If you are aiming for a big physical change, it’s best to take small steps towards your goal. Did you make a New Year’s Resolution in January to lose weight, only to have it drop off your radar by February? If so, you’re not alone! New Year’s Resolutions for big physical changes rarely work in the long-term, and it’s usually because we bite off more than we can chew.
We tend to think of a weight loss goal as a be-all, end-all result without much consideration for the many steps it will take to get there. If someone has never exercised before, trying to include that at the same time they’re working on overhauling their diet can be overwhelming (and near impossible to maintain). Instead, bite off smaller chunks to make big changes.
How to Set Manageable Goals to Make Lasting Changes
Each week, write a goal for yourself, but keep it simple and one you know you can accomplish. For example, each day for lunch this week, go walk for ten minutes. Or attend the gym two times to exercise (whether it’s for cardiovascular exercise, attending a class, or lifting weights). When you get to the end of the week, cross off that goal, and make a new one. Maybe add an additional day of exercise, or exercise for longer.
Over time, these small goals will lead to big change. Making one change a week is far more manageable than changing your entire lifestyle on January 1st. With summer months coming up, staying active outdoors is a feasible and pleasant option if you’re not keen on exercising with a mask on indoors (we get that).
What’s most important to creating change is consistency. Make sure you “show up” for yourself each week. If you didn’t meet that one goal, it’s okay! It isn’t a huge failure. It means you try again the next week. Our behaviors are more likely to change if we work at them slowly but consistently. Ideally, you’ll be moving regularly and eating better by the end of the year and it will become habit to live well. Imagine that!
Don’t forget that we can help you with this! Physical therapy isn’t just for injury or post-surgical rehabilitation. We’re exercise specialists and can help you with an appropriate and doable home exercise program. Call us today for an appointment!