It’s a new year and for many this is the time that we declare resolutions, set intentions and/or make goals for the coming year. For many of us, in past year our resolutions are all but forgotten by February. Author of Atomic Habits, James Clear says, “We don’t rise to the level of our goals, rather we fail to the level of our systems.” 

Overarching goals are great and essential, they help us decide where we are going and what we are committed to. That said, goals don’t provide the map on how we will get there. By themselves goals don’t motivate us.  Goals don’t usually provide a way for us to track our progress.  

Have you set healthcare goals this year to reduce stress, anxiety and/or pain?  If so, let’s help you stay on track by combining a habit with it. If your resolution is to use fitness to reduce stress, anxiety and pain and you’re goal is to walk daily, that’s great. Now what’s the habit you want to put in place?

Imagine your planning a 20 minute walk each morning. A habit that will help to achieve this is putting out walking shoes and workout clothes every night before bed. 

To really be sure we get walking before getting distracted, we could even attach the placement of the clothes and shoes it to something we already do. Let’s say you brush your teeth every morning without fail, you could put the clothes in the bathroom or put the toothpaste on top of your workout clothes. In this way you are setting up a trigger to get you in the mindset of going for that 20 minute walk before falling into your usual routine. 

Track your progress.  Buy a wall calendar and mark off every day you set your clothes out.  The more continuity the stronger the habit and by February you will be well on your way to achieving your resolution.