It’s About Chasing Small Wins to Reach Your Bigger Goals

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  • Instead of setting unrealistic goals, focus on small victories and build a foundation of accomplishments to achieve success. It’s about chasing small wins to reach your bigger goals
  • Anxiety is often treated with medication instead of tackling the root issue of fear.
  • How to prioritize your intellectual wellness by nourishing your mind, embracing challenges, expanding your knowledge, and nurturing personal growth

When a new year rolls around, people typically set goals and resolutions to improve their lives in the coming year. However, by February, many people have fallen off the wagon, becoming discouraged about accomplishing these initiatives they set for themselves.

We see this a lot in PT, with patients setting large goals that just aren’t possible — or safe — to achieve. For example, if you’ve had ACL surgery, you shouldn’t set a goal to run a 5K in just a month. That’s why at Myokinetix, we always tell patients to chase the small wins that can lead to accomplishing bigger goals. As they say, you have to walk before you can run. It’s about chasing small wins to reach your bigger goals

There’s great information on how to create these small wins in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. He wrote, “To make following through with your goals easier, pair them with a routine you already have.” For instance, if you want to hit the gym in the morning, lay out your gym clothes the night before while brushing your teeth. If you want to start eating healthier, plan your weekly meals while watching TV. If you’re reluctant to do your at-home physical therapy, pair it with your favorite evening program! 

You may not know what goals to set, so try the highly recommended “The Peter Attia Drive” podcast. Dr. Peter Attia talks with other professionals about what works for our health, wellness, performance, and pursuit of excellence.

Dr. Natty uses the “Atomic Habits” strategy to accomplish his goal of taking a cold shower every morning. “The Huberman Lab” is another one of his favorite podcasts, and Andrew Huberman lays out how taking a cold shower first thing in the morning can make you more alert and ready for your day. To help reinforce this habit and accomplish the goal, Natty pairs it with brushing his teeth. Every morning, once he finishes brushing, he turns around and just hops into the cold shower. This ensures he can’t leave the bathroom or try to burn time; thus ensuring he accomplishes his goal.

Every time you accomplish one of these small tasks, reward yourself! Because when it comes to bouncing back after an injury, it’s all about setting those small breadcrumbs that lead to bigger wins, and you should feel good about accomplishing those too. And unfortunately, some patients struggle because they’re anxious about their recovery journey and let that fear stop them from ever achieving a single small goal, let alone a full recovery. 

Recently, I watched a documentary about anxiety and how often it’s treated with medication instead of tackling the root issue of fear. While anxiety disorders are absolutely real and crippling for people, I’m only referring to anxiety as it relates to PT. Most of the time, when people become so anxious about their injuries that they have to be medicated, it’s due to a lack of information. The patient doesn’t have all the information to feel confident and safe in their recovery journey. This results in debilitating fears like “Will I ever have full mobility back?” or “I’ll never be the same.” The thing about rehab is that anxiety is normal, but using medication for those fears is like giving someone pool floaties instead of teaching how to swim.

The key to overcoming these fears is finding the right provider to help you find small solutions, increasing your wins by 5%–10%. At Myokinetix, we aim to do just that. We help you accomplish incremental and achievable goals that get you back on track. If you’re looking to chase small wins to crush your recovery goals, call us at 973-585-4990, and get started.

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