Just like that, we're already 2 weeks into 2023! How are your New Year's Resolutions going so far? Even if you don't set specific goals for the upcoming year, a new year is a great time to reflect on how the previous year went, what goals you achieved or made great progress towards, and what you want to achieve in the coming weeks, months, and years.
Making a resolution at the start of the year is easy, but making true change can be hard. Did you know it takes 66 days (on average) to a make a behavior a habit? "‘Habits’ are defined as actions that are triggered automatically in response to contextual cues that have been associated with their performance" (1). Common habits that are taught from a young age include brushing your teeth before bed or washing your hands after using the bathroom. These are healthy, and sanitary, habits that are ingrained in our lives. Other healthy habits, can be less objective and less obvious. Making healthy habits that are sustainable are typically more complicated, have more context, and have an emotional component to them.
Have a healthy change you've been waiting to make a move on? Follow these steps to get you started!
Step 1: Recognize and Define Your Goal
"Healthy" means different things to different people. To create a foundation for change, it is important to recognize what you want to improve in your life and why it is important to you. Goals can be very objective, like "walk 20 minutes a day" or "eat 5 fruits and veggies a day". Having an objective number associated with your goal makes it easier to 'check it off' at the end of the day or week. Tying an objective goal to something that is more meaningful to you is a great place to start. More meaningful goals typically are more subjective, such as "be happier and have more energy" or "be more present in the moment". Your goal is unique to you, including why it is important. You have the freedom to pick any goal that works towards improving your quality of life!
Step 2: Acknowledge Your 'Weak Link(s)'
Life can get crazy sometimes! Work schedules, family and children duties, busy supermarkets, lack of motivation, or confusion on where and how to start...the list goes on! Acknowledging the things in your life, including things you can control and can not control, is an essential thing to do before moving towards Step 3.
Step 3: Make A (Realistic) Plan
This is where things can start to get tricky. If achieving your goal was easy, it probably would have already happened. Developing a realistic plan can set you up for successfully developing your goal into a habit.
Suggestions: block time on your schedule to exercise, communicate with your family your goal and your desire for support, meal planning to ensure you can hit your nutrition goals, or making a check-list on your calendar or phone to improve accountability.
If you are stuck on how to make a plan that works toward your goal and fits your life, ask for help...PYW offers customizable exercise plans! Learn more on our website or send an email: Jessica@physioyogaandwellness.com
Step 4: Give Yourself Some Wiggle Room
Even with the best laid out plan, life can get in the way. Sickness, unexpected travel, or the need for a day off are all realistic (and reasonable) things that may lead to changes in your plan. A mild set-back does not have to mean giving up on the ultimate goal!
Step 5: Track & Reflect
Tracking your progress is a great way to help with accountability. It helps reduce the "I'll do it tomorrow" mind-set that is so easy to get trapped in. Tracking your progress is also a great way to determine both good and bad patterns of behavior. Perhaps family dinner on Sundays is nearly impossible to eat "healthy" or you find yourself skipping exercise on Mondays because you're tired. This type of information sets you up perfectly for Step 6.
Wear-able Tech Suggestions to Track Lifestyle Data:
Step 6: Adjust and Progress As Needed
Being healthy isn't a destination, it is a process, and that process will continue to change. Don't be afraid to change your mind, go down a different path, or challenge yourself by signing up for a running/walking race, cooking new recipes, or joining a new gym.
Need help getting started or getting back on track? Book an appointment today or send an email!
Dr Jessica Klain PT, DPT, COMT, CSCS, OCS, CNPT
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT)
Certified Nutritional Physical Therapist (CNPT)
Certified Vestibular Specialist
Certified Concussion Specialist
Trigger Point Dry Needling Certified, Level 1&2
Certified Yoga Teacher
University of Florida, Doctorate in Physical Therapy (2009)
The Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science in Biology (2006)