Goal setting is the best thing you can do in 2024. The question is - how do you measure success?
It was only a year ago that I had a patient that had decided to make a change and ride his bike recreationally more regularly. He had succumbed to too much “sitting at a desk” and as a result too many physical niggles. In his 50’s, he was looking for relief from the immediate “work from home” physical discomfort enabled by the pandemic.
Every patient has a unique set of needs in terms of a home therapy program (stretches and strengthening exercises - and in this case ergonomic advice) - with the goal being to most efficiently utilize time. Addressing these needs in his home programming worked. As the initial presenting symptoms resolved, doors opened. He was walking more, and riding his bike more. And doing so more comfortably.
As the year progressed, we joked about how his mileage on the bike was climbing, and the physical issues that had cropped up as he pursued his goal of “more physical activity” were steadily being dealt with. It became clear to me that he was going to surpass the annual mileage of many enthusiast cyclists due to his commitment and (eventual) joy of activity.
I posed a question: “Do you think you can knock out 2000km before winter hits and you aren’t comfortable riding outdoors any longer?”.
To be fair - this was not an absurd proposal based on the distance he was riding weekly - I had done the math and with a short spurt (in this case nearly 2 months) of critical effort the goal was achievable. Preoccupied with the joy of pain free riding, he had not been paying attention to the season’s overall numbers at all. My challenge sparked something in him. At first accepting this goal was overwhelming. What I proposed was absurd. And unobtainable. Me proposing this was ludicrous. But as a practitioner - it was the best thing I could have done. What I did not anticipate was that prompting this challenge would awaken something in him.
The outdoor riding season was nearly over. And then as the weeks passed his confidence grew as the target mileage grew nearer. Suddenly my proposal didn’t seem so outlandish. To be fair - the fall weather turned ugly early. And in defiance - my patient persevered in unpleasant conditions and the goal was met. And as we debriefed a number of things become clear to me.
He never thought he could do it. He enjoyed the process. Not daily - but overall. He had a sense of physical accomplishment upon completion that he hadn’t felt in some time. And THIS was the spark that led him to want more…
So - why does any of this matter?
Setting and ACCEPTING the challenge made him stretch outside his comfort zone.
It’s January 2024. This is the time of year most of us are recovering from and reflecting on the past year.
My challenge to you is - what are your goals for this year? Having worked with active individuals my perspective is from a physical activity perspective. How many kilometers run, how many ridden, how many kg’s lifted, how much weight lost? But there is an argument to be made for goals in terms of career satisfaction, financial security, joy, and well-being. Just make the goals you set measurable.
That being said - if you want to move more comfortably and more efficiently and are unsure of where to start, there are resources available to you. Mobility is often an overlooked component - the key is in identifying and addressing individual needs.
In 2024 - do more. Move more. Recover better. Be more and be better! And make mobility a greater priority to increase longevity. If you don’t know where to start know that I am eager to help. At The Root of Health, we have a wonderful team of people whose mission is to help you improve your quality of life. We look forward to working with you and helping to facilitate your goals this year!
Best wishes in 2024! Move well and more often – motion is lotion!
Osteopathic Manual Practitioner
Certified Athletic Therapist