High-fives all around, we survived 2017. LOL! Seriously though, this was an interesting year for everybody. But the good news is that 2018 is right around the corner. And New Year’s Day doesn’t just represent a new year, it represents a fresh start. So let’s talk goals!

Setting and achieving personal goals is an excellent way to bring structure to your life and gain a greater sense of control during chaotic times. You may not be able to control what’s going on in the world at large. You may not be able to control what’s going on inside your own body. But you can control how you respond to the chaos. That starts with taking care of yourself.

In 2018, let’s all work toward this common, totally achievable goal: self-care.

Taking better care of yourself will give you a greater sense of control over your Parkinson’s disease. Regular exercise has been shown to stave off symptoms. So what have you got to lose? Get motivated! Get moving! And get your self-care on!

Power through the New Year

 Wait, what’s that? You don’t like to exercise? That’s an easy fix. Join the Power Through Project. It’s an online social media network that helps you set exercise goals, track your workouts, earn fun fitness badges and cheer on others around the world who are going through the same struggle.

Even retired pro-athletes like Brian Grant will admit that working out can feel like a chore. The trick to staying motivated is to change the way you look at exercise. Think of it as a goal to be conquered or a game to be won. That’s why the Power Through Project is a slam dunk—it makes exercise fun again, just like when we were kids.

“With the Power Through Project, we want people to be motivated to move,” Grant says.

“There are certain exercises that are proven to help with Parkinson’s disease symptoms, like yoga or Pilates, which helps your body to open up instead of wanting to always be hunched over.”

“Even just getting off the couch to take a walk can make a big difference in your life. I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep moving.”

We like the way you think, Brian! Let’s start 2018 off on the right foot by making it a daily goal to get off the couch to take a walk. You can hop on a treadmill, take a neighborhood stroll or even walk around your home during a commercial break—the important thing is to get up and move.

Plug walking into the exercise tracker on the Power Through Project website, enter the amount of time you walked and the level of intensity you did your walking. Boom! You’ve just earned your first fitness badge. It’s as easy as that.

Enter walking five times on the exercise tracker, and you’ve earned the Walking Rookie badge. Enter it 10 times and you’ve gained Walking Veteran status. Enter walking 25 times and you’ll nab the Walking All-Star badge. For ultimate bragging points, enter walking 50 times and you are officially a Walking MVP. Get the picture?

Each week during the month of January, we’ll post a new article on the BGF Blog explaining how walking and other types of exercises, such as Pilates, boxing and high intensity interval training (HIIT), helps improve Parkinson’s symptoms.

Make self-care your New Year’s goal. Join Brian Grant and others at the Power Through Project in trying these exercises. Don’t forget to plug them into your exercise tracker. Before you know it, you’ll be swimming in badges. Watch out 2018, we’re coming for you!

By Kathryn Jones