Using The Power Of Friendship To Stick To Your New Year Resolutions

Gym Friends

Gym Friends

We’re soon approaching the end of January, and by now, statistically speaking, a lot of us have already pushed aside the new year’s resolutions we made for 2019.

Can you relate? Or are you still going strong?

If your resolutions have come to a standstill, or even if you’re still going strong – I wanted to share something with you today that I heard from one of our patients that may just help you pick your resolutions back up, and most importantly – make sure you keep enjoying them!

Last week I was enjoying my morning protein smoothie in our clinic and one of our patients, Wendy, was asking me if I’d set any goals for the new year. After I told Wendy my plans I went on to ask about hers, to which she said…

Yes! I’ve set a few but this year I’ve decided not to do them alone, I’m partnering up and sticking to them with a friend instead, and so far so good! We haven’t skipped a walk or gym visit yet!”

Which got me thinking – maybe Wendy is onto something here.

After all, it’s a well-known fact that if you partner up with a friend who has similar goals to you, you’re a lot less likely to rain check on a 7 a.m. stretch class if your closest friend has signed up on the mat next to you.

So it makes sense that when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions – or any goals for that matter – you don’t have to go it alone.

With that in mind, here are some suggestions on how you and your friends can boost your dedication to any goal you set (even if you’ve slipped off track). Firstly…

Have Honest Check-ins With Each Other

Involving a friend adds an objective perspective. Someone with an outside view can help you see the ways you might resist change and help you find other ways to stick to new habits.

For example – while you might not realize it, your friend might be able to pick up on the fact that you tend to skip workouts when you’ve had a long, tiring day at work, or that you feel extra sluggish on a Wednesday.

Having someone to help you stay on track can keep you accountable and make it feel easier to break free from those habits you want to change.

It’s true that when you have someone to help you keep focused, you gain a reason to follow through as we don’t like to let others down.

Ask A Friend For Help

Let’s face it, there’s something out there that you don’t enjoy doing – whether it’s cardio, cooking new healthy recipes, walking a tougher route, there’s always something!

Maybe you want to run more but you hate cardio – if that’s the case and you have a friend who runs regularly, asking them to run with you and help you get started can provide all the encouragement you need to not give up your new habit so quickly.

Maybe you want to take up yoga but you don’t want to go to a class alone – if you have a friend who already goes, or know someone who wants to begin Yoga too, ask if they’ll come along with you. Sometimes having someone to do activities like yoga and other classes with, makes it that much more enjoyable and gives you a spot of ‘me time’ in the week to wind-down. And you get to catch up with friends too.

Celebrate With A Friend!

Finally, a little bit of positive reinforcement.

Whenever small milestones are met, I see them as an opportunity to reinforce what has been accomplished. Doing so can inspire you to continue on toward the finish line and help you feel accomplished along the way. And a nice dinner or a massage after that long run or hike just feels that much better with your friend by your side.

Sticking to new year’s resolutions don’t have to be tough. And if you’ve let them slip already, don’t go beating yourself up over that either – every day is a new opportunity to get back on track with them again, and this is just one way to help make sticking to them that bit easier.

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Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

Owner at Preferred PT
Dr. Nick received an associates degree in sports medicine from ByU-Idaho he then attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science. Following BYU, he received his Doctorate of Physical therapy from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Dr, Nick’s greatest passion is seeing his patients recover from injury and return to their activities that bring them joy.
Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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