This Year, Set Goals – Not Resolutions

resolutionStart the year right by committing to a healthier lifestyle. But do more than just making a New Years Resolution.

Get specific. Get Serious. Write it down.

Set Goals – not hopeful Resolutions.

Most New Years resolutions lists are triggered while laying around in the aftermath of end of year festivities.

Bloated, fatigued and soft in the middle, we figure it is time for a change.

Tired and emotional after eating too much wheat, too many late nights – and probably too much grog – we starting formulating some type of vague wish list.

Interestingly this is the time that we usually start to crave the very thing we wanted a break from in the first place – a sense of productive routine.

“When I get back I am going to loose weight”. “I’m going to drop three dress sizes”. “I won’t touch the booze” are all nice concepts – but they are merely resolutions. They are not goals.

By February they will be forgotten. They get bumped off the ‘to do list’ because, in reality there was no list.

It was never written down,  there was no plan of attack, there was no time frame to achieve a measurable outcome. And it was probably a reactionary resolution as opposed to proactive goal aligned with your core values.

“I’ll get up really early each day and exercise ’cause I porked up over Christmas” is different to physically scheduling 45 minutes into my morning routine on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday prior to breakfast at 7.30 am to train with a friend so I can enjoy the benefits of improved fitness and prepare for playing with the grandkids on weekends.


“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put you future in good hands – your own.”  Mark Victor.


Unless you write your goal down it is unlikely you will ever achieve it.

There is something about writing the goal down. Committing it to paper. It is like making a public commitment to yourself.

Better yet, review your goal each day and the chances of achieving success increases dramatically.


You move to your most dominant thought.

With so many interruptions (think Facebook, Instagram, the idiot box etc.) you need to be constantly focused, and re-focussed on the task at hand. Going through the hours, day dreaming or running a horror movie in your head, is not the fertile ground of success.

By horror movie, I am referring to the self deprecating, self defeating internal dialogue that can fill our minds while we are driving, working or doing menial tasks. Thoughts like ‘I’m running late, I’m never going to get it finished, I’ll never do well in my exams, I’ll never loose this weight, I’ll never be able to pay off the credit card’ etc.

If someone else talked to us the way we talk to ourselves, we would hate them. If you are thinking that ‘you can’t do it’ – you are probably right. If you are thinking that you are not good enough to achieve what you desire – you probably won’t. If you are convinced that you cannot achieve a particular health objective, then you set yourself for failure. Basically – if you are thinking ‘lack’ that’s what you will get.

So be careful of where you let your mind wander, and on what thoughts you dwell on in your quieter times. Focus on what you want more of – not on what you don’t want.

If you are reviewing what you want to achieve on a consistent and daily basis, you will have a better chance of achieving what you desire.

So there is no point writing down a health goal then putting them in the top draw, pulling it out a year later while looking for something else you filed and saying ‘see writing goals does not work!’.

People get to the supermarket and can’t remember what they are doing. Particularly men, when they were just given the instructions by their partner prior to leaving home.

That is why you need to write it down!

Whilst making sure you have adequate toilet paper and chutney is important while picking up the shopping. Making sure you pick up your health goals will probably require a more deliberate approach.


The Six Steps You Need to Put In Place

Without going all Napoleon Hill on you, there are six definite, practical steps that you will need to follow to achieve what you desire.

1. Fix in your mind exactly what you desire.

It is not enough to say I just want to loose weight, or I just want to be more healthy. These are activities not goals. You need to be specific. Real specific. Right down to the kilo. The blood test result. The number of push ups and dips you want to be able to do. Or the weight you want to squat.

Hazy goals give hazy results.


2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the results you desire.

There is no such thing as something for nothing. Sorry to all the kiddies.

In the words of Sean Connery in the movie “The Untouchables”; ‘What are you prepared to do now?’

What are you prepared to give up, forgo, or avoid to achieve your goal. Grog? Grains? Gluttony? Guilt? Gadgets? Gambling? Games?

There are many ‘G’s.

To achieve something great, there has to be some type of sacrifice. You are kidding yourself if you think you can get what you want without putting in.


3. Establish a definite date when you intend to process or achieve the goal you desire.

Unfortunately most of us work better under pressure. Now I am not talking cattle prods or a gun to the left ear. But if you don’t have to be somewhere or complete something by a certain time – you tend to drift.

Nothing crystallises your thoughts and your intentions by having to achieve a particular result within a specified time. I’ll bet you the quality and intensity of the effort you did on the assignment for your school or work was much better a few days out from the due date than in the proceeding month.

Don’t just train at the gym or go for a run. Enter a competition. Do Tuff Mudder. Try Crossfit. Schedule the fun run. Do Oxfam. Book in for ‘around the bay’. Do something. Have a bash.

There is an old rowing saying; ‘it is better to have led and lost than never to have led at all”.

If you can’t get a date – pay for a date. As in pay to enter the competition. Put the entry ticket up on the wall or bathroom mirror so you know where you are headed. And what time you have to be there.


4. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

‘Tomorrow’ is one of the greatest labour saving devices ever invented.

I have been in practice for a while now and I cannot tell you how many times I have been told that ‘don’t worry I’ll start tomorrow’.

No. Just chuck the smokes out now. Start your dietary modifications now. Go home, throw out everything in your pantry that contains wheat and pour all your soft drinks down the drain. It is quite easy – just make the decision.

No plan is a plan to fail.

If you haven’t got your food sorted out – you will commit dietary sacrilege. Usually mid afternoon or when you are driving home and you are starving with hunger.

Your treatment is only as good as your rehab.

If you are not doing your stretches. If you are not participating in your recovery you will hijack your care. If you are seeing a dentist and you forget to brush it is your problem – not the dentist’s.


5. Write out a clear, concise statement of the exact health goal you intend to acquire.

Name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return and describe clearly that plan through which you intend to accumulate or achieve the goal.

You will never have a dream come true if you don’t have a dream.

But if you don’t write the dream down and act on it, the dream will never become a reality.

If you have had goals before – and not achieved them – you probably forgot these last two steps.


6. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning.

Too American? Probably. It is a little out there.

But it does work.

Coming from a strong science background I struggle with the whole ‘self affirmation’ thing.

However, what I do know is that the brain cannot tell the difference between what it believes is reality and what is reality.

The neurotransmitters and hormones released are often exactly the same when someone experiences an event or believes they have experienced an event.


Now is the time to review your goals and objectives.

You don’t pay the price of good health, you enjoy the benefits.

You don’t pay the price for your neuro-musculoskeletal care, you enjoy the benefits.

If you are under care at the practice, your treatment has to be more that just getting rid of some pain. Otherwise you are just using us as an expensive form of aspirin.

What do you want to achieve with your better health? What would you like to do with your improved physical wellbeing?

You will never have a dream come true if you don’t have a dream.

It is not about getting stuff.

It is about what you can give and who you can serve. The best way to achieve what you want is to help others achieve what they want. This applies to your work, home, and all aspects of life.

Give more of what you want. It does come back. But you can’t give expecting something in return. You cannot give with one hand and have the other hand out at the same time. It is a life principle – it won’t work.

If you want more love. Give more love. If you want more anger – well heck, knock yourself out – keep giving it.

Crystallise what is important and focus your attention to the things you can change not the things you cannot change.

Align your goals with your core values. Goals and objectives that are not congruent with your core values will never work.

Even if you achieve the ‘goal’ you still won’t be happy because you will be in a place, or space, that you should not be.

Again – It is not about ‘getting more stuff’.


“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”  Nido Qubein.




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