New Years Resolutions... But Why?

New Years Resolutions... But Why?

January is often a time of reflection for me. After looking back on the previous year as to what went well and what fell short of expectations,  I reflect on the coming year and what I want to get out of life. 

Years ago I stopped making “resolutions” that were really specific, such as losing a certain amount of weight or running a certain time in a race.  I have discovered over the years that these types of goals and targets can feel a bit defeating if they are not achieved in exactly the time frame set out in the goal. 

I am all for SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely), but I think sometimes we might not be so realistic about the “R” and the “T”.  We want results now!  And some things just take more time than we think, especially when life gets in the way.  If you do set specific goals, make sure to remember that success is not always all or nothing - any progress towards your goal is success!

What I have found more effective than focusing on a specific result, is breaking down the why behind the goal.  It's a strategy I use in my own goal setting, as well as with clients.  

Goal setting may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of physiotherapy treatment, but it's a crucial step! Establishing goals - both for treatment, and beyond, is part of every initial assessment, and is revisited throughout treatment. 

Most often, clients will tell me their goals are to decrease pain, improve mobility or to get stronger, but those are a bit superficial... and they aren't the TRUE reasons people come to physiotherapy. Often they've already been dealing with these issues for a period of  time. They've already lived with the pain and the limitation, so what changed?   

What has become constrained enough in life that they've decided to take action?  

Sometimes we need to ask more questions to get to the true goals.

What would that really mean to you to have less pain, to move better, to be stronger? 

What would that change in your day to day life?  

Or what would that mean you would be able to do?  

When we really think about these questions, there is a bit more clarity, and we can also be more specific about the plan to achieve goals.

We can look at new years resolutions in the same way, and If we dive a little deeper we can get to the true WHY behind the goals.

When I reflect on the coming year I don’t just stop at the coming year but also think about how I want to be able to live my life in 5 years and in 10 years.  What are the activities I still want to take part in with family and friends?  Change takes time so thinking ahead about what we want in the future will help us to be more successful.  I also try to reflect on how I will find the time to recharge and relax - whether it is from a busy work schedule or from recreational pursuits.  Recovery time is important to get stronger - both physically and mentally/emotionally.  

Do you have that vision in your mind about how you want to spend your time?  

Is it spending time in the garden?  Hiking on the trails?  Travelling?  Playing with your children or grandchildren? Returning to a beloved sport?  Improve your running distance or time?

What is stopping you from doing these things? 

 Is it time?  Motivation?  Pain?  Ability?

If time or motivation seem to be what holds you back, focus on establishing that new habit that will move you towards your goal.  For example, if you are looking to start a regular walking regime, return to a sport or start running, start slowly and make it easy for yourself.  Check out our blog “The Perfect Running Plan - How to Start and Stick with Running”. These suggestions here don’t apply to just running! I was inspired by one of my favourite books - Atomic Habits by James Clear, and incorporated some of his ideas and applied them to running. The book was a game changer for me, and I highly recommend reading it, especially if you are setting goals, resolutions or looking to make some changes this year.  

Is pain or ability preventing you from doing what you want to do?  Well this is where we, all clinicians at Fit for Life Physiotherapy, really shine!  Our purpose is to help our community, YOU, to MOVE WELL, LIVE WELL and BE WELL.  We can help you with strategies to reduce, resolve and manage pain.  We can also help you get stronger so that you feel ABLE to do those things that you want to do.  

Achieving your goals doesn't have to be a solitary endeavour. Our role as part of your team is to help you problem solve, strategize, guide you and cheer you on!  Our multidisciplinary team of  Physiotherapists, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OMP's), Massage Therapists, Kinesiologists and Dietitians can help you with many aspects of your goals.

To learn more about how to get the most out of your physiotherapy sessions to be successful check out our blog with 5 Tips to Get the Best Results from your Physiotherapy Treatment.

So whether you're making new year's resolutions, continuing to pursue a longer standing goal, or looking to make changes this year, I encourage you to dig deeper into your WHY. 

Being connected to the purpose of what we're doing helps us keep going when the going gets tough and the motivation wanes.  

As for me, I am looking forward to 2024.  With a clear vision of being able to continue to explore the outdoors whether it is on a hike, in a canoe or on my bike, my choices of what type of movement/exercise and how much becomes more clear and easier to follow.  

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year and that you are able to MOVE WELL, LIVE WELL and BE WELL.

Miriam Mulkewich is a registered Physiotherapist and co-owner of Fit For Life Physioterapy. In addition to her training as a Physiotherapist, Miriam is a Pilates and Yoga instructor and integrates these practices into her physiotherapy treatment. 

Looking for support reaching your goals this year? 

Book with Miriam here.