The excitement of a new year can often lead one down a path of setting superhero goals. This is the reason why your local gym car park is always full in January; you would have no trouble finding a spot by March or April.
The key to setting goals is to be optimistic, yet realistic in your outcomes and time frame. Remember; health is a life-long endeavour. Whether your state of sub-optimal health came about over a long time (due to lifestyle), or suddenly (due to illness or injury), lasting changes will take time to implement. Give your body time to adapt to the new things that you are going to be doing; otherwise it will always feel like a battle.
Include friends and family. This can be a fun way of working on activity and nutrition goals as well as verbalising to friends and family what your goals are. This allows you to take ownership, yet have a fun way of being accountable for your goals. Particularly with exercise, it can be very beneficial and enjoyable if you can include a friend or a family member in activities such as walking and cooking (healthy meals, that is).
Consider an event as a goal. There is often an event that you can mark on your calendar and set a goal around. It could be a special time or celebration, or an appropriate sporting challenge (like a fun-run). Consider something new, yet practical. Again setting this goal with friends and family can make it all the more enjoyable.
Avoid the “no pain, no gain” attitude. Some see pain as proof that one has worked hard. However pain can be a very powerful de-motivator. For every step forward, pain can set you back two steps due to recovery needed. Instead, build success with success. If you don’t like running, don’t buy a pair of fancy running shoes expecting to run 15 km a week. But if you have been walking comfortably for a while and want to move up to the next level, jogging or running may be a natural progression.
Focus on healthy habits, rather than results. Results can take longer than one’s will. However a focus on lifestyle changes and healthy habits means you are improving yourself for the long-term. Perhaps ditch the scales: Instead of weighing yourself every morning, start stretching or having a healthy breakfast every morning.
Maybe you’ve heard of the “be, do, have” adage: You must first be the person, to do the things necessary, to have the desired results. Start with being the person who doesn’t consume sugar, or walks 15 km a week, or is a regular in Tuesday’s yoga class. The health results may take time, but you will have them for life.
Seek expert help. Whether you are starting from scratch or a seasoned health-achiever, call us for an evaluation and establish a baseline. We can help you identify your health goals, and find this balance between aiming high enough and yet having an excellent chance of achieving your goals for the long term.
Notice how at end of each year, many people complain “I can’t believe how quickly the year went by”? This is probably because most people still have many goals carrying over to the following year, again without a real plan. What needs to happen between now and December 2019, so that you can look back and think “wow, this was a good year”?
We are the team at Back Pain and Posture Clinic and we wish you a wonderful new year and look forward to being a part of your success story.
Call us for your appointment.