A big happy new year to everyone! Congratulations on completing another lap around the sun. It is this time of the year when people consider what they want to achieve in the new year and what they want to work on from the previous year. The dreaded new years resolution.

A common resolution we see is ‘I want to be more active this year’ or ‘I’m going to join a gym and exercise every day’. What starts out with the best intentions can end up with a visit to your Osteopath. That old adage of ‘Go hard or go home’ can bring a lot of people undone. So we thought we would help you setup up some achievable goals that can help you prevent you from hurting yourself or burning out before you reach your goal.

When setting goals we like to use the S.M.A.R.T acronym:

S – Setting a ‘Specific’ Goal. Eg: I want to run a half marathon by December. We need to be realistic with the time frame and the expectations we have. If you haven’t done much running before, running a half marathon in March will be unrealistic.

M – Measurable. It needs to be a goal that we can measure which makes it clearer and easier to reach. Setting a goal with a distance and date will meet this.

A – Attainable. Is this goal achievable? It is great to reach for the stars but can be demoralising if we cant achieve it. If we are considering running a half marathon and you’ve just had both knees replaced that may not be an attainable goal. You will need to take into consideration how the body is feeling. Depending on where you are at it may just mean that the goal will take longer to achieve.

R – Relevant. Why do you want to reach this goal? Is it so you can chase after the kids, have you always wanted to be able to run a half marathon? The ‘why’ can be a really big motivator.

T – Time based. Set a time frame of when you want to achieve your goal. Some goals will take longer to achieve than others. It’s a matter of being realistic and setting out a plan of how to achieve it. Whilst being able to run a half marathon is the long term goal, it may take until the end of the year for you to achieve it. In this case we would setup some other time related goals. We may set being able to run 5km continuously within 2 months, then by 3 months able to run 5km continuously holding a certain pace. This way we are maintaining your motivation by being able to tick off goals whilst still working towards the overall goal of a half marathon.

Like anything it’s easier to do with a friend! If you can convince one of your friends to get on board with your goal, it can make the training much easier and enjoyable. There are also community groups that cater for things like this, it’s just a matter of looking them up and giving them a go!

Build into your goal, the year lasts 365 days. You don’t need to be trying to achieve your goal within 3 weeks and hurting your self in the process. This is where your Osteopath will be able to help in setting a training plan and managing your training loads. It’s all about progressively overloading your body in a controlled manner rather than doing too much too quickly.

If you have set a health/exercise related new years resolution consider making a SMART goal. If you’d like a hand setting your goal, feel free to bring it up with your Osteopath during your next treatment and we would be happy to help.

 

 

Article by Lachlan Cossens, Osteopath at McKinnon Osteopathy.

To book an appointment with Lachlan Click here or call on 9578 2436