I'm not one for New Year's resolutions but what I do appreciate is that a new year offers a starting point. It offers a marker by which we can identify an end of one thing and the beginning of another.
I think this is what makes New Year's resolutions so popular. The day to day can suck us in to the point that we cannot find the pause button - not to mention the stop or start buttons! Old habits and routines die hard, while finding time or space for something new seems daunting and impossible.
The new year signifies a fresh start. We finally feel the freedom and motivation to do something we have been wanting to do! So we make a resolution.
We have all read and heard the stats and quick tips:
-In order for the resolution to last, it needs to be realistic.
-You have to stay committed (obviously).
-The most popular resolutions are typically heath/fitness/weight loss related as well as monetary, relational and professional.
-Most resolutions are broken (75% make it through the first week, 71% the first two weeks, 64% make it past one month and only 46% make it past 6 months).
This is nothing new, so let's consider something different- an ALL ENCOMPASSING approach.
If you don't start now, in a week, in two weeks, in a month, in 6 months you will still be wishing you had! We all have to start somewhere. If you ask someone who has achieved what you think you want, I guarantee they will tell you it took more than a week! Likely more than 6 months! Again, no surprise right? So let's be real and willing to commit. Are we going to keep saying "I wish", "I want", "If only I could...", or are we going to start now so that in a year we are where we used to only wish we could be?!
As a physical therapist (and person), I cannot emphasize enough how strongly mind, body, and soul are connected. We set a weight loss or fitness goal because we are unhappy with how we look or feel physically and this affects us emotionally and therefore mentally as well (it's all connected). Chronic pain forces us out of activities we love, makes us grumpy at work, etc. We as people feel limited by what our body is physically capable of.
So again, it's all connected. And it must all work together. We can never achieve our fitness goals if our low back pain stops us from exercising. We will forever have tension headaches making us miserable unless we fix our posture and spinal alignment.
I would argue that physical therapy is the perfect place to start! Physical therapy is the most all-encompassing form of health management for achieving all your wellness goals. We can treat the pain, focus on exercises you CAN do, and progressively build until you reach your goals - fitness, weight loss, performance, or simply NO MORE PAIN! It is all encompassing as you are addressing the physical which affects the mental and emotional! Because it is specific and progressive, a new habit is created which is lasting and sustainable.
The Point Is This:
Be brave enough to face those things you want and wish but haven't been able to achieve or resolve. Let the New Year mark that starting place. Understand how the pieces are connected and therefore the breadth and depth of your reward!
Finally, COMMIT to CONSISTENCY (because there is no magic pill).