Setting goals for the New Year: Part 3 – Break it down to smaller chunks (to help you get focused) | Physical Therapy for everyBODY
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Setting goals for the New Year: Part 3 – Break it down to smaller chunks (to help you get focused)

Time Management

Are you getting excited about your goal and achieving it in the next year?

Or, are you feeling like it is simply too big and there is no way you will reach it? Either way, this week’s post is for you. We are getting ready to do a deep dive on your goal and create some smaller steps that you can use to reach your bigger goal.

Previously we have set a vision for where we see ourselves in one year and you were encouraged to write yourself a letter to be opened at the end of next year. If you prefer to write some bullet points that is fine. Remember, it is the simple act of writing your vision down that will help improve your ability to see it and achieve it.

Next we specifically wrote out the goal with clear outcomes. In our example of losing weight we put a specific number to the amount of weight we wanted to lose and also wrote down any obstacles you saw as you reached for your goals.

Now you are ready to take that huge goal and chunk it up into smaller pieces. This will help to improve accountability as it’s easier to see the smaller goal than the bigger goal. For instance, if your goal is to lose 25 pounds in a year and yet you are looking at a bag of potato chips, that 25 pounds can seem impossible anyway. Why not just eat the bag of chips?

We often see people at PT4EB who have had pain for so long that they truly believe it is impossible to get out of pain. They have been stuck in a pain pattern for so long that they are no longer able to envision a life pain free. Where they aren’t stuck in bed for a day once a month. You can imagine their joy when they go 6 months without a day stuck in bed. It is magical!

Here are the steps you need to take to slice and dice your big goal into smaller bite sized chunks:

#1 – Be super specific about the when, where, and how

You need to decide how these goals are going to be met on a day to day basis. Having a concrete plan to meet your bigger goal helps to make the bite sized pieces much easier to manage. In our example of losing 25 pounds, you might decide that you are going to walk (how) three afternoons per week (when) on the trail (where). Setting these super specific chunks in place will help you to be consistent in working towards your goal.

#2 - What needs to change in your life to help you reach these goals?

It’s time to be honest with yourself. What habits need to be changed so that you have a clear path to achieving that goal in the next year? Do you need to clear out the junk food from your kitchen so it doesn’t tempt you and you can lose weight? It may mean getting up earlier so you have time to exercise or not eating late at night so you feel hungry for breakfast. Create the optimum environment for your success in reaching your goal.

#3 – Obstacles that I will need to overcome

As you are setting up the best possible environment for you success you also need to look at what obstacles you might encounter. You want to prepare a plan for dealing with those obstacles before they occur so you are not sidelined when they happen. If you struggle with pain every time you try to exercise then you will need to create a plan before the pain occurs.

#4 - Remove the decision to work towards them every day

Making the decision every day to reach towards your goal is difficult and decreases your chance for success. Right now, create a schedule of exercise that you will perform and when you will do it. That way when your alarm goes off early in the morning you don’t need to decide to get up and exercise. You will simply get up and do it! Or you may need to remove harmful food from your cabinet so you are not tempted by that midnight snack. No matter what the obstacle might be, removing the decision improves your ability to keep going.

#5 – Write down your timeline

Again it’s time to put pen to paper! This time we are going to break up the bigger goal into smaller chunks with all of information we have gathered today to create a specific timeline for achieving your goal. Let’s say that you want to run a 5K by the end of next year but you have knee pain that has kept you from running for the past 5 years. Here’s what a schedule might look like for you:

  • January – research and schedule appointment with a Specialist Physical Therapist (like us!) to assess knee pain so I can get help in creating a safe program to return to running
  • February – begin walking program three times per week to create the habit of exercising on a regular basis
  • March – increase distance of walks until you reach a 5K
  • June – add in running intervals during walks
  • September – ensure that running intervals are now longer than walking intervals
  • November/December – find a fun 5K to sign up for which may include a Turkey Trot or a Jingle Bell Dash

Now you have a specific plan to get you to your goal! You know what the first step is towards meeting that goal and what you need to do each day to make sure you achieve it. In the final article in this series we will be discussing how to make sure you show up for yourself daily to ensure your long term success.

If you see a physical obstacle that might keep you from achieving your goal, we encourage you to sign up for one of our Free Discovery Visits. Together, we can discuss your goals for 2021 and see if we would be a good fit for helping you get over that physical hurdle.


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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