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As we head into warmer weather here in Toronto, (hopefully sooner rather than later), many of us will be looking forward to take advantage of the nicer temperatures to get out and start exercising more. Whether your goal is to become more active, lose some unwanted pounds added during the hibernating winter months, or rehab an injury; setting goals, and sticking to them can have a profound effect on your overall wellness outcome.

Sometimes the most difficult part of any plan isn't setting your goals, but sticking to them no matter what. We have compiled a list of 8 tips to help you succeed with your rehab and wellness goals, in and achieve all your health goals this spring, one step at a time.

1. Keep it simple.

Choose just a few things that will make a positive difference in your life and focus on those. If you choose to focus on too many things at once, odds are you wont stick to any of them.

Stick to simple, easy-to-prepare, healthy meals, short walks in the park with your spouse, or the family dog, or walks down the street to your favourite organic market. Start a simple daily stretching, or morning exercise routine, or go out and kick a ball around with your kids at the playground.

2. Write it down!

Whatever your health and wellness goals maybe, make sure to write them down. By writing them down, you make them real. People who write down their goals are far more likely to actually achieve them.

Whether your goal is to reduce the amount of sugar you have everyday, drink a certain amount of water, include a certain amount of a healthy food in your diet, or walk a certain distance everyday, being specific. Writing down your goals goes a long way towards achieving them.

3. Get Excited!

Don't worry about what health goals others tell you to concentrate or focus on. Make sure to always choose goals you actually want to achieve and that will be enjoyable for you to do so. If you find you are resistant to what you are trying to achieve, maybe its just not that important to you. Excitement over your health goals is of crucial importance if you plan on achieving them.

4. Change your brain.

It's true. You can actually change the way your brain works! There are many ways to do this, but the easiest ways to achieve this is through visualization and meditation. Both can work together to help you achieve all your health and wellness goals.

Visualization and positive thinking is a tried and true method for achieving goals. Seeing yourself working towards and reaching your goals is a fantastic personal motivational tool, used by people in all walks of life. From world leaders to business professionals and professional athletes, many attribute their success to basic visualization techniques. Meditation is also a great way to become more conscious of your mind’s activities and with practice can even allow you to exercise control over them.

5. Plan ahead.

Planning ensures a smooth experience, especially when it comes to any changes you are about to make to your daily routine. Along with setting your health and wellness goals, you need to figure out how you will actually go about reaching them. If your goal is to eat more leafy greens everyday, make sure to include these on your grocery list and put them into your weekly meal plan. If you plan to walk a certain amount, make sure to make it interesting, pick a route, and switch it up every once in a while to avoid "slipping". Good planning goes a long way towards achieving all your health and wellness goals.

6. Get help.

As part of your plan to achieve your health and wellness goals, you might need some help or advice from others. The fact is, not one person has all the answers. Support, guidance and advice are key factors in success. At Rehab & Wellness Clinic, we have several different health care professionals on staff that are experts in their fields. If one of our therapists don't have the answer for you, another one surely will.

Make sure to join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for words of encouragement and general health, rehab, and wellness tips, and while you are there, please feel free to post your all your questions, experiences, challenges, and successes. We will be sure to get the right doctors and therapists to respond to as many of your questions as possible, and your successes will serve as motivation for others as well.

7. Don’t give up!

We have all heard the saying "practice makes perfect", and as much as it sounds like a typical cliché, it's a fact of life. Nobody is ever good at anything the first time they try it, so if you don't succeed the first time around, don't quit, try again. The more we practice anything, but especially a new behaviour or habit, the better we will become at it and the easier it will be to continue. No matter what, NEVER GIVE UP!

8. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

The importance of hydration, cannot be understated, hydration helps us perform, not just athletically, but it gives us the energy required to keep our activity levels up throughout our normal day. We all know our body is largely made up of water, including our muscles, and they happen to work better when they are hydrated. If you are at all parched or lightheaded throughout your day, or when you are working out, chances are you are in a state of dehydration, so stop what you are doing and DRINK something!

According to The American Council on Exercise you should drink one cup (250 mL) of water 20 to 30 minutes before exercising. (Tip: If you workout first thing in the morning, keep a glass of water on your bedside table and drink it when the alarm goes off.) For every 15 minutes of exercise, drink an extra cup of fluids. The harder your workout, the more fluids you’ll need, (i.e distance running), may mean replacing electrolytes. But most of the time good old fashioned water does the job. Make sure you don't forget to hydrate after your workout to replenish the body too, ideally drink another cup of water within 30 minutes of your exercise routine.

The Bottom Line

In order to achieve your health, rehab, and wellness goals, make sure to follow these tips. You will increase your chances of success by making these simple adjustments to your everyday life. Give these eight tips a try and comment below and continue the conversation by telling us how your life has changed for the better, or make suggestions of your own on what you do to stay healthy all year round.

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