Updated: Jan 18
With the dawn of a new year, it seems an appropriate time to begin evaluating how you’d like to enter into 2022 and how the start of a new year could mean finally achieving some health and wellness goals. But how does one even start?! Or is it over within a week of starting?!
During a planning meeting with our Nurse Navigator, Kate, she shared a few tips and tricks about planning and setting goals either at the start of the new year or planning for business adventures!
How to Refresh your Vision-A Note from Kate
When setting goals, I recommend to first think big as if there were nothing in your way! Then, break down your expansive vision into smaller, more manageable steps and implement simple “refreshes” of old habits in order to cultivate the life of your dreams. We do this as physical therapists and nurses for our clients all the time!
Without a doubt, you will encounter obstacles along the way, so plan accordingly. There are ebbs and flows in all journeys of rehabilitation. Find motivation and a support network to keep yourself going, especially when it gets challenging. This will help you refresh and refocus your will to keep moving forward.
Remember, your goal is for long-term sustainable change for overall improvement of health, in order to create the life of your dreams! Don’t make massive overhauls that lead you feeling overwhelmed and throwing up your hands feeling defeated at the first obstacle. And don’t set out on the path alone - nobody achieves anything entirely by themselves.
Simples Steps to Your Vision
I’ve created a simple four step process including self-inquiry questions to help you define your vision, set your goals, and create the path to get you there!
Step 1: EVALUATE YOUR GOALS AND VISION
Think BIG! If there was nothing stopping you, what do you wish for your life?
What do you hope to achieve in this new year?
What do you see yourself accomplishing?
Where do you wish to be physically, emotionally, professionally, personally?
Step 2: REFINE AND REFRESH
Become inquisitive about your habits and lifestyle so you can fine tune this expansive vision you have for yourself.
What is it going to take to get you to your vision?
What’s working to bring you closer to your goals? What’s not working?
Where and how can you make adjustments or refresh old habits in order to help you reach your vision?
Step 3: PLAN AND SUPPORT
What feels like the safest and most comfortable place to start?
What first step can you take to begin aligning your daily life towards your vision?
What support do you need to stick with it?
What systems do you need to set in place in order to make this something that feels simple and manageable, rather than intimidating and overwhelming?
What barriers do you see that might get in the way of you achieving your vision? How can you navigate these obstacles?
What could go wrong if you go down this path? What could go right?
Step 4: GO GET IT!
“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams”. -Oprah Winfrey
Using this process, here’s a glimpse into what some of us here at Breathe Life Physical Therapy and Wellness are focusing on in the new year.
Goals/Vision: This year physically, I would like to return to dancing. My goal is to start ballroom dancing lessons to get back to my love of dance and move my body again. For me, dancing was (and will be again) a way to process emotions and allow my creative brain to kick it! With this, I hope it continues to help me heal, physically and emotionally, to value how beauty is truly made from ashes.
Refine/Refresh: It is going to take me calling a dance studio in my area by next week to sign up for a session. I said it outloud, so now I need to do it! I have more time available this year, thanks to my team, to get to the studio compared to last year!
Plan/Support: For me to stick to any goal, I need to schedule MYSELF in advance. Yes, just like we all schedule our dental appointments 6 months in advance, I will do this for dance sessions as well.
Goals/Vision: I recently purchased a Peloton bike right before the new year, with the hope to help get me back on a more consistent exercise schedule! Through all the change and transition over the past two years, it has been challenging to find a new workout routine that I enjoy and fits my schedule. My goal is to complete 3 Peloton cycling classes per week, as well as one additional class (strength, yoga, meditation).
Refine/Refresh: Now that my Peloton bike is LITERALLY in our spare bedroom, it makes it so much more convenient to fit in a workout without requiring much planning or time commitment, which has been a barrier for me in the past. I do think creating a routine is helpful for me, but having the increased flexibility will help me feel less stressed about planning workouts, and more freedom to adapt/adjust my schedule as needed, and ultimately, more successful in achieving my goal!
Plan/Support: I’m a competitive person by nature, so Peloton does a great job at appealing to my competitive side, giving you “achievement” badges for hitting certain milestones and goals! I have connected with a few of my friends to do weekly classes together and help hold me accountable. Peloton also allows you to bookmark and schedule classes on the app, so I find myself really looking forward to trying out a new class or instructor!
Goals/Vision: This time last year, I participated in 40 Days to Personal Revolution by Baron Baptiste, hosted by my favorite local yoga studio. The experience was life changing and actually helped to serve as a catalyst for me to jump start my career in health coaching. If I had absolutely nothing stopping me, I’d make sure to include 60 minutes of meditation, 90 minutes of yoga practice, and free-time for journaling each day! Due to so many reasons over the past year, I’ve fallen off the bandwagon with my practice and wish to return to the routine of a daily meditation and yoga practice. This will be so good for my heart, soul, and body!
Refine/Refresh: Being realistic, a daily 60 minute meditation practice, plus 90 minutes of yoga, plus free time for journaling probably isn’t going to work out with my schedule! Rather than throw up my hands and give up on the “dream” altogether, I’m going to use the principles to create a practice that does work for me. Taking my experience from the workshop, and other practices I’ve picked up along the way, I’m going to create a ritual that works for me, my schedule, and my family’s needs, while still restoring my soul and refreshing my body.
Plan/Support: I absolutely love Wayne Dyer’s “I Am” Meditation. I used to listen to it daily when I was pregnant with my son. I plan on incorporating this back into my daily routine each morning after my son is dropped off to school. During lunch each day, I hope to bring in at least 10 minutes of a movement practice - whether that be a full yoga practice, or just some gentle stretching for blood flow. Before bed, I’ll reserve some time for reflection and gratitude journaling. I’m looking forward to bringing these practices back and incorporating them in a way that makes sense in my life!
Goal/Vision: This year for me is all about releasing expectations and old patterns, and getting to know myself better. A lot has changed and shifted quickly in the last few years (for so many of us), and I feel like I haven’t quite caught up with it, internally. I am feeling the need to reset and rebalance in ways over which I have control. I want to get to know and care for my postpartum body better by doing things like trying out a cyclical diet according to which phase of my cycle I’m in, start receiving regular acupuncture treatments, and aim to move my body intentionally every day! Mentally and emotionally, I want to commit to monthly therapy sessions, carve out more time for reading and writing, and cut back on social media. Spiritually, I want to commit to getting outside every day and plan getaways that allow me to immerse myself in nature, as that is undoubtedly when I feel most connected to the universe and my spiritual being.
Refine/Refresh: This will all require lots of planning ahead, which I have really struggled doing these last couple of years! My husband and I are both self employed with inconsistent schedules, so creating systems and consistency in our weeks and months in the ways we can is key.
Plan/Support: I plan on establishing a more consistent work/momming/”me-time” schedule, weekly grocery and meal schedules, and seeking out more help with childcare, which will all help free up time during my weeks that is spent trying to coordinate household schedules, figure out what we are eating that day, etc.!
With some great examples shared by our team, its your turn now! Sit for a moment and allow yourself to dream of your vision, how it will realistically work for you and see the plan in place to breathe life into your wellbeing! Cheers to a refreshed new year!
In the South Jersey area and want one on one care with our team? Schedule an appointment for your complimentary 15 min phone call to see how pelvic therapy can help you!
Dr. Amanda Heritage, PT, DPT is the owner of Breathe Life Physical Therapy & Wellness, LLC located in Collingswood, NJ. She has been practicing physical therapy for 10 years with a strong focus on pelvic health. She enjoys encouraging women and men about pelvic therapy as a treatment option for those suffering with pelvic pain, incontinence or constipation.