As I was brainstorming ideas for goals for the upcoming year, I kept coming back to one question: what is my why? Why do I want these to be my goals? What do I want to accomplish with this? How hard am I willing to work to achieve these goals?
What is your why?
I started this year out with a health goal because without my health, it’s harder to do other things. Not impossible, just harder. I work in a hospital and see sickness daily. I see people of all ages, struggling to move. Struggling to get in and out of bed, to walk down the hallways, to walk up and down the stairs. Health is of the utmost importance for daily function.
I have “tweaked” my back a few times over the last 10 years. The first thought that always occurs to me is “I am a physical therapist, I should know how to keep my back healthy!” Then, I spend the next few days having a hard time moving, not sleeping well, not working, not seeing friends, and not living the life I want to live. I never want to have that pain I experienced with back pain again. I never want to be sidelined from life again, even if it was just a short period of time (although it felt like forever!).
What is your why?
Your “why” should be stronger than your excuses. It should be something that you think about and it motivates you to start and to not quit when you are halfway through, feeling like you want to stop. Your why should be strong enough to get you through those times. We need a strong why.
What are some possibilities of your why as it relates to a health goal?
- being able to play with your kids, nieces, nephews, and grandkids
- Standing from the floor with ease
- Getting out of bed without pain
- Traveling and exploring with endless energy
- Having steady energy throughout the day
- Moving with ease, with no pain
Overall being the healthiest version that we can be, 1% at a time. What are some of your reasons?
In listening to a podcast last night, the host was talking about different milestones which people should be able to hit at various ages in order to have longevity with movement well into the aging process. There were different aspects of movement that the podcast host spoke about, including standing on one leg, standing up from the ground, long jumping, and more.
The podcast ended up just saying “never stop playing.”
This resonated with me. As a physical therapist, I have many of my patients crawl. Back to one of their first movement patterns. Crawling is a foundational movement pattern that people struggle to do correctly after they stop doing it many years earlier, or if they are injured.
At this point, I would hope that you have stopped reading what is on this page and slithered to the floor in order to see how you do with crawling. Go try. I will wait.
How was it? Did you try forwards? Backward? Sideways? Upstairs? Downstairs? Over different surfaces?
Was your crawling reciprocal? For example, did you move your right arm and left leg forwards at the same time, then change to your left arm and right leg forwards at the same time?
Were you strong in your shoulder blade/stability muscles, or was there a “valley” between your shoulder blades? I cue patients to “push the earth away” or “pretend there is a fire coming towards your chest.”
Was your neck lined up with your back, or was it hanging forwards, towards the ground?
Did you have pain while your were crawling? Did you feel better after you got back up on your feet and started walking again? What did you notice about your walking after crawling?
Do you want to learn how to move better? Watch kids move. Watch how they lift blocks from the ground. Look at their squat in picking something up off of the ground. As we age, many stop moving correctly. How will you work this week to move a little better?
Most importantly, how will you play today?