Remember it’s a Marathon, not a Sprint!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had some time to relax and rejuvenate amid the chaos of the holiday season.  It always seems like a whirlwind of activity and then BAM, here we are in 2018 already! If you are a resolution maker and feel like you’ve already gone off track of your 2017 goals, remember that a year is a marathon, not a sprint! There will be hills and valleys to overcome, so looking at the big picture will feel less daunting.  

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, more than 40% of people give up on their new years resolutions after only one month! In 2014, the Toronto Star highlighted stats on the length of time Canadians kept their new years resolutions. For example, 19% gave up just after 24 hours, 15% in one week, 52% in one month and 19% in one year.  Why such a high failure rate? According to a Carleton University professor of psychology, “we are culturally primed to procrastinate by making a resolution for a future date, instead of committing now”. Why wait for an arbitrary date in the future when you can commit to positive changes now?

Variety is important when looking at the year ahead. Your goals can range from specific races, to personal and professional relationship building and living a more mindful life. Sharing your goals with others and writing them down allows for accountability and a higher success rate.  Here are some other suggestions for making realistic goals for 2018:

Establish a baseline. If weight loss is on your list, jumping on and off the scale can be frustrating and not a true indication of your progress. Take a measurement of your waistline instead. Exercising and eating healthy may help you build muscle and shed fat. This may not be reflected on the scale but will definitely show on your waistline. Find the top of your pelvic bones and wrap a tape measure around your waist, in line with your belly button. Take a relaxed exhale and don’t squeeze the tape too tight!  Measure yourself every 3-4 weeks. An attainable weight loss goal may be 1-2 lbs/week.

If increasing your physical activity is one of your goals, use a specific activity to track your progress.  Use time, distance or repetitions as a guide. How many burpees or jump squats can you do? How far can you walk or jog? Use the Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE). The RPE scale is used to measure the intensity of an exercise and ranges from 0-10 (nothing at all – to maximal effort).  This is a subjective measure of your strength at any given time. For example, a 5-6/10 would be considered moderate activity where you are breathing heavily and can hold only short conversations. This is a measurable way to help you evaluate your progress over time.

Keep your goals attainable, realistic and timely. Keep a long term goal in mind, but pick a short term timeline so you have successes along the way. They say it takes 30 days to create a habit, so be patient with yourself and review your progress every 4-6 weeks.

Helping you get back to activities, sports and life is a large part of what we do. As physiotherapists and massage therapists, our goal is to help you gain function, maintain independence, prevent future injuries and maximize your athletic performance. 

If your feeling stressed, anxious or tense, our massage therapists, Lisa and Erin, can help you relax and find balance. If a nagging pain is blocking your path to wellness, the physiotherapists, Steve and myself, can help you develop a personal treatment plan to align your body, improve mobility, and help prevent issues from worsening. There is plenty of time to achieve your health resolutions. Partner with Bragg Creek Physiotherapy on your journey this year and let’s enhance your quality of life and health together.