could be at my age. I have to give all the credit to Kristi Cruz at A2 for walking with me through the process. I would recommend Kristi totally if you are interested in learning to be physically and mentally healthy as you move on in life. Life is good thanks to A2 and Kristi Cruz."