Have you ever driven home or to work and then couldn't remember the ride? Or have you taken the wrong exit off a freeway because it's the one you usually take, when you really meant to take another exit? Our minds become conditioned to doing things a certain way, because we have done them over and over again in that exact way. These kinds of habits can be great, as it makes much of our day pretty effortless.
Unfortunately, negative actions can also become habits, and that makes them really hard to change. How many times have you tried to adopt an exercise program, quit smoking, lose weight, or give up junk food? Did you know that it takes about 32 days to form a new habit? This means you have to practice your new actions for more than a month before you begin to do them automatically. Until then, it takes consistent effort and focus...in other words, it's hard work!
When trying to start a new habit, like exercise, posting reminders around the house can help. Remember that your mind is used to not thinking about exercise. So we need to re-train our mind to think about it. You can also print out a handy Habit Forming Chart and hang it up where you will see it every day. You can find a great one here: http://shufflemylife.com/49days/
Remember, have patience with yourself! Don't beat yourself up if you have "failures" here and there. No one is perfect, and you will probably have days where you don't meet your goals.
To Your Health,
Jerry & the Lakewood Physical Therapy Team
P.S. Is there anyone you can think of that could benefit from this email? Forward it to them!