With a New Year comes goal-setting and big resolutions, such as health resolutions like overcoming your injury, sticking to your exercise program, improving your mental health, devoting more time for relaxation or self-care, or creating a better mind-body connection.
We usually like to stay on the positive side of things, but failure is a risk of setting lofty intentions for ourselves, such as healing a severe injury or running a marathon. Instead of running from it, let’s talk about it! Why do you fail to complete New Year's resolutions?
The goal isn’t in line with who you are
Your mindset hasn’t changed
You don’t really want it or don’t know why it’s important to you
The goal isn’t specific enough
You underestimate what it’s going to take
You become overwhelmed
You don’t have a backup plan
You aren’t held accountable
You aren’t cheering yourself on
You have a fear of failure
You believe achieving progress isn’t good enough
Yikes! While this list is realistic, it doesn’t have to be true with the proper planning and preparation for you to kick your health goals in the butt in 2022. Good thing we’ve thought of several solutions to these common barriers to your health endeavors so you can jumpstart your new year's resolutions.
It’s not you, it’s the goal – Sometimes we set goals for ourselves because someone else you admire is doing it or it’s trendy so you feel like you should do it too. Stop scrolling on blogs that promote weight loss, diets, or other “health-related new year's resolutions” that others are excited about. If your goal doesn’t speak to who you are or who you want to be then the goal isn’t right because it doesn’t hold any meaning for you. The goal isn’t right if you’re not intimately excited or passionate about it.
Mindset matters – If you’ve set a goal that requires a behavioural change, you must shift your mindset. Say your goal is to devote more time for relaxation or self-care but you believe you’re too busy to block out time for yourself. Sit down and ask yourself why you believe this. You deserve time free from chaos to decompress, take care of yourself, and fill your cup. Do the emotional work required to align your mindset with your intended actions.
Dig deep – Before you start your goal to run a marathon, for example, dig deep and find real reasons why you’re fired up about it and why you want to achieve it. Who are you doing this for? If the answer is anyone other than yourself, revisit your goal. Will achieving this goal make some type of positive impact/change in your life? Find meaning in your goal and write down all of your reasons. When you’re feeling unmotivated or uninterested, come back to this list and spark that fire again before you head out on your next run.
SMARTen up – Ensure your goal follows the SMART acronym; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. In addition, ask yourself if your goal is healthy and sustainable. For example, if you had a knee replacement surgery and your goal is to get back to jogging, it wouldn’t be healthy or sustainable to expect yourself to bounce back in 3 months. See the example below:
Specific - Get back to jogging without pain
Measurable - Run 5km
Achievable - Ask your Kinesiologist if this goal is achievable for you
Realistic - Do you believe this goal is realistic, albeit challenging, for you?
Time-bound - Consult your Kinesiologist and set a deadline, such as 1 year from your surgery
Set for success – When you set your goal, think about everything you’re going to need. How much time will you need? What resources? What equipment? For example, pre-schedule your appointments with your Kinesiologist, find the resources you’ll need and get yourself acquainted with them, and buy the equipment or borrow it from a friend or family member. Set yourself up for success by thinking through every step so when you get to it, you’ll be ready and there’ll be nothing to hold you back.
Break it down – When you get overwhelmed it’s often because you’re thinking about how much you have to do, how much longer, and you’re hyper-focused on the end line. Simply focus on the next step, such as booking a counselling session for your goal of improving your mental health. Still too much? Break it down further and ask yourself what you can do today to get one step closer to your goal, such as setting up a quick 15-minute consultation with the Clinical Counsellor you want to see. Stay focused on simply achieving the next step and break it down as much as you need to to keep moving forward.
Your big resolutions for 2022 can be frightening and may deter you from setting goals at all for your health resolutions. Keep in mind, yearly goals aren’t for everyone, but that’s okay because there are so many other options you can try to break it down into more manageable bites!
Make daily goals
Make weekly goals
Make monthly goals
Make quarterly goals
Be adaptable – Goals are challenging, especially when the world throws a bunch of problems or barriers at you that you weren’t prepared for. Adapting quickly or having a few backup plans for when these issues arise will be a huge asset. For example, when the gym is closed, take your workout or yoga session outside or to your living room to continue building your mind-body connection. If there’s anything the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that there’s always another way to do something.
Accountability partner – Find someone to keep you accountable. It’s easy to hide your goals and set out to achieve something quietly, but it’s too easy to slip off track and ditch your goals too without a single soul knowing. You’re more likely to keep going if you have someone supportive who knows what you’re trying to achieve. Better yet, find a gym partner or get a group of friends or family excited about this goal and have them join you on your journey!
Be your own biggest fan – It’s motivating to have others cheer you on and hold you accountable, but there will be days when it feels like it’s you against the world. On those days, push yourself to remember why you started this, who you’re doing it for, and how amazing it will feel to keep going instead of giving up. Congratulate yourself for every counselling session or exercise you complete in your workout and keep going!
Conquer fear – If you’re scared of failure, you’ve probably read every word so far. If you haven’t, go back and read it! These solutions will help you fend off failure. Then take a deeper look at why you’re scared to fail. Did you grow up in an environment where failure was shamed? Do you hold yourself to a level of success that failure would create a stain on your glowing record? Ask yourself what it is about failure that you’re consciously or unconsciously afraid of and put in the emotional work to understand yourself better and work through it.
Achieving progress – Remind yourself that you can fail thousands of times and still be successful with the progress you’ve achieved, such as progressing to a harder exercise in your home exercise plan given by your Kinesiologist that you couldn’t even attempt to do two months ago. So often, we overlook our mini achievements. Instead, stop and congratulate yourself on them! Why?
100 mini achievements = 1 big goal
Ok, so this isn’t an exact formula, but you get what we’re saying. That small overlooked accomplishment is the reason you made it to or almost to your goal – don’t forget about it or brush it off! Regardless of accomplishing your new year resolution, you’ll be able to look at how far you’ve come since setting out to reach your goal. Progress shows us we’re capable and sometimes the timeline we set is irrelevant.
Alright, enough with the heavy! As you reflect, let’s revisit the narrative of being “better” by some deadline you’ve set. Being “better” implies that you’re not already a wonderful human being and that simply isn’t true. Of course, you’re not perfect. We all have things we want to improve on, but you’re amazing and capable of so much more than you might think.
If there’s anything you take away from this, we hope it’s our challenge for you. At the beginning of every day, we challenge you to remind yourself how incredible you are. Start every day with a positive mindset and keep chasing progress on the way to your goals.
Happy New Year! Here’s to 2022 being your year.
Kinectiv Sport + Health is a multi-disciplinary clinic located in Maple Ridge that is comprised of Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Registered Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, a Pedorthist, and a Clinical Counsellor. The Kinectiv team aims to provide the ultimate service and care for any patient who comes through our door. Our goal for our patients is to heal their injuries, help them move freely once again, and empower them to live their lives pain-free.
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