On New Year's Resolutions and Life
I enjoy an active life and like to set exercise goals for myself to help me prepare for my next challenge, let’s say, a cross-country ski trip in March. But if you had asked me last July if I could set aside 3 hours a day for exercise, I would have laughed! 1 hour maybe, but 3?
Sometimes life throws you for a loop. On August 2nd when I was riding my bike to work, I suddenly found myself face down, pondering upon my oddly bent wrist. My Doctor told me that I would need surgery and a cast for several months to stabilize multiple fractures in my forearm. After which, I needed months of rehab and yes, 3 hours a day of hand and wrist exercises…15 reps each of multiple movements, 3 times a day. It was extremely important to me to gain full function of my wrist and hand. I need strong hands in my work to do the necessary adjustments, and I like to play the piano and play tennis. During my injury, I was reminded every day of all the amazing things that hands do, and I had one that wasn’t fully functioning! So, I found the necessary time to do my physical therapy and exercises.
I am pleased to say that my hard work paid off. I am back to work and have almost full range motion of my wrist, and my strength is returning. I celebrated New Year’s Day by taking a bike ride out to the bay! My next goal is to play tennis. I think I’ll start by swinging my racket around a bit.
My recent experience has given me new insights on setting and achieving goals. I went from being completely mobile, to immobile and then had to regain all of the lost strength and flexibility. My goals (and the goals of my hand therapist) were very specific and sometimes, I had to take a step back and reanalyze a goal that my wrist just couldn't handle at that point. The start of a new year is a good time to reflect on where you are in your life and where you want to be. But it is easy to get caught in making goals that last temporarily, or goals that are too vague or too unrealistic.
Here are my Top 5 Tips on How to Make and Keep Resolutions.
- Pick the Right Resolutions
- Find your passion. What motivates you?
- Make your goals doable and meaningful. Realism is key.
- Create your Plan
- Break down habits into cues, routine and rewards. Be specific.
- Set incremental goals. Monitor your progress and set new goals as you reach your initial goals.
- Write it down. Keep your goals visible, write reminders and put them everywhere!
- Find Community
- You don’t need to face this alone. Let’s encourage each other!
- Ask for help. Books, podcasts and health and fitness experts are all valuable resources to help you reach your goals.
- Leap over Resolution Hurdles
- Have a plan for negative thoughts. What will you do when you don't complete this step in achieving your ultimate goal?
- Learn to be positive and realistic.
- Remember, it’s a journey
- Be prepared to change course if something isn’t working for you. The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and expecting a different result.
- Celebrate your wins but don’t stop there! This is your life. Make the most of it!
We have many influences in our lives that are trying to get us to 'lose 50 pounds in 2 weeks!' and 'If you eat THIS for every meal it will benefit you forever!'. A SMART goal takes time, and diligence to your cause. Finding the WHY for your goals will also help you be resilient in your failures. For this New Year; Find a realistic goal, stretch yourself a bit, and become resilient in your failings--Get back up and try again!