Photo courtesy of Tim Regan

Photo courtesy of Tim Regan

Make your 2018 resolutions stick with these goalsetting tips

Local physical therapist outlines secrets to success.

  • Sunday, December 31, 2017 8:30am
  • News

A typical New Year’s resolution is doomed to fail – that is, if you believe in statistics alone.

According to Seattle-area physical therapist assistant, Katie Walker, research shows that around 80 percent of people who make resolutions on the first of the year have already fallen off the wagon by Valentine’s Day. That includes two of the most popular resolutions made throughout the U.S. each year: to work out more and to lose weight.

“Fortunately, statistics don’t control the success or failure of any life change,” said Walker of RET Physical Therapy Group, which operates several physical therapy clinics in the greater Seattle area, including in Bellevue. “Medical professionals across the spectrum agree that success comes through methodical goalsetting that helps you ‘see the change.’”

One way to achieve “resolutionary success” is to mirror the process of goal setting and achievement long held by the disciplines of physical therapy and rehabilitation, Walker said. Why?

“Physical therapy is a health profession that’s results-driven based on processes that depend on setting individual goals that are specific, clear and personal to each patient,” Walker said. “Even the most earnest and motivated person can fall into the trap of setting goals that are too vague. So in physical therapy, we opt for and practice a method of goalsetting that focuses on being incredibly specific.”

The method often advocated by physical therapy providers, like Walker, is the SMART method of setting goals.

A simple acronym, SMART advocates for the setting of goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic/relevant and timed. Here’s how Walker breaks down each step:

Specific: Don’t just throw out a general goal; be sure to include all the important W’s in your goal: who, what, where, when and why. Rather than saying, “I’d like to lose weight” be more specific by stating, “I want to lose 30 pounds by summer so I can go backpacking without experiencing joint pain.”

Measurable: Always set concrete marks that allow you to measure your goal. Include a long-term mark (e.g., lose 30 pounds by summer) as well as benchmarks along the way (e.g., lose 8 pounds by the end of January, 13 pounds by the end of February, etc).

Attainable: Your goal shouldn’t be easy to achieve, but you must have the attitude, ability, skill and financial capacity to achieve it. Starting with a solid foundation, attainability is something that can develop over time.

Realistic/Relevant: Anyone can set a goal, but are you willing and able to work toward this goal? In other words, are there any irrefutable road blocks that can and will hinder your progress? Typically, if you believe it, then it’s more than likely realistic.

Timed: Don’t just set your goal for “whenever.” Set a challenging yet realistic timeline, be it to lose a specific amount of weight by your sibling’s wedding or to be in shape by the spring’s first 5K race. Make your goal tangible.

Along with utilizing the SMART method, Walker suggests you share your goals, benchmarks, successes and failures with others. Surrounding yourself with a circle of support can help you stay the course and battle through difficult stretches. This circle can include your physical therapist, who can be there to help you conquer physical limitations, such as weakness, injury and pain, which can keep you from reaching success.

For more information about RET Physical Therapy Group, visit www.retptgroup.com.

More in News

Former Bellevue High School football coach drops lawsuit against WIAA

WIAA, KingCo agree to to lift Jones’ remaining suspension.

Photo courtesy Mike Nakamura Photography LLC. President and CEO of Overlake Medical Center Michael Marsh speaks about the center’s game-changing innovation across the health care continuum during the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce’s business lunch on Jan. 18 at the Westin Bellevue.
Overlake Medical Center CEO talks health care at Bellevue Chamber event

Hospital will break ground on new $250 million project in April.

Fulbright Scholar teaches virtual reality at Bellevue College — other side of the earth — simultaneously

Scholar introducing students to virtual world live in Bellevue and live-streamed to Tasmania.

Bellevue School Board appoints Sima Sarrafan to vacant seat

After interviewing four candidates for the vacant District 1 director position on… Continue reading

City of Bellevue to offer workshops on listening

Through interactive exercises, participants will become aware of unhelpful listening habits.

City of Bellevue offers two new language access resources

The device includes two transceivers for onsite interpreters and 20 receivers and headphones.

Inslee talks education, carbon tax and opioid crisis

Carbon tax proposal would replenish the state’s reserves for the first year for education spending.

Fourth time’s a charm: Bellevue legislator plans to pass equal pay law this year

Washington women lose $18 billion to the pay gap each year.

Bellevue police volunteer saves abandoned bikes, many go to African villages

Volunteer urges residents to write down bike serial number in case it is stolen.

Most Read