Setting Goals for the New Year: Part 2 – Set your Goal | Physical Therapy for everyBODY
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Setting Goals for the New Year: Part 2 – Set your Goal


Are you looking for a positive way to make a change in your life in the New Year? Or maybe you are finally ready to create a plan to reach that Big ‘Ole Goal you have always dreamed about. Then this series is for you!

Last week we focused on creating a visual picture of that place and you wrote a letter (or some bullet points) to your future self to celebrate reaching your goal. Today, we are going to focus on how to define your goal so you know where you are headed – and when you have arrived!

#1 – Decide what your goal is

Many people in the New Year want to lose weight. How many times have you set that goal only to find yourself indulging at the Super Bowl party and wondering where your will power went?

Your will power is not the problem in this scenario. What is the problem is that the goal was too vague for your brain to be able to wrap itself around. You need to set a concrete goal that your mind can hold onto when you are tempted by that plate of nachos or that hot fudge sundae.

You get to decide what is the measurable progress to your goal is but make it specific so your brain knows when you have achieved it. If your goal is to lose weight this year, put a very specific number to it. Or perhaps your goal is to start running this year. Then put a specific distance you want to achieve by the end of the year.

#2- Decide what problems need to be solved in order for you to meet your goal

What are the problems that you specifically will encounter when you are trying to meet your goal? Let’s say that you want to lose weight but you know that every time you try to exercise your low back starts hurting. Then low back pain that is caused by exercise will be the problem you need to overcome in order to lose weight.

If your goal is to start running this year but you have knee pain every time you start running then this would be the problem that needs to be overcome.

Each of us has a problem that needs to be overcome in order to meet our year end goal. How do I know? Because if you didn’t have a problem standing in between you and your goal – you would have already achieved it! What problems have you encountered or do you see yourself encountering in regards to this specific goal?

#3 – Define the what, when, where, and why of the problem

“Low back pain” is a very general term. It is more likely that instead of your low back hurting in a specific way all the time, you have a specific area that hurts at specific times. For instance, your “what” could be low back pain. The “when” could be when you have tried exercise including bike riding and rowing. “Where” could be your living room when you try to stand up after sitting on the couch. “Why” could be a combination of factors that are causing you to experience the pain. For example, your body mechanics could be off to the point of causing degradation when you are exercising. Learning to move properly (for instance, with a physical therapist) could help you with your “why”.

#4 – Write it all down

The simple act of writing down will clarify and solidify your intentions. In this example, we started with the goal of losing weight. We then identified the problem that was keeping us from this goal. And, created specific parts so now you might say:

“My goal is to lose 25 pounds this year. I will do this through bike riding or rowing 3 days a week. So that I can exercise 3 days per week, I will need to deal with my low back pain that occurs with bike riding and rowing. This is likely a result of poor body mechanics as I have never been instructed in proper movement to relieve back pain. I intend to resolve my low back pain with exercise so I can be more active and lose 25 pounds in 2021.”

Excellent! You have now created your long term goal. You have taken the second step to creating an action plan to meet your goal for 2021. In the next blog post, we will discuss how to break down your goal into smaller chunks.

In the meantime, you may want to consider how physical therapy could help in improving your overall health this New Year. You may not have a specific physical complaint like the one we described in this post, but working with a physical therapist can actually help you prevent these issues from arising later on! As we continue to age, it becomes more likely that we will experience back pain and numerous other issues. The great thing about PT is that it strengthens your body in all the right ways to guard against joint degeneration, stiffness, muscular weakness, and loss of balance (just to name a few benefits).

If you want to know if one of our specialists can help you, apply for one of our FREE Discovery Visits right here in Maple Valley!

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Struggling with pain and dysfunction can impact every part of our lives — it drains our energy, distracts us from our goals, and keeps us from the people and activities we love. As an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Dr. Amy Konvalin understands how frustrating those limitations can be — and she knows how to help get you back to the life you want to live! Beginning with a focused evaluation, Dr. Amy works to determine the root causes of your pain, as well as understanding how it affects the way you move through your world. Dysfunctional patterns of movement often grow worse with time and cause further damage if left untreated — so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible. Dr. Amy knows there is no one-size-fits-all plan for success, and she partners with patients to identify their unique treatment goals and personal values. Using these goals as a guide, Amy uses her doctorate training in manual (hands-on) therapy and exercise prescription to treat patients with a wide variety of medical challenges and histories throughout the Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Covington areas. Dr. Amy is also a wife to a Boeing superstar/former C-130 navigator. While they lived in Germany, Dr. Amy was able to volunteer with the US Army to treat military personnel and civilians on base. She has two beautiful teenage ballerinas who keep her on her toes and educate her on all things ballet! Bailey, the princess pup, is her running partner and her napping partner. In the spare moments in between, Amy enjoys reading, yoga, wine with friends, Pilates, and walking on the beach.
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