It's that time of year: the time for New Year's resolutions.
I know you all do them, even if you are a person that says you don’t. I know you still are making resolutions in your head, but just aren't telling anyone. In my eyes, typical New Year’s resolutions are very comparable to butts, a lot of them stink and produce crap, but if given the right care actually can be a great “asset” (sorry, I couldn't help myself).
So how do we make these goals as effective as possible? Well I am here to help!
Goals are not foreign to me. As a physical therapist, I am required by law to write goals for every patient after I evaluate them. Writing goals every day makes me very familiar with which goals work and which don’t.
I love when people want to make lofty resolutions. Life-changing resolutions like losing 50 lbs, starting a business, or spending more time with family all are great goals. But, herein lies the problem. How do we go from 0-100%? These grade goals are why most people quit their resolutions by February. How do we bridge this gap between 0 and 100? One simple solution is to add short term goals!!
Short term goals are what most people forget to even think about. We like to make gnarly long-term goals, but there's no actual path to achieving them. We need short-term goals to lead us along that path and keep us engaged, so we don't lose sight of the major goals.
Here are a few important characteristics of effective short-term goals.
Easy, Easy, Easy!!!! We want our long-term goals to be inspiring but we need to constantly achieve our short-term goals to get there. This is why I suggest making these goals very attainable. Almost too easy. So easy, in fact, that you would feel bad for not completing them. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, start by making a goal to do 10 sit to stands every day or skip a second serving during dinner that night. Simple and easy, that's the key.
Often and consistent. The benefit of these short-term goals is to make small changes and develop habits. So, when I say short term goals I am not talking weeks here. These should be daily goals. The more often we can make these changes, the more often they will develop into habits. People say it takes 18 times in a row of doing something to make it a habit and 66 times to make it automatic. This is why we want to make these goals daily. Eighteen days sounds a lot easier then 18 weeks right?!
Variety is the spice of life. Since we are doing these short term goals on a daily basis, don’t be afraid to switch it up! Don't have the same goal every day. Have some fun with it. Remember that the habit we are trying to form is making good choices to achieve our long term goals, it does not have to be the same task every day. This is another advantage with short-term goals. A huge problem with a long-term goal is that it’s one goal which can get daunting and boring, only focusing on one thing for an entire year or longer. When that happens, we lose sight of the goal. So, changing our short term goals it makes it easier to stay focused on the task at hand.
Our mission at Physio Project HQ is to give you the tools to keep on doing what you love to do by adding a few simple movements each day that address the most common injuries, aches, and pains that we’ve seen in our careers as physical therapists. What I also love is our message board in our Primed to Perform programming that helps everyone hold each other accountable to these short-term goals.
Hopefully by developing these short term goals it helps you achieve those magnificent resolutions! And for those of you out there that “poo poo” resolutions, there is nothing wrong with trying to get better. Every day we have a choice between getting better or getting worse: Which one do you pick?