by guest blogger, Michelle Herbst, MPT, DPT
A wise friend once told me that her favorite time of year was the end of summer. I wanted to interrupt and ask – ‘WHY?’ But, she continued on to say the long, hot days of summer allowed us to slow down, be lazy and just be. It allowed our bellies to become full and satisfied and enjoy almost endless days of sunshine with friends and family members. But, as the days become shorter and cooler she begins to think more about school, work deadlines and her own personal goals. My friend took this end of summer slumber to think about how to fine-tune her personal goals to allow for a strong finish by the end of the calendar year. After listening to her, I thought that it’s a great way to think about this seasonal transition.
We, the members of the Hab-It community, share a common bond, passion and desire to rehabilitate and keep ourselves strong to combat the negative effects related to prolapse, incontinence and/or pelvic pain. A goal-oriented approach can help us keep on track. Yes – it is ok to slow down some during the summer months and just be. But, ‘just being’ still takes work. For example, practicing good posture while driving our children to camp or swim lessons or performing a 2-step Kegel while at a stop light will help keep our pelvic basket pliable and strong. If your summer slumber has allowed old habits to creep in – forgive yourself. Renew. Revisit your personal goals and start again.
I want to leave you with a few practical examples of goal setting:
1.) Record your goal. For example:
- Decrease the leaking of urine during coughing and sneezing by 50 percent.
- Run or jump without leakage or prolapse.
- Have intercourse without leakage or minimal to no pain.
2.) Organize your plan to meet the goal.
- Schedule your Hab-it exercise time on your calendar.
- Organize your schedule one week at a time and the same day of the week. For me this typically is on Sunday late afternoon or evening.
3.) Carry out your plan.
- No matter what, stick to your plan.
- Allow yourself to complain, say to yourself ‘I don’t want to. I don’t feel like it today.´ Forgive yourself and then exercise.
4.) Record your progress.
- Record the incidence of leakage or prolapse over a 3 to 7 day period of time.
- Compare your current level of function to when you first recorded your goal.
I am thankful that I didn’t interrupt my wise friend when she said the end of summer was her favorite time of year. I am hopeful that you begin to feel the same when you take the time to renew, revisit and refocus your efforts on a stronger, healthier you.