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The public should learn more about their health by requesting their lab results, understanding their medications and by reviewing their course of treatments initially through their healthcare provider.

By reviewing public information in a condensed form as a reference site such as All Species Nurse, all patients will be able to communicate better with their healthcare provider in an effort to improve their quality of care.

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The categories to the right are organized according to Public Outreach sites, Veterinary areas (including "find a vet hospital in your area or a petsitter) even for human interests such as "find a hospital," to "find a daycare or baby sitter."

**Use this site as your overall guide to finding, sorting out and learning about health and whatever else affects you and your life! Use what you learn to communicate effectively with your health care provider or veterinarian.**

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Goaltending 101

Part 1
Driving On The Freeway… by Mindy Neal, Massage Therapist, Physical Trainer

Happy New Year! It’s my favorite holiday. This is the big day where a person has the option to change - I mean REALLY CHANGE- from the inside out and not have to justify it. We’re given a clean board - a “do over.” It is very exciting stuff.

It can be a little daunting though, staring at a blank piece of paper. Where do you start?

A lot of the advice out there is excellent, and the experts say pretty much the same thing: Know your values, your dream life, and where you’ll be in 1, 3, 5, 10 years; write them down; set dates; chart progress; be accountable; etc., etc.

Talk about overwhelming!!! With that advice, I’d end up making a few doodles on that piece of paper, say “to heck with this,” and go play outside!

Inevitably then, the goal-setting gets set aside, the habits do not change, and the downward spiral continues, with no direction and no accountability, and with every excuse in the book as to why things have not changed.

OK - so where does a person start, especially when a complete overhaul is in order? We’re talking ignition timing is out of whack, transmission is shot, and your personal high-performance engine has let go. You are just simply too blinded by the light of that white piece of paper in front of you to see the next step.

We will eventually get to the things that the experts tell us to do. They are experts, after all. But we are going to take a different approach.

“I want to run a marathon.”
“I want to lose 20 pounds.”

A goal is defined as “the end toward which effort is directed.” There are two approaches to redefining your goal-setting and goaltending: Linear and circular. For our linear picture, which we will talk about first, we are going to use a freeway. This is our goal-setting. For our circular picture, we are using a hockey rink. This is our goaltending.

Linear - Goal-setting
I want you to think about your life as a drive on the urban freeway, and each goal is a sign along the road. You are the car. As you’re cruising down the road, you have signs on the right and left; each exit sign on the right is set at 1/4-mile intervals, regular, predictable. You’ll see that there is another exit at 1/2 mile and another at 1 mile. These are your short-term goals. As you pass each sign, achieve each goal, you’re still on the road driving toward your destination.

There are bigger signs on the road too. They are on the left and have major sights that we will encounter on this freeway, some anticipated and some unexpected, but we know how far away they are and can calculate the time it takes to get there, even though the cities themselves are not visible. These are our long-term goals. These are the reasons we are on this road.

There are two major mistakes I have seen (and have made myself) when it comes to setting goals. The first is to come up with 1 short-term goal and nothing else, like I want to look good on my vacation. When the vacation sign comes up, Las Vegas Next Exit, we take that off-ramp, and there is no reason to get back on the road. Then the car ends up at a casino feasting on free buffet.

The second is the vague I want to get in shape. What does that mean? How do you know when you’re there? It does not have an intrinsic value. The kids are screaming from the back seat: Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Really, many people just take themselves out on the road and drive aimlessly around, get lost, end up in a ditch, and eaten by wild dogs.

Others actually head someplace, anyplace. Even Clark Griswold had a destination - Wally World - and all the things he wanted to see along the way.

We can have a map, know where to get fuel, have games to play, and plan for the road trip. Along our journey, we might find a nice place to hang out for a while, a picturesque view on the Pacific Coast Highway that simply begs us to contemplate life, look at the waves, take in the gorgeous sunset, and just “be” for a bit. This is really okay. Then we can get back on the road.

Unfolding Our Maps
Rather than a blank piece of paper, let’s use a road map. Pick a destination.

Your destination is an achievement, milestone, fitness goal. Each sign along the way is a goal based on the previous one, a progression. If we do not reach one of those signs, we can just backtrack a bit and try it again, recalculate the times and miles, and move right along. Backtracking and recalculating are not failing to achieve a goal; they are simply pit-stops.

Some examples of these linear, progressive-type goals may look like this:
Ultimate destination: Marathon in November 2010.
Mile markers: 5k in February; 5K in March, faster time than February; 10K in May; 10K in July, faster time than May; etc., etc.

Pick something you’d like to achieve - run a marathon, hike the Grand Canyon, bike through South Africa, walk 60 miles in 3 days.

Now, where do you need to go to get you there? Do you need to lose weight to spare your knees? Do you need to overcome injuries? Do you need to build strength, increase speed, improve endurance? These are our smaller signs, the sights to see. Each of these may actually have smaller goