Friday, January 18, 2019


Ditch New Year's Resolution Day may be a new holiday on your calendar (January 17th, if you were wondering!) but that doesn't mean you have to "celebrate" by quitting or ditching your health/fitness goal. 

Continuing off our last blog post, we had talked about ways of setting small goals for yourself in order to build momentum and motivation towards a larger goal, ensuring your success and less frustration overall. Hopefully you're still striving towards that goal and haven't tapered off, as most people will about halfway through January. A lot of this happens because we're not receiving that "instant gratification" that we crave and have become so used to. 

When you're working towards a difficult goal without a good reason, or maybe too many goals at once, you're essentially setting yourself up for failure in the near future. 

How do I develop my Healthy Habit?

Developing a healthy habit is not easy and can be entirely personal. The first thing you want to do is figure out what you would like to change- do you want to start getting up earlier? Eating more vegetables and less sugar? Decreasing the amount of fast food you eat? Once you've figured out what it is you'd like to change, you need to have a good reason WHY you're doing it. WHY do you want to eat more vegetables? WHY do you want to wake up earlier? WHY do you want to be eating less fast food? Figuring out the "why" part of the equation is often more difficult as this is not only your motivation, but the whole reason you're making this change. Getting yourself out of bad habits and replacing them with good ones is difficult and takes about 3 weeks to develop, so it's always easier to start small and work your way up from there. 

Lastly, you want to figure out what your reward is for completing your Habit. This depends entirely on the person and the Healthy Habit you're developing, so pick something that you feel will motivate YOU and allow you to follow through on your goal. 

Here's an example:

A client wants to start coming in regularly for massage, every 2 weeks, as opposed to sporadically like she has in the past. Her whole reason for wanting to come in is because she's experiencing a lot of stress and massage helps her to relax, especially with the new job she just started that's putting a lot more pressure on her. This client knows that massage helps her to relax, but more importantly, she knows that it's good for her and will help prep her for the new stresses and responsibilities at her new job. Knowing she's got a new schedule will not only give her something to look forward to, but will help with aches, pains, stress and even sleeplessness she may experience with her new job. 

Easing into your Healthy Habit

Starting a new Healthy Habit can be difficult because our lizard brains are hardwired to expect instant gratification and we see our "bad habits" of ways to reach that gratification quickly. A good example of this would be to think of a box of donuts: our brain knows what's in there and tells your body to anticipate the sweet reward of sugar and carbs, leading you to reach into the box and devour the entire thing. 

In order to quit a bad habit, you have to learn to recognize the cues that lead you through the routine of the bad habit. In the example above, the box of donuts/craving something sweet is the cue and the routine is reaching in and eventually devouring the whole box, which then leads to your reward (sugar high, yummy delicious donuts, stomach is full). 

Learning to disrupt this routine is your best bet. One of the ways to do that is by making this routine more difficult; adding more steps in between the cue and the reward means you're more likely to avoid the routine since we're hardwired to take the less complicated path. i.e., the path of least resistance.

Using the above example again, complicating the path can be as easy as just not buying the donuts or avoiding that area of the grocery store. Instead, replace your bad habit with a good one by heading over to the fruits and veggies section to spend money on those instead. When you're really craving something sweet, now you'll have apples, grapes, or blueberries where you once had donuts. This way you're still satiating your sweet tooth, but with a better (and healthier) reward. On another note, fruits and vegetables will help you feel full longer, meaning you're less likely to over indulge later!

How can I make it easier to stick to my new Healthy Habit?

Sticking to your new Healthy Habit is often more difficult than starting it out. Sometimes you lose the motivation or you may just not really be into it, which makes it more difficult to see your habit/goal through to the end. Earlier in the blog post we talked about having a good reason WHY you want to develop your new Healthy Habit, which is your whole motivation for developing it in the first place. If you want to start going to the gym "just because," but you hate working out and have no legitimate reason for going, you're more likely to ditch your new Healthy Habit since it holds no interest for you and you're not giving yourself something to look forward to. 

Sometimes this can be as easy as an attitude change; positive thinking works wonders! Making this goal more easily accessible can also help. Taking out steps in the new routine or keeping it simple means you have less reasons to avoid your new Habit while working hand-in-hand with making your old, bad habits more complicated. For example, if your goal is to go for a jog every morning, lay out your running gear the night before with your running shoes right by your bed. Move your alarm clock to the other side of the room, which forces you to get up to go turn it off. Giving yourself a reward to satisfy your lizard brain will help too! When you're done running, reward yourself with a relaxing shower before heading to work, and at the end of the month, if you followed through on your new Habit, reward yourself with those running shoes you've had your eye on for a while. You're still satisfying that part of yourself that craves instant gratification with the relaxing shower and new shoes while doing something that is actually good for you, and not just feels good. 

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We're going to bring this back to our massage example from before: this client wants to develop her new Healthy Habit of coming in every 2 weeks for a massage, but how can she keep up her motivation and follow through? She knows that in the past she had difficulty scheduling due to her work schedule and not having a clear idea of when she would be working. She also waited until after the massage to schedule the next session, which meant that sometimes the time and day she preferred would not be available or she felt too "foggy" from the massage and couldn't concentrate. 

However, with her new job she has a lot more clarity when it comes to her schedule and can now figure out when she has time to set aside for her massage. Instead of scheduling each time afterwards, she instead sets up a recurring appointment to take place every 2 weeks at the same time, which takes the pressure off scheduling in the future and there's no more worrying or inconsistency in her massage sessions. The reward in this scenario is fairly straightforward: it's the massage itself! This client knows that the massage will feel good and she will feel better afterwards, which satisfies her lizard brain cravings. 

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Developing a Healthy Habit can take almost a month, so it's important to create one that you can incorporate into your daily life easily without getting overwhelmed or frustrated. Stick with something simple, straightforward and easy to incorporate, which will lead to success and a more satisfying reward! 

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Every year it seems we all have the same dilemma: we create goals for the New Year, say we're going to stick with it, but by the end of January it's like that goal never existed. A lot of this has to do with a lack of motivation or sometimes we set goals that are so high we get frustrated by the lack of results in such a short amount of time. However, it's common knowledge that sometimes the biggest things require the most patience, concentration and hard work. 

One of the biggest goals out there for the new year is to "get fit," or more specifically, to lose weight. This is one of those goals where you can easily set the bar too high for yourself, aiming too high and then falling short when you can't follow through or meet your goal. It's also one of the most frustrating. Since every body is different, everyone needs to approach this type of goal in a different way. For one person, it could just be eating healthier and cutting calories out of their diet. For another, it could be just to increase the amount of cardio they do every day. When it comes to fitness goals in particular, it's important to remember that as an individual, you have to create your own path. Following someone else's could lead to poor or no results. 

Here are some examples:

One goal I have set for myself is to keep my house clean. Since it's almost a daily struggle to keep everything tidy, I knew this would be a good goal for me and it would also be incredibly frustrating. So, I started small. 

I would start by making sure all laundry got to the laundry room, or a basket, and not be tossed on the floor. Then every morning and every night I would consolidate the laundry into one spot, the designated laundry basket in the laundry room. If the load was larger, I would immediately start the washer instead of coming back to it later, which I knew was a good way I would forget the clothes needed washing. I also made a habit of putting the laundry away right when it comes out of the dryer. Since I wasn't having to tackle so much laundry at once, this made putting everything away much easier and I wasn't left with baskets of clean laundry all over the house. 

Another great way I tackled this goal was by making sure dishes were done every morning and every night. Since we eat a lot of food in our house, and cook quite a bit, this was a bit of a chore. However I did find that cleaning up immediately after cooking and before I ate helped me stay on top of things, and I didn't slip into a food coma before I had to go back and tackle the dishes. 

Bringing it Back to Health

For some people a New Year's Resolution may be just to increase the awareness of what their body needs and following through on what most people title "self care." This may include coming in for a massage more often or maybe doing yoga and/or stretches your therapist recommends in order to fully round out your treatment. A great way to stay on top of this is to set up a recurring appointment, meaning you set up the appointment to take place every 2, 3, or 4 weeks at the same time to help keep you on top of your scheduling. With stretches, you can do this by setting aside an extra 15 minutes every morning to dedicate to a few moves that you need to do, plus whatever else feels good and gets your blood flowing. As an added bonus, stretching and doing yoga first thing in the morning helps you feel more awake and makes you feel more charged, allowing you to start your day on the right foot!

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Starting small can make all the difference when it comes to creating New Year's resolutions and goals for yourself. Being able to accomplish smaller goals and working your way up to greater challenges is a great way to motivate yourself and reduce the amount of frustration you may feel. When it comes to your health, it's important to take the small steps first in order to set up a great foundation to build upon once you're ready to take the next, bigger step. Finding small ways to commit yourself to a healthier lifestyle is a great way to stay motivated! We should never stop trying to better ourselves or learn something new, but taking the time to do it right can make all the difference in the world! 

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Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.