Not everyone is goal oriented. I know I am…it’s what makes me competitive and keeps me going. It started when I was very young as a way of positive reinforcement and has been a driving force for pretty much every aspect of my life…striving to be a better athlete, a better clinician, a better manager, a better husband and dad.
This blog is mostly dedicated to health and wellness related items, so I am not going to launch into a life-coach dialog, but I am going to preach about setting realistic fitness goals for your self.
Everyone has a picture of their ideal self in their mind…some people set unrealistic goals of that ideal self and in order to try to obtain that goal, they go through extremes of diet and exercise that just aren’t healthy. Others see that goal as being completely un-obtainable so they never even try to reach it. That is why setting small goals with attainable steps make it much easier. Can you jump from the first floor of your house to the second floor of your house? NO…that’s why we have steps…small 8” increments to help you get where you are going. Think about setting fitness goals the same way…a series of small obtainable goals that will keep you working toward your ultimate goal.
Many people decided they want to run a marathon…but you have to walk before you run. Others want to get into the “best shape of their lives” and launch into intense boot camp workouts that promise results, but when you aren’t in shape to start with, you have to start small and keep thinking big.
In physical therapy, I get to deal with patients from all walks of life and from all levels of fitness and knowledge of exercise. The one common link between all of them is that they have an injury that they are recovering from that is keeping them from doing things they really want to do. It is my job to get them back to a level that allows them to return to whatever they can’t do now because of their injury. Many of our patients have tried to get into a routine in the past but were never successful because of setting un-realistic goals. When I am getting ready to discharge a patient and I am preparing their home program for continuation, I make sure that I am setting up something that makes sense for the individual, not just a one program fits all approach. Some people are “gym rats”, others are never going to step foot in a gym ever, so I have to take that into consideration. Some people have multiple hours a day that they can dedicate to exercise, others have limited time and limited days…I have to build something that will fit that person. I want them to succeed and stick with it, not be overwhelmed and quit because they just can’t make too big of a commitment.
So, when you are setting your own program and goals, start small and obtainable…baby steps first and you will find that small success leads to big success. To quote the company with giant “swoosh” as a logo…”Just do it”.
Michael Vacon, PT