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Healthy Goal Setting: Not Just for the New Year

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

By: Sheila Borgen, PT

Happy New Year!

Well, no, not really. But why should New Year get all the recognition and resolutions?

In the first week of January, gym memberships surge, produce and lean meats fly off the shelf, and work- out attire becomes challenging to find. But who said that January 1 is the only day of the year for new beginnings? I vote we change our perspective. I suggest that we make a change today. Why wait?

In fact, I recently took a poll covering individuals ages 14 years old to mid-eighties. First, I asked everyone to pretend that their New Year’s began on October 1 vs. January 1. Then, I requested each person to tell me two goals they had for their newly established October 1, new year.

The following goals are a select few that I received. A 14-year-old boy told me he would like to learn more about a hobby he enjoys. One 15-year-old girl said she would like to eat breakfast daily to give her body fuel to start the day off right. A 16-year-old young lady with a current knee injury stated she would like to learn how to better care for herself to prevent future injuries. A 30-year-old mom of two toddlers reported her desire to be a better advocate for herself, set boundaries when necessary, and learn to say no. Improved self-care was reiterated by a 40-year-old female.

Finding joy no matter the circumstance was spoken by a 51-year-old female. An ill male in his 60’s desires to work hard to physically recover and get his independence back. And a lovely lady in her 80s just wants to walk again.

I was surprised that the typical shallow “I want to eat right, exercise more, and lose weight” wasn’t spoken once. Not that there is anything wrong with eating right. Or exercising more.

Or even losing weight. But when we focus on those three goals, we lose sight of the more essential things in life.

Healthy goal setting encompasses more than our physical health. Our mental health is just as important. In fact, physical and mental health go hand in hand. For example, a chemical called endorphins is released into your body when you exercise. This chemical reduces stress, decreases depression, and improves sleep, thus positively affecting your mental health. Likewise, enhanced mental health inspires increased physical activity. It is a beautiful cycle of overall self-improvement.

Here is my question to you. Why should you cheat yourself out of even a day of improved mental and physical health? Why put off what will make you feel better overall, inspiring you to be a better employee, friend, or family member?

If you need a nudge to get physically fit, contact Age Fit Physical Therapy and Wellness. Let them come beside you and guide you on a journey to success. In fact, grab a friend and come on in together! Let their team help you set goals for positive physical and mental change.

January 1, 2023 might be too late. Today is the day for a change!

Sheila is a freelance writer for physical health, mental health, and parenting. She has four exceptional children, one adopted from South Korea. She lives in Alabama with her husband and children. Sheila enjoys cheering her children on at archery tournaments, soccer games, and color guard performances. She has over 24 years of experience as a physical therapist with a special love for the senior population. Learn more about Sheila at

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