5 Step Process for Healthy Goal Setting

 

It's a great time to start to talk about health goal-setting for the new year. So I'm here to share the 5 step process I use to set my annual goals. 

Full disclosure: I'm not a fan of traditional New Year's resolutions. They set most of us up for failure and we have a bad habit of using them to shame ourselves. If this sounds like you, read on to learn what to do instead. I'll be sharing what I do to start the new year off right and reach my biggest goals.

I recommend setting aside 30 minutes to an hour to think this through and write it down on paper. Continue to review these monthly throughout the year using a shortened version of what we're doing today. 

5 Step Process for Healthy Goal Setting

1. Reflect on What Went Well This Year

One of the most important and overlooked aspects of goal-setting is to start off by listing off what you did well over the last year. This way you don't start the process of goal setting off by shaming yourself or thinking that you need...

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The Story of Steroid Knee Injections and Healthcare in America

As a physical therapist, I’m often asked by patients about steroid injections for knee arthritis pain. I’ve worked with many who’ve received them, only to find mixed results. For some individuals they’ve been a lifesaver, the pain-relieving effects lasted for months. Others may have noticed improvement for several days, only to have the same pain return within a week. And for others, they noticed absolutely no difference. So what gives? Why such mixed results?

Research on steroid injections for chronic pain due to arthritis reveals less than stellar results. One study even found the use of injections accelerated the breakdown of healthy cartilage in the knee and had no impact on reported pain levels in those who received the injections.

Interpreting the Results

Understanding what’s happening here requires us to take a step back and look at the big picture of the human body. And the way our medical system views the body and the healing...

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5 Action Steps to Take Today to Start Aging Well

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Whether you're 15, 35, or 75 years old, newsflash... you are aging! 

Might as well take control and decide how you want to age. 

It's never too early to start to think about aging, and if you aren't happy with how you're aging it's never too late to start. 

At our clinic, we've had the pleasure of working with adults all the way up to 102 years old who report their quality of life as very high. And that is because their daily habits support their longevity. So... we've been keeping track of what these habits are so we can help others do the same. 

There are an infinite amount of actions you can take to age gracefully, but we listed out the action steps that will give the greatest impact for the effort put in.

Always remember, aging can be what you want it to be.

1. Think Positive

We probably sound...

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The Whole Picture of Chronic Pain Isn't What You Think

As the chronic pain epidemic continues to pour over into the opioid epidemic, new research continues to break down the complexity of chronic pain. Just a few short years ago, chronic pain was viewed completely from a biomechanical perspective. When the medical community realized that treating only the injury was not only not working, but the epidemic of chronic pain continued to worsen they realized they needed to take a step back and look at the whole person. What has been discovered has been an eye-opening look at how chronic pain involves factors beyond what is happening within body tissue. Now, we take a broader look at the whole person and understand chronic pain has a multitude of origins.

The Actual Risk Factors for Chronic Pain

Over time, physicians and other professionals realized the amount of tissue damage being seen on an MRI and the amount of pain a person was experiencing just weren't matching up. Beyond that, those who underwent surgical procedures were showing...

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For Better Health, Focus on Habits Rather Than Goals

“Losers have goals, winners have systems” -Scott Adams

Be honest with yourself... do you have a health goal-setting system that is actually working for you? 

Most of us fall into the trap of setting goals based on outcomes rather than focusing on the habits that help us achieve outcomes, particularly when it comes to our health.

We focus on the results rather than the processes.

An important component of my interactions with people as a physical therapist is to discuss and agree upon goals for the course of care. By goals, I mean what they are hoping to be able to do with the help of physical therapy. When I ask people what they want as an end result, most will tell me to be able to participate in hobbies like travel, dancing, or fishing without pain or having the energy to keep up with their grandchildren. These focus on quality of life rather than health metrics, such as pounds lost, blood sugar levels, or blood pressure readings.

However, when most people write...

