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Poise and Performance | Checking in on those Resolutions

As part of our thoughts on resolutions and goal setting, we wanted to ask pro's like Physical Therapist, Dr. Phil Lombardo, DPT about how to maintain resolve!


New Year’s Resolutions? No! You’re more than that…

recovering athlete female weightlifter

YES, it’s March. Spring is in the air! And it's time to check in on those New Year’s resolutions. How are they going for you? Oh, they’re not working? Shocker! As much as everyone is still participating with them, it’s becoming mainstream knowledge that they just DON'T work. But why do we keep doing it? Perhaps it’s just because it’s a social norm and a longstanding habit; one of the many that we do without consciously asking "why?" (And for those of you that know me, you know that is my favorite question).

Dr. Phil Lombarto Physical Therapist

Dr.Phil Lombardo, Board Certified Doctor of Physical Therapy

If you’re interested in breaking through this, understanding why they don’t work and digging in to gain an understanding of how to make a true change, continue reading below. Most New Year’s resolutions are just that, a resolution to improve your crappy life. So, let’s examine that right off the bat. How do you think things are going to end up if you are already judging yourself as crappy or bad?

tired athlete male gymnast

STEP ONE is where it’s time to dig in and do some dirty work with brutal honesty and a little self-empathy. How do you truly feel about yourself and your life? And why? Take your time doing this. I would spend at least 3 days making up this list. To clarify, these are non-judge mental feelings that you should be coming up with. If you find yourself making a judgmental statement, try again. You can’t move forward and achieve a goal if you don’t know understand where you’re really starting from. For a list of examples of feelings, check

Now that you know where you’re starting from, try out some self-empathy. If a friend came to you with some similar feelings, what would you tell them? How would you acknowledge or comfort them if needed? Giving ourselves this kind of self-talk can often be very helpful, but all too often we treat ourselves a lot harder than we would a good friend. What good is it having empathy for a good friend if we can’t even have empathy for ourselves? If we start a new resolution or working for a new fitness goal from a place of “I’m a fat slob “we are most likely not going to be as successful as if we start from a place of understanding that we’re really unhappy with ourselves for legitimate reasons and appreciating that it’s going to take some work (and fun) accomplishing a goal that we’re really interested in. (***Point of clarification, this is an acknowledgment and awareness of your feelings and giving empathy. It is NOT ignoring your feelings and pretending life is all unicorns and rainbows***)

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That brings us to the next step, asking why. It’s important to state your goals in terms of what you want to happen. And you have to be really brutally honest with yourself. Again, if you want to lose weight or get stronger, then I’m going to ask you and everybody that I work with, why? What do you actually want to accomplish?

Do you want to look more attractive and lose weight for the sole purpose of finding a mate or a spouse? Do you want to get stronger just because your neighbors are doing it? I’m not here to give you reasons on why you should be working out or to judge your reasons. But I can't emphasize how extremely important it is that you are brutally honest with yourself and why you’re doing this.

If you're ready to take the time and go through those steps, go get it! It will change your entire perspective and be infinitely more successful at producing outcomes. That is the scientific fact. If you’d like to find out more, let’s talk!


M ore about Phil....Dr. Phil Lombardo, Board Certified Doctor of Physical Therapy, has extensive experience in the care of both sports injuries and general musculoskeletal injuries for patients of all ages. He is our Clinic Manager on the Monday / Wednesday / Friday team and has achieved the prestigious position of Senior Executive on our leadership team. In 2007, Phil joined the top one percent of all Doctors of Physical Therapy in the country by becoming an APTA Board Certified Specialist in Sports (SCS). Dr. Lombardo has distinguished himself as a provider of choice in Sports Medicine, and is recognized by the National Federation of State High School Association as a Certified Coach specializing in Track and Field (NFHS). His expert knowledge as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), a Sports Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES), and a Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) guarantees his patients the highest quality of care.

Phil earned both his undergraduate degree and Doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from New York University. It was also there that he received the department’s Service Award for excellence in giving to others. Phil truly enjoys every opportunity to connect to our local community, and his expertise, both eclectic and focused, has been an asset to innumerable local athletes and orthopedic patients! His incredible level of focus throughout the day helps him to give excellent one-on-one care to each of his patients.

As a devoted fitness enthusiast, Phil loves to constantly learn about and train in all areas, including strength training, running, hiking, and kayaking. He grew up in Leonia, and now resides in Butler with his wife and sons. Around the clinic, in addition to his passion for physical therapy, Phil is also known for his love of and expertise in chocolate, especially dark — 86% cacao, to be precise!


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