Lifestyle Changes for 2018
Hey there! It’s mid-February, and I just wanted to check in to see if you are still committed to the lifestyle changes you wanted to make for the year. So many of us (myself included) tend to need this reminder about now. I once read somewhere that January 21 was the most depressing day of the year (I do not have a source for this), but the article that I read went on to say that at that point in the year, most were likely to have given up on their resolution, bills were due, and there were no more major holidays to look forward to…pretty sad right?
SO, I'm here to remind you of that change you promised to yourself so you don’t continue your old habits, and ask yourself why you couldn’t stick to the new one. Let’s discuss some ways to get back on track, relative to diet and exercise:
How to Stay on Track
Barrier 1: Time - Many health changes take up time that you already feel like you don’t have, and I’m not trying to over simplify (forgive me), but how often do you make time for a dental appointment or a last-minute visit to the doctor? See, you find the time when it’s necessary, but isn’t it necessary to be healthy?
Proposed solution to the TIME barrier:
- Schedule yourself – Yes, this sounds kind of ridiculous…I agree, but don’t you schedule other important events like the school play, breakfast at school, therapy appointments, dental appointments, physicals, etc? So why feel unworthy of your OWN schedule (right?)—the best part is you can schedule it outside of normal business hours! Isn’t that great?! I know for me I have personal workouts, workouts with a trainer, study time, and relaxation times scheduled. These do not need to be long “appointments.” For instance, if you are just starting to get into working out, maybe you could schedule a time to go for a walk or time for a quick HIIT workout. If you need both the schedule AND the accountability, I would consider a personal trainer. (If you are close to my office, the trainers at APEX Wellness are top notch! Visit them here: https://trainapex.com/)
Barrier 2: Undefined goals - Have you made an ambiguous goal of “losing weight,” “getting healthy,” “relaxing more,” or “eating better” and you now feel like you haven’t met any of those “goals?”
Proposed solution to UNDEFINED GOALS barrier:
- Define and bullet point them! So instead of getting healthy, you could say, “I want to lower my cholesterol,” or “I want to lower my hgA1C score.” These goals have much better vision and are easier to attain because they are far more tangible than just saying you want to get healthy because getting healthy is not the same for everyone. Then you can move into HOW you plan to get healthy—do you want to workout more or make a diet change perhaps? Is it time to make an appointment at the chiropractor or with a functional medicine provider to get a better overview of your current health and to gain a better understanding of how to improve going forward? (If this is your solution, I can do both.) If you want to relax more, what does that look like for you? Is it taking a yoga class? Learn to take a moment to breathe deeply a few times per day (this is my favorite). In my experience, some need better feedback on the deep breathing and prefer to use a device called “Heart Math,” which is a very powerful tool for learning to breathe appropriately. (Visit them here: https://www.heartmath.com)
Barrier 3: Lack of Accountability - Remember how easy it was to keep your room clean as a child or to make sure you attended to your hygiene or do your homework? Most of this was because your parents would hold you accountable for making sure these things were done. As an adult, we can lose this sense of accountability, which makes goal-setting more difficult.
Proposed solution to ACCOUNTABILITY barrier:
- Say your goals out loud! This may sound silly, but once you tell your spouse or friend about your intentions, they will likely follow up and ask how you are doing. I know you don’t want to tell them you are no longer working to achieve your goal, and they may also help encourage you to continue.
- Utilize tracking apps to help you keep track of foods, sleep, or activity levels. I know many of my patients like “My Fitness Pal.”
- Some people like having a visual of how they have adhered to their goals. You could put a marble in a jar for every day you succeed, or something similar.
- Find a buddy! Someone who has similar goals is a perfect person to partner up with so you can each encourage each other to keep going!
I hope you found this post to be both encouraging and informative! If I can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to call us!