I don’t know about you but I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. I’m not opposed to them, and if they can help create a positive habit that’s super. However, fairly reliable stats suggest less than 20% (and perhaps fewer than 10%) of resolutions yield the desired result. This is great for the 10%, but not so good for the rest. We get discouraged when we don’t keep promises to ourselves or others and give up. My take—resolutions inadvertently place the focus on failure rather than success and may not be a great way to effect a wanted or needed change. But is there a difference between making a resolution and being resolute (and if so how can it help)? I believe there is (or else this would be a very short article), and the small difference can yield big results.
To me resolutions connote a sense of continuity—we often start on New Year’s Day (or thereabouts) and try not to break them. This can be both good and bad—streaks can help us stay accountable and keep going when we don’t feel like it. Running streaks, not-drinking-pop streaks, no-sugar streaks—all good things for certain people. But what if you miss a day running, or have Pepsi, or have a Super Bowl cupcake? Sometimes this can derail the entire process—if I missed one day I must be a failure. And if you are sick or busy (or hungry) for an entire week—might as well just give up. Now I realize that it some of you will pick up where you left off—great! But some will not and feel as if they failed—not great.
So if exercising more regularly or eating more healthily are good things how do we make a change without feeling trapped? Be resolute: “admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.” While this may seem like semantics (after all isn’t this pretty much what we mean when we create resolutions), it can also be freeing. Take the things you would like to improve upon, and instead of trying to do it all this month or without stopping, resolve to be better this year than last year. Along the way there may be goals, targets, or even streaks to help the process. And if the focus stays on general improvement sustained over the entire year with the usual ups and downs of life, I think you will be in a better place in 2020 (and 2021…)!
As we move into 2020 some things stay the same, and some things change/grow. Metro Health-University of Michigan Health Sports Medicine along with Mary Free Bed Sports Rehabilitation will continue to be available for all of your sports medicine (and primary care) needs. Metro Health currently has nine primary care sports medicine physicians practicing in Allendale, Caledonia, Cascade, Cedar Springs, Hudsonville, and Rockford. By fall of 2020 we will have 13 primary care sports medicine physicians, and will add our Lowell location to the list. We can take care of your sports medicine needs if you already have a primary care physician (no referral needed), or can become your PCP and sports med doc if you are looking—find out more at www.metrohealth.net and search sports medicine or call 252-7778.
Stay tuned for more running related articles each week and…
Dr. Ed Kornoelje
Family Medicine/Sports Medicine