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.
"Before I started coming to A2 I was always tired and could barely pick up or carry my grandchildren a ½ block. After the first 6 weeks of working with Kristi I got a big surprise when I took my grandchildren to a festival and carried the youngest 4 blocks before she woke up enough to walk. I then picked her up and put her on my shoulders so she could see better without effort. I was amazed at how much strength I had gained in a short time. I continue to see improvement in my strength and I’m no longer tired all the time."
"It was very helpful to be taught exercises I could do at home to alleviate the pain in my back and to make my stomach/diaphragm stronger. It was a great experience and I took away a lot of knowledge to help myself."
− T. Docherty
"I’m really glad I am going to A2. My PT Danny is very knowledgeable and courteous. He pin-pointed the area affected in my hip and back. We are working to improve my strength, range of motion and ultimately lessen my pain with Danny’s wide range of stretches and strength techniques to improve my quality of life. So far in the three weeks that I’ve been enrolled I’m very impressed with A2 Physical Therapy. Thanks Danny!"