Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: January 2021

3 sure-fire ways to achieve your 2021 resolutions!

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 six most popular 2020 New Year's resolutions were 1) Exercise, 2) Save money, 3) Eat healthier, 4) Lose weight, 5) reduce stress, and 6) Get more sleep. Five out of those six 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.

This year, however, our resolutions might be colored with new meaning. The year 2020 was devastating and challenging for everyone. But the pandemic has forced us to stop operating on overdrive and reexamine our priorities. This year is an opportunity to make a fresh start. We can take what we've learned this past year - the importance of connection, compassion, gratitude, self-care, plenty of time with our loved ones, living life more fully - and apply these principles as we strive to become the best we can be.

Embrace this healthier mindset as you approach your New Year's resolutions. And remember that they 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 2021!

Feel-good stretches for people who hate stretching!

Do you hate stretching? Are you inflexible? Does stretching cause you pain or discomfort? It doesn't have to be that way!

Stretching is so important for posture, flexibility, injury prevention, tension release, soreness reduction, stress relief, energy levels, and the list goes on.

Follow along with me and learn what I am calling "lazy stretches." They are stretches anyone can do AND they feel great! No straining, no muscles feeling like they're being ripped apart. These stretches are gentle and effective - even more effective, in fact, than painful or uncomfortable stretches.

To really get a good stretch, our bodies need to be relaxed. Trying to stretch tense muscles is not only futile, but can cause injury. With these lazy stretches, we relax, breathe, and enjoy the feeling of letting go as we lengthen our muscles.

This video is part 1 of 3. All the stretches in this video are done supine, or lying face up. So lie down and get ready to reap the benefits of being "lazy."


What's new with me ...

Our holidays were quiet, as I suppose they were for many families this year. We stayed in our PJs, built with LEGOs, baked M&M cookies, did crafts, went to the playground, and Zoomed with family. Sienna created many new videos, and at the time of this writing, is up to #740. Jesse and I enjoyed the long-anticipated Wonder Woman movie sequel (but the first was better).

On New Year's Eve, Sienna was exhausted because she didn't sleep much the night before, and Jesse and I were exhausted because, well, Sienna didn't sleep much the night before. We laughed playing some New Year's Madlibs, counted down at 7pm, and put Sienna to bed. Then Jesse and I devoured dinner from one of our favorite pizza places, and I was asleep long before midnight. Yup, I'm officially old.

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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