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Your Worst Health Habit Is Likely... Your Shoes

One of the most detrimental health habits humans tend to have is something most of us probably never give much thought to, at least in terms of health impact.

It's your shoes. 

For every 1 degree of heel your shoe has, 1 degree of spine, hip, and knee joint reaction is required to compensate…. meaning for every 1 inch of heel your shoe has, it causes 20 degrees of change throughout the joints of the legs and spine!

Think even a modest heel is not a detriment to your health? Think again.

Your footwear choices have a major negative impact on your joint, bone, and muscle health. The amount of joint reaction caused by wearing heels can be contributing to knee and hip osteoarthritis, lumbar disc compression, and even pelvic floor dysfunction (new moms... please avoid heels!). Improper footwear choices are also a common culprit of falls in older adults.

So, believe it or not... one of the biggest impact steps you can take toward improving your health is...

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Your Feet Are Your Foundation for Healthy Aging

Did you know that 25% of your bones and muscles are located below the ankle?

Our feet were designed to be versatile with an infinite number of movements due to the number of joints and intrinsic foot muscles, yet most of us hardly spend time thinking about our feet.

They are the foundation of our body, however, the care and maintenance of our feet is almost unheard of. We tend to cram our feet into whatever shoe we like the looks of, with no regard to how that shoe might be impacting the health of our feet (and by proxy our overall health).

There is evidence showing the activation of the muscles of your pelvic floor is greater when barefoot than in shoes. Shoes, especially with any sort of heel lift, force you to adjust your pelvis. This subtle change alters how you use your core. 

Today’s epidemic of foot damage including bunions, hammertoes, collapsed arches, foot pain, and secondary effects of diabetes including neuropathy, poor circulation, and even...

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No Time to Exercise? Try This Instead.

Do you understand the health benefits of exercise but have always struggled to maintain a routine?

Or do you not know where to get started in the first place?

If this sounds like you, you are in the right place! 

If you struggle with exercise, it's possible to get more movement in your day with a few simple adjustments to your surroundings. And to illustrate this point, I will start with a story about a broken kitchen appliance.

What Your Kitchen Appliances Have to Do With Your Exercise Habits

About a month ago our food processor broke. Panic ensued. It was a much-loved kitchen appliance, one that we use daily for dishes like pesto and hummus. 

Rather than running out to buy a new one, however, we decided to see what would happen if we didn't replace it. At least not right away. It seems like an unconventional choice when we live in a world where we can replace anything instantly, but stay with me here. 

We used a little creativity to find ways to accomplish the...

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Hate Exercise? Try Movement Instead for Healthy Aging.

 

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

With our society becoming more unhealthy as a whole each year, movement professionals find ourselves in a position to reframe the discussion around health, wellness, and movement. 

We all understand the benefits of exercise for healthy aging, yet adhering to an exercise routine tends to be a completely different story. The most important conversation we have with new clients is discussing their physical activity history. This gives us a clear picture on how set our clients up for success in their health and wellness goals.

And one of the most common reasons we hear for not sticking to an exercise routine is lack of time or interest. The guilt and shame associated with not going to the gym creates a further aversion to exercise, becoming a vicious cycle. 

But what if we told you there is a way to age well that...

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Mindful Movement for Healthy Aging 101

 

At the core of our approach in helping our clients along their journey toward better health as they age is building a mindful movement practice. 

A mindful movement practice is different from a typical exercise or fitness routine. Mindful movement is also one of the most overlooked components of health habits

So what is mindful movement? Mindful movement is for everyone, from elite athletes to couch potatoes. 

Over our years of practice in the medical field, we have noted much of the messaging thrown at us by the fitness industry can be more of a detriment to health than a help. So, we set out on a mission to change the thought patterns around movement to encourage an emphasis on the many positive health benefits of exploring your mobility.

One of our first steps with new clients is guiding them through establishing what we call a "movement practice". A movement practice is individualized based on the health goals of the person in front of us. A...

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