As we welcome in the year of 2024, it’s time to talk about New Year’s Resolutions.
We’ve all been there.
“This year I’m finally going to get healthy and lose some weight!”
“This year I’m going to run a marathon!”
“This year I’m going to quit smoking and start swimming!”
“This year I’m going to be better at saving my money!”
Great intentions, only to fall off the bandwagon by February. We are then disappointed in ourselves, asking why we couldn’t manage to do what we said we would in January.
Another year goes by in a flash!
Today I want to share some tips to help you keep pushing towards your New Year goals until you achieve them, and more in 2024!
Make your goals SMART:
Lets take “This year I’m finally going to get healthy and lose some weight!” as a goal. What does that actually tell you? Not a lot actually!
A SMART goal should be
A better SMART goal would be “This year I will make a consistent habit of going to the gym to strength train 4 x per week, I aim to lose 5kgs in the first 3 months, and total 12kgs for the year, improving my strength along the way.”
We now see that this goal starts to set the road map of how you are going to make the changes to actually start achieving your goals.
Write your goals down:
The best thing to do once you have your SMART goals is to write them down. It’s incredibly powerful writing your goals down and pinning them up on the wall so that you’re reminded of them regularly.
To go one step further, tell a close friend or family member (or everybody!) of your goals, so they can hold you accountable. Nothing like someone asking you how training for the marathon is going when you’ve missed the last week of training.
It’s important to make a plan of how you are going to get to your goal, rather than trying to blindly walk, hoping you’re going in the right direction. You’re probably not going to lose weight, get fitter or get more flexible without a step by step plan of what you are going to do in order to achieve it.
If you haven’t made a plan by now, that’s okay! It’s not too late to get started.
You can start by brainstorming on a piece of paper the steps you are going to do to achieve your goals. It might be as simple as
- Sign up for the gym
- Buy a new gym outfit
- Go to the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday after work this week
- Make a simple list of the foods I eat for the week
- Talk to a nutritionist/dietitian for help with my diet
- Talk to an expert in a suitable exercise program for me
Notice how the actions of going to the gym and being mindful of food come before the specialised exercise or diet plans. It’s important not to get bogged down making the perfect plan. Remember, imperfect action is better than the perfect plan and no action!
Make it a Habit:
Once something becomes a habit, it becomes easy.
How often do you have to force yourself to brush your teeth in the morning? Normally, we do it without much conscious thought or resistance because it is an engrained habit.
Similarly, its often very easy for us to fall into bad habits as well. It’s all too easy to quickly pull into your favourite drive-through, and before we know it, we’re half-way through a cheeseburger and fries on our way home from work!
To build a good habit, we want to:
- Make it obvious: Put your workout clothes out the night before!
- Make it attractive: Make sure you actually enjoy what you’re doing, no point running if you hate running!
- Make it easy: Make sure it’s as easy as possible to perform your good habits. You’re not going to go a Yoga class that’s a 40 minute drive from home.
- Make it satisfying: You want to get a dopamine spike “feel good” after your habit, this is a key step in making you want to perform the habit again.
To break a bad habit, we want to:
- Make it invisible: Drive a different way home that doesn’t drive past the takeaway you love.
- Make it unattractive: reframe the bad habit in your mind. Think of the way it makes you feel after the initial dopamine spike.
- Make it difficult: During your weekly shop, don’t buy the chips/icecream/lollies so they aren’t in the house when you are in a snacking mood. Replace them with healthy snacks in your fridge that are ready to go!
- Make it unsatisfying: Get an accountability partner you trust to call you out on your bad habits.
For more on habits you can check out the fantastic book Atomic Habits by James Clear
Don’t beat yourself up!
Life can sometimes get in the way of all your good intentions. If you happen to miss your planned exercise, or have a day where you eat the wrong foods, that is okay! The trick is to reset, not get mad at yourself and try to make amends the next day. One bad day in a year is never going to dislodge the movement towards your goal, however, if we are not kind to ourselves then it is so much harder to reset and get back on track.
Ask for help!
It’s always invaluable asking people with knowledge in the area for help. They can put you on the right path and get you to your goals much, much faster.
At Glen Forrest Physiotherapy we have a team of incredible Physiotherapist’s with a wealth of knowledge on health, fitness and wellbeing. We always love working with goal driven people, because it makes our job so much more rewarding when they achieve those goals.
Our Physiotherapists are also fantastic goal setters and achievers themselves. Over the last few years we have had our very own Physiotherapists complete marathons, Ironmans, endurance mountain bike rides, lead multi-day hiking trips in remote Australia, Bike-Packing from Perth to Albany and fighting some of the worst fires in our beautiful state.
To keep myself accountable here is a list of some of the SMART goals I want to achieve throughout 2024.
“Complete my first adventure triathlon in Dunsborough on the 12st of April. 1.5km Ocean Swim, 30.2km MTB ride and 10.5km swim.”
“Complete the SEVEN Gravel Race on May the 11th. 125kms and 3000m of elevation., Finish in less than 7.5 hours, beating last year’s time”
“Compete in the Cape to Cape Mountain Bike Race from 17-20th of October for the first time. Finish in the top 400 competitors overall.”
“Increased focus on selfcare and recovery. Improve sleep quality, aiming for 8 quality hours of sleep per night and finding time to wind down each night after work.”
I’d love to hear some of your goals for 2024 in the comments below! If you would like any help with your goals absolutely feel free to call the clinic and talk to one of our amazing Physiotherapists!
- Sports injuries
- Chronic pain
- Shoulder pain
- Spinal pain