Think back to January 1, 2016. Can you recall what your New Years resolutions were for this year? Have you met those resolutions? Did you give up on those resolutions months ago?
With 2017 just weeks away, it’s that time again – establish New Years resolutions for the upcoming year. Many of us recycle last year’s resolutions with the though of “This is the year!” However, there is a reason those goals were not met.
As you begin to establish your 2017 goals, here are some things to consider:
Are these goals obtainable? Are the goals you have for yourself something that can actually happen in a one-year time frame?
Who can be my accountability partner? Having someone who can check in on you and how your goals are going keeps you accountable. Is there someone in your life that you look up to or that you know will encourage you to keep striving towards your goal? Find out what their goals are and work on meeting them together.
How will I measure my goals? A great way to keep track of your progress is through a journal. Whether electronic or paper, schedule a regular check-in point and track your progress in your journal.
What timeline is realistic? If your goal is to lose 30 pounds every month, your timeline isn’t realistic. If you are looking to lose 30 pounds over the course of the year, your timeline is more realistic. This goes hand-in-hand with #3. Set reminders on your phone or mark your calendar to regularly check-in on a realistic time frame.
Are these goals healthy for me? Or do they have the possibility of causing harm? New Years Resolutions are meant to be beneficial to us, not cause us harm. As we mentioned in #4, losing 30 pounds in one month is not good for your health. If you are unsure if the goals you have set are healthy for you, consult a professional.
So what are some healthy, realistic, and obtainable goals that we recommend?
Quit smoking We know this is not as easy as it sounds for most people. However, by giving yourself one year to quit the habit is a realistic time frame. In addition to thinking about the health benefits of quitting smoking will have, think about the monetary benefits. You will be able to spend the money you used to on cigarettes towards a vacation, gym membership, or something you’ve had your eyes on for a while but couldn’t afford it. Quitting smoking is no easy task. We aren’t saying quit cold turkey. Identify a realistic time frame for you!
Lose a specific amount of weight that is recommended by a medical professional Everyone is different and everyone looking to lose weight has a different amount of weight that is healthy to lose. For some, losing weight is easier than others. Consult with a medical professional about how much weight is healthy for you to lose and how quickly or slowly you should be losing the weight to not cause harm to your body. Be sure to set monthly goals and track your weight loss in your journal. If you reach a plateau, you can consult a medical professional to find out what needs to change in order for you to keep working towards your goal.
Take time throughout your workday to get up and move For those of us who spend a good amount of time sitting throughout the day, set a goal of getting up to move for 5-10 minutes every hour. If you cannot leave your desk, look into stand-up desks or a desk elliptical. Set reminders on your calendar if you have to that notify you that now is the time to get up and move.
Reduce stress Stress is very hard on the body. Every part of the body can be negatively effected by high amounts of stress. Find things that can help you de-stress. Whether it’s going to the gym after work, taking your vacation time at work, or partaking in a hobby, find healthy ways to reduce your stress. Your body will thank you!
Workout on a regular basis We all have busy schedules. However, taking time for your health is important. According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended to be moderately active for at least 150 minutes per week or vigorously active for 75 minutes per week. Set goals according to the types of exercise your body will allow. For example, if your body can handle high levels of activity, set a goal of working out 10-15 minutes per day. If your body is more susceptible to injury and you have limitations, set aside at least 20 minutes a day to workout.
Change your eating habits Everyone has areas they can improve in when it comes to our diets. Whether it’s cutting back on coffee, introducing more vegetables, cutting out daily desserts – set goals that will better your eating habits. Keep a log of the foods you eat on a daily basis. Overtime, check to see that whatever you need to eliminate or add to your diet has indeed changed according to your log. Be truthful! This is for the betterment of you. Dietitians are a great resource if you are unsure what needs to change.
Stretch more We can all afford to stretch more! Stretching reduces the chances of injury, increases blood flow, improves your posture, and increasing your mobility. Set aside an additional 10-15 minutes before your workout to stretch.
New Years Resolutions can be hard to meet, but they don’t have to be! By setting goals that are realistic, you are more likely to obtain your goals by year end.
It has been another tremendous year here at Envision Sport Physical Therapy & Pilates and we cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store.