New Year’s Resolution for Success
Whatever your goals for this new year are, the most important part in achieving them is having a solid plan. We all know that to achieve a plan we need to back up from the ultimate goal and make smaller goals to reach as benchmarks along the way. Somehow, though, we often forget the importance of these benchmarks and dive in head first from 0-60 when it comes to new year’s resolutions. “I’m going to exercise 2 hours every day and lose 50 pounds” is not a reasonable ‘plan.’ To be successful, incremental changes are critical. When we are careful not to bite off more than we can chew all at once we have better chances to make lasting changes in our health and lifestyle.
Not only is it important not to make unreasonable goals and incomplete plans for the sake of achieving these goals – it is vitally important (especially if your goal involves a change in your health) for the sake of avoiding injury and setback. If your body is used to a steady state that involves infrequent or low-intensity activities, a sudden change will often result in injury. This is true of any part of the body but especially your feet.
Here are a few tips to keep you steady and on track to meet your goals.
- Be sure your goal is SMART! This little acronym can help you to make sure you have all components of your goal accounted for.
- The ‘S’ in smart stands for specific. A specific goal might be to lose 10 pounds in 3 months or to reach 20 minutes of cardio 3 times per week in the next 3 months. An example of a goal that is not specific enough would be to look better in a bathing suit. If this is your goal, be specific about what this looks like and break it down into components to be specific.
- The ‘M’ in smart stands for measurable. As in the first example, measurable by pounds or minutes or days is important. The example of looking good in a bathing suit is not measurable.
- The ‘A’ in smart stands for attainable. If you want to run a marathon, you will know when you have achieved this goal because you will cross a finish line.
- The ‘R’ in smart stands for realistic. Running a marathon with proper training is realistic if you want to do it in a year’s time. It would not be realistic to say that you as a person who has never run in your life are going to run a marathon in the first month of the year. At least you wouldn’t be very safe to try for this.
- Finally, ‘T’ stands for timeframe. If you have a goal to run a marathon, but you don’t give yourself a reasonable deadline, how can you really plan to do this? You wouldn’t know if you achieved this goal if year by year goes by and you don’t do it. It would still be your goal but you haven’t given yourself an endpoint to work back from.
- If your goal is related to your health and/or exercise, as far as your feet are concerned, it is vital to ensure you have proper support. This includes shoes for most activities and for some people custom orthotics are also necessary. Investing in good shoes saves money and headache in the long run because you are less likely to suffer an injury which is debilitating for your body but also your mind. Avoid unnecessary hurdles like recovering an injury by setting yourself up with good support.
- Another important component to achieving a health/fitness goal involves staying well hydrated and eating right. If you are embarking on a new exercise plan, don’t deprive your body of nutrients and calories it needs to perform all of these activities. The food you eat must have value to it. Proteins, fruits and vegetables as well as some grains are important to ensure you have all of your amino acids which help to build muscle which will burn more calories. Many people don’t drink enough water and this alone can cause increased hunger leading to unnecessary eating. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day can help curb your appetite and helps your organs and muscles function more efficiently.
- Stretching is another often neglected part of a healthy exercise routine. Stretching and warming up prior to cardiovascular exercise helps muscles and tendons and ligaments to prepare for the exercise and by stretching afterwards you help your muscles recover. For stretching exercises, there are many videos online (including on our website) that can guide you!
- Give yourself a break. The way your body works and how you feel has so much to do with your self-talk. Keep it positive! If you miss a day or fall behind, encourage yourself to not give up. Planning for a day when you do something relaxing helps your mind and body recover and this makes it easier to stay on track.
Now get out there and make your goals and dreams a reality! If you do encounter a setback because of foot pain, don’t let it wait. The sooner you have an issue evaluated, the sooner you can get back on track with your goals.