Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: January 2020

Do you struggle to keep your New Year's resolutions?

If so, you're not alone. Making resolutions is the easy part. It's keeping them that trips people up. Fewer than 25% of people remain committed to their new year's resolutions beyond 30 days. Even more surprising, only 8% actually achieve them.

Most resolutions involve taking better care of ourselves. In fact, the five most popular 2019 New Year's resolutions were 1) Exercise, 2) Lose weight, 3) Save money, 4) Eat healthier, and 5) Better self-care. Four out of those five top resolutions are directly related to health. We want to look and feel better. So why do we end up breaking our resolutions?

One reason is that our resolutions are often too vast and vague. Eating healthier, for example, isn't something that just happens because you want it to. You need to break it down into small, achievable tasks, such as throwing away unhealthy snacks from the pantry, making a grocery list, buying fresh fruits and vegetables, planning meals for the week, searching online for healthy recipes, etc. Once you commit to a resolution, it's important to plan out exactly what you're going to do and when you're going to do it.

For some, committing to a resolution and planning it out is not enough. This is where outside support can make all the difference. Using the example above, if you're still struggling to change your diet, you can hire a nutritionist or a dietician to guide and support you through eliminating old eating habits and replacing them with new, healthier practices.

Marketing coach Cary Bayer uses Newton's Law of Inertia to explain New Year's resolutions. Since a body at rest tends to stay at rest, without introducing an "outside force" to help us change, we will likely find ourselves stuck in our old undesirable habits.

The outside forces you can introduce to change your resolution into reality are commitment, planning, and support. Make the choice to act, plan out exactly what steps you'll take towards achieving your goal, and reach out for help.

As another example, I'll use a resolution that I believe would greatly benefit almost everyone: improving self-care. But that is much too broad. You'll want to make your self-care resolution specific to you. For instance, "I will practice yoga three times a week," or "I will get a massage every other week," or "I will get at least 7 hours of sleep every night." Each of those resolutions can then be broken down into small, manageable tasks.

The person who wants to practice yoga, for instance, can schedule specific dates and times to google local yoga studios, call the studios to get more information, shop in person or online for exercise clothes and a yoga mat, sign up for a class, and maybe pay in advance for series of classes.

Another great idea is inviting a friend to join you in pursuing your resolutions. Working together with a friend makes the journey to success more fun, motivates you to keep going, and holds you accountable for your progress.

New Year's resolutions are indeed achievable. But simply making resolutions will not set them in motion. You need to commit, make a plan of action, and get support if needed. Here's to a healthy and successful 2020!

Why your neck and shoulders hurt, and how to save them!

If you are experiencing shoulder, neck, or upper back pain during or after your workouts, or any activities that require overhead arm and hand movements, you may need to take a look at your alignment.

If you, like so many of us, tend to slouch, roll your shoulders forward, round your upper back, and stick your chin out in a forward head position, chances are that repeated overhead movements, especially those requiring extra force such as in weight lifting, will cause shoulder impingements, resulting in pain and loss of function. Watch this short video to find out why and how shoulder impingement occurs, and what you can do to alleviate or prevent it.

What's new with me ...

Sienna decided recently that she wanted younger siblings, so she declared that "Mom had twins!" She was eager to take a holiday photo of the whole family - and by whole family, she meant the 5 of us. Please welcome Fiona and Timmy.

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