Resolutions and Goals – Why you should consult your physical therapist when forming your health related goals
This time of year most people are coming up with a list of goals and changes they want to make for the year ahead. Those goals might be tangible, like lose 10 pounds or workout 5 days a week, or they might be something more intangible like spend more time with family or be kinder to those around us. Once we decide our goal or goals, then we need a plan to stick with it. If the goal is too lofty or unrealistic, we might be disappointed come year’s end. If we don’t form a logical or achievable plan to reach our goal, we might just give up. What can we do to assure we reach our goals successfully?
1.Put it in writing. Writing down our goals gives them a concrete form that we can post on our refrigerator and refer to once a week or whenever we want or need to be reminded of our plan.
2. Follow the SMART principle. Our goals, even the intangible ones, should be specific. For example: Instead of “Spend more time with Mom”, try “Have lunch or dinner with Mom once a week.” That goal is measureable. You have to decide if it is attainable or not. Having lunch once a month might be more reasonable for you than having lunch once a week.
3. List 2-3 specific steps you plan to take to reach each goal. The steps need to be achieveable and should have deadlines (or at least soft deadlines
1.Goal: Improve my physical health. SMART goal: Exercise 4-5 days/week.
2. Get an exercise buddy.
3. Meet with a personal trainer within the first week of joining gym.
4. Join a gym by end of month
Example: Meet with a physical therapist to discuss your health-related goals.
Goal setting is an area that all physical therapists are well-trained to perform. During your first visit with your therapist, you should come up with a list of your physical therapy goals. The therapist will help you make those goals attainable using their knowledge of the body’s biochemistry, healing phases and injury prevention. The therapist will then come up with a set of exercises and/or stretches and a logical, safe progression to get you to your goal successfully. Oftentimes, we try to heal injuries on our own, treating the symptoms, but not addressing the root of the problem. This approach can lead to re-injury in many cases. Let your physical therapist guide you and share their knowledge of the musculoskeletal system with you. You will become a SMART and happy person who reaches their health-related goals.