As one year ends and a new year begins, we tend to reflect on the time that has passed and look forward to a “fresh start” as we move into a new year. This is also a time when many of us set goals, including things like improving different aspects of our health. For some it’s weight loss, decreasing stress or sleeping better. For others it might be improving diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
This is also a time many people decide it’s time to FINALLY do something about that nagging lingering pain they’ve been dealing with for months or years. If you’ve been in pain for any length of time you know how much it can affect your life and impact your health. Pain can affect your sleep and your ability to move and stay active, which leads to weight gain and many other health problems.
The good news is that just as our bodies respond negatively to illness, injury, stress or poor health habits, our bodies have an incredible ability to heal and change. This means our bodies will also respond positively to improvements in nutrition, movement, activity and lifestyle changes.
It’s also true that many people who set goals may have good intentions and a desire to feel better when it comes to their health. Unfortunately, many of those people never achieve their goals. Old habits and old ways of thinking can be hard to change. It’s easy to slide back into old patterns…only to set similar goals the next time around.
So how will this year be different? How can you CHANGE your health and make it stick this time?
YOU HAVE TO START BY CHANGING YOUR MIND
What I mean here is, you have to change your mindset and the way you think. I believe this is the HARDEST part and why most people have failed to create REAL change that lasts.
We lose weight, then gain weight.
We get fit, then stop exercising.
We sleep better, then we can’t sleep.
We get rid of back pain, then the pain comes back.
We try a few things that don’t work, then stop trying.
Why? Why do we do this?
If I had to guess, it’s not because you don’t KNOW what to do. I would bet you know at least a few things you could do starting right now. Often the problem is we just don’t do it.
Even if you truly don’t know what to do to improve your health, almost anyone can “follow” a health improvement plan, a diet or a fitness program they are given. Having a plan to follow is great to help you get started and in many cases can even help you achieve your goal. And many people do just that.
But how often does it stick?
I think you know the answer. If not, just look around you and you’ll see the health crisis we are in.
REAL CHANGE requires more than just following someone or something and believing it will solve your problem for good. It requires you to CHANGE something inside of you. Often that something is a deeply rooted way of thinking or behaving, or a story or belief you have about yourself or your health.
“It’s too hard to change.”
“I don’t have time to cook (or exercise).”
“It costs too much to eat healthy.”
“I’ll never be able to maintain a healthy weight. Everyone in my family is overweight”
“Arthritis (or insert any other health problem) runs in my family, so there’s nothing I can do about it.”
“I’ve already tried several times. My back pain just keeps coming back. I just can’t keep up with my back exercises.”
THE FIRST STEP IS CHANGING YOUR MIND
Once you start to recognize thoughts, behaviors and beliefs that are sabotaging your efforts you can start thinking, behaving and believing in ways that will create long term success.
Try this instead…
“Learning anything new is hard at first, but it will get easier and I’m worth it.”
“I will make time to cook (or exercise) because I deserve the best.”
“I can eat healthy on a budget.”
“I will take better care of myself so I can avoid the same health problems my family suffers from.”
When it comes to back pain, or pain anywhere else, if you’ve already had treatment that worked for you that included a maintenance program (self-care, exercises, etc.) and have gotten off track. Now might be a good time to get back to it.
If that’s not working for you or you’ve already tried other things, now might be a good time to try something else. Don’t give up!
If you don’t know what to do next or need more support…
THE NEXT STEP IS FINDING THE RIGHT SPECIALIST TO HELP YOU.
The right specialist can give you guidance and the right plan to help you reach your health goals.
If you’ve been dealing with persistent pain that is pain is affecting your health, your ability to move and stay active, or preventing you from getting a good night of rest - our Physical Therapy Program may be able to help.
Or if you have other health goals that involve things like weight loss, improving your fitness or energy levels, managing stress, getting better sleep or improving digestion - we may be able to help with one of our Wellness or Health Coaching Programs.
If you’d like more information about any of our health or wellness programs give us a call at 503-744-0046.
Once we know a little more about your specific problem and your goals, we can let you know if you’d be a good fit for one of our programs and can discuss next steps from there.
If not, we will help guide you to a specialist who can help you.
Here’s to a HEALTHY NEW YEAR!
Helping active adults FINALLY get rid of their aches, pains and injuries, so they can keep moving, stay active and improve their health naturally - without pain medication, injections or surgery.
Oregon City, OR
Dr. Julie Krueger