As we dive into the New Year, it’s important to stop and reflect on the previous year. Take a moment, think about your behaviors, choices, and lifestyle over the past year; would you go back and do it all the same or would you make changes to yield different results? Make resolutions to improve yourself. Although making and keeping New Year’s resolutions can be tough, here are a few thoughts for creating goals for the new year.

Start Small

Be realistic when setting a goal. Make resolutions you will be able to keep. If you want to start exercising, then set your goal at three to four times a week instead of seven. If you want to eat healthier, choose to eliminate dessert and replace it with a healthy alternative like yogurt or fruit.

Make Your Goals Attainable

Instead of making one large goal for the whole year, start by creating short-term, small, and reasonable lifestyle changes that are realistic for you to reach. If your goal is to lose weight, start with goals involving smaller increments of weight that can be met each month. It is important to remember that it is not necessarily the degree of change that matters, but rather recognizing that the change is important and working towards taking steps to incorporate lifestyle changes into your daily routine.

Make Changes Slowly

Bad habits weren’t formed overnight and won’t be broken instantly either.  Slowly incorporate healthier behaviors into your daily routine to improve unhealthy habits. A New Year doesn’t mean you must completely reassess every aspect of life. Focus on one area at a time to feel less overwhelmed and have better success.


Follow the steps above and be accountable to lifestyle changes in order to accomplish your goals. Share goals with a group of friends or co-workers, or join a workout class. Doing so allows others to help encourage and motivate you if you feel defeated. They can cheer you on in making strides toward a healthier lifestyle! Also, be fair to yourself, as you are bound to make mistakes, eat too many sweets, and not visit the gym as often as you had planned. Although, it’s okay to be upset with yourself, show strength in getting right back up and on-track again!


If any of your goals include getting in shape, moving more freely, and addressing pain, call or request an appointment to start the year off Enjoying More Freedom!

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Physical Therapist at Freedom Physical Therapy Services
Molly Rittberg received her master’s degree in Physical Therapy in 2007 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to receive her doctorate from Rosalind Franklin University (North Chicago) in 2009. She has since worked in an outpatient orthopedic practice where she worked with patients of all ages, injuries and disabilities. She has a wide variety of experiences including knee, ankle, foot and shoulder injuries, post-operative conditions, spinal rehabilitation and peripheral neuropathies.