A woman writing in a journal

We’ve all been there, in the situation where we are pestered by our peers and family with the dreaded question – “What’s your new year’s resolution?”

Our minds go into overdrive thinking of what we should be doing to make 2020 our year, things such as:

  • want to spend more time volunteering this year”
  • want to make more of an effort to learn this year, maybe even go back to university”
  • want to earn more money this year… And attempt to save some of it…”

But always, one resolution that fails to evade is:

“I want to kickstart my health and fitness journey”

This resolution, or as I prefer to call it, goal, has a slightly different definition for all of us. For myself, after a challenging 9 months of battling lower back and hip issues, I am ready to return to a hobby I once thoroughly enjoyed, running.

Some people find the motivation for these goals a lot more easily than others and I would like to pass on my top three tips for sticking to your goals!

1. Firstly, if there are barriers preventing you from acting toward these goals then they must first be addressed. Coming from an allied health background we are continuously helping individuals overcome barriers such as pain, fear of injury or just not knowing how to start exercising.

So, my biggest piece of advice for anyone in this position is to come and have a chat with one of us so we can help you

If you have recently suffered an injury, or an old injury has crept back into your life then seeing one of our highly accredited physiotherapists would be advised.

If you have been absent from exercise for some time and want a graded return to your preferred exercise modality then seeing one of our exercise physiologists would be highly recommended. If the Christmas binge hasn’t stopped then having a discussion with our dietitian might be the kick start you need!

2. Secondly, make yourself accountable. The only person stopping you from achieving your goals is you. There are always going to be barriers that will seem impossible to work around; work, family and other commitments but be assured that there is always a way and exercise can be snuck into even the slightest of gaps in your life. 

A simple yet highly effective motivation tool for sticking to your goals is to plan your week in advance. Pull out the calendar and write down the days you are planning on exercising – e.g. Walking Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this week. As the days come along, you’ll see that you have already planned to exercise, and it will become a higher priority in your day.

At the end of the week, I want you to reflect on how you went. Did you achieve your three walks as planned? Or did you only complete two walks? What stopped you? How can you improve on this next week?

It’s this ability to reflect on the week that has been and make changes for the week coming that will be key to achieving your goals!

3. Thirdly, once you start working toward your goal be sure to stay on track. Relapses are almost inevitable, especially when it comes to new year’s resolutions. Things will get in the way such as illness, family, holidays and life in general.

But it is our abilities to work around these barriers and return to our routine which allows us to be successful.

A key part is identifying what life will be like once you achieve these goals, try and imagine your life and how it will make you feel, and what impact it will have. This imagery practice can stimulate a greater bond to your goal and be more powerful in maintaining dedication/ adherence.

 As previously discussed, write down your goals or plan ahead of time if you know you have a barrier coming up. If you are away on holiday for two weeks, before you leave book yourself in for that Pilates session or arrange for yourself and a friend to go for a walk a few days after you return. 

These are three very simple techniques that can help with establishing and sticking to your goals, whatever they may be. If you feel you need help, be sure to reach out and find it from the right person, we are here to help!2

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