Year after year we have the best of intentions, setting some sort of health-related goal, determined to make this the year that it sticks. Lose weight, exercise more, eat more vegetables, prioritize your mental health – whatever the resolution, the fact is that we often do well for a couple of months then slowly find ourselves losing sight of those goals.
One of the issues many of us face when we set these types of health goals, is that we don’t plan properly. We set broad goals without taking a look at the whole picture and when it comes to health, taking a holistic approach to your goals is one of the best ways to create lasting, sustainable change.
What do I mean by holistic?
When you’re setting a goal, especially a health-related goal, you need to take a look at the whole picture – why are you setting this goal? What obstacles got in the way before? What kind of support do you have and what type of support do you need?
Often we overlook what other factors can and do get in the way of our goal, for example, if you’re a stay-at-home mom and your partner often works late, are you actually going to be able to hit the gym as often as you’d like? Are you going to be able to fit in those at-home workouts? What will keep you motivated if you have to miss a day or even a week? These are the things that when we plan for them before starting our goals, we can keep from being thrown off track when they pop up.
The Importance of Supports
No matter your health goal, it’s important to have support when creating new habits. For many of us that comes from our friends and family – maybe they even have the same goal as you and you’re keeping each other accountable. That’s great!
When taking a more holistic approach, many other types of support can help you achieve your health goals in healthy, sustainable and holistic ways:
- A Physiotherapist and/or Personal Trainer- If your goal involves exercise, or working to manage or improve any existing issues such as chronic pain or mobility then the support of a physiotherapist like the ones at Motus Physiotherapy will be invaluable. One of the easiest ways to throw a wrench in your goals is an injury; a physiotherapist can help you develop an exercise plan and work with any dysfunction or ailments specific to you to make sure that you’re approaching your health goals in the safest and healthiest way possible. Similarly, a Personal Trainer can help create routines and keep you accountable all while working within your personal needs, if you’re in need of that extra little push to motivate you or you don’t know where to start, a personal trainer may be the right choice.
- Counsellor/Psychotherapist – Therapy can help with your health goals in many ways. Therapists are great at helping you work through SMART goals and making sure you’re setting yourself up for success, they are also great resources for mindfulness and motivation. If you struggle with keeping goals, are aiming to decrease stress, or you have personal histories that may be triggered by your new goals, incorporating the support of a therapist will be a great help.
- Dietician and/or Naturopathic Doctor – If your goal is diet or weight loss related, the help of a dietician or naturopathic doctor (ND) can be beneficial. Make sure you’re approaching your goal in a healthy non-restrictive way and ensure you’re getting all the nutrients and fuel you need for your body. Naturopathic doctors are also great resources for your holistic health, whether you’re having digestive or hormonal issues or trouble with sleep, an ND can work with you to look at the whole picture and figure out the best way to approach them in conjunction with your health goals.
There are a lot of supports out there to help you work towards your health goals safely and sustainably, consider visiting a multidisciplinary clinic like Lavallee Health Centre where you can find many of the supports listed above all in one place.
If you’re setting health goals this year, consider taking your time to create a more holistic approach and set yourself up for success.