Find Your Why…
We are now in February in the thick of the winter in New England and coming down from the high of the holidays and all the adrenaline we had for big change in the new year. Many of us have made ambitious New Year’s resolutions and maybe have already felt the slipping off of the new, good habits, and lifestyle changes we had the best intentions to incorporate this year. Hey, we get it. We would be lying if we said we haven’t failed resolutions or struggled to make the healthy choices that we KNOW will bring health and better quality of life to us. ESPECIALLY in the winter. I mean who wants to get out from under their warm blankets to fix a salad or go to the gym. Much easier to GrubHub it again.
We can TOTALLY relate. That’s why we wanted to approach this subject as we move quickly on into month 2 of this new year. Whenever we set a new goal, whether it is for nutrition, exercise, or any other new habit we usually do so for a reason. When we decide on a new goal the reason can range from something superficial (I want to fit into my skinny jeans again) to something more closer to the heart (I want to be able to run a 5k with my son like we used to). It’s all well and good if your goal initially is related to an aesthetic outcome, but we have found through our own experience and that of our clients that this does not usually sustain the motivation you need when the new year’s dust settles. What will really keep you going is connecting with a deeper why. What kind of value will it bring to your life if you keep going?
One thing that really brings us joy is when we hear things from clients like…”I realized this morning that I slept through an entire night without pain for the first time in months”, or “I bent over and picked up my toddler without even thinking about it and realized how strong I had gotten.” It’s these little “aha” moments that reinforce the REAL reasons we seek physical therapy when we are in pain, train even when we don’t want to, and make sensible choices around sleep and nutrition when it’s easier to binge netflix and order a pizza. If we can connect with the joy improved health and fitness brings to our lives we will be much more successful.
When you are thinking about goals for the future we encourage you to think about how it would pay off for you mentally and spiritually, not just physically. For example, Sarah plays rugby with the Worcester Shamrocks and she trains in the off season every year. This can be hard sometimes because it is time consuming and a lot of work! On days she doesn’t quite feel like showing up she has some thought reframers prepared to call upon. For one thing she takes a moment to give gratitude for having a body that can even play rugby (she’s in her mid 30s!) and to be able to compete at a high level. Another thing she reflects on is the fact that her teammates need her to show up in order to do her part to achieve a common goal. She doesn’t want to let them down. She tries to remember also that it is important to practice what you preach and lead by example, not just for her teammates, but for her clients as well. After all, she knows we don’t need to be limited as we age IF we take proper care of ourselves. She wants to make sure she represents that to those she is trying to reach so they can see what is possible.
Similarly, Ashlyn calls on her own reframing thoughts when the weight of the winter blues zaps her motivation. Ashlyn has been training Muay Thai (watch out!) and it has challenged her in a whole new way. She obviously loves trying new things and having adventures…see our blog on play. She remembers that sometimes making time for strength and power development is important so she can do the FUN stuff. I mean when you’re trying to climb a mountain, learn to snowshoe, or scale a rock wall it’s really not fun if you don’t have the strength or endurance to participate. She also has a niece and nephew who are young and she wants to teach them what living your best life looks like! I am sure anyone with kids, neices and nephews, or grandkids can relate to the joy of being able to get down on the ground to play with them, swim with them, or even go sledding!
So this February we want to encourage you to stick with your goals! Remember progress doesn’t have to be perfect, be kind to yourself when you stumble, but don’t give up! Take some time to find your why. The REAL why for striving for a healthier, more active lifestyle. Whether it’s skiing with your kids, backpacking with friends, or hiking to a once in a lifetime view on vacation, call upon it when you’re feeling “blah.”
We all have the same 24 hours in a day and have to make choices about how we prioritize our time. It’s hard to prioritize mundane or difficult things like meal prep or working out sometimes. If you can remind yourself of your why, it feels a lot easier. We promise when you get to live the why in real time you won’t have any regrets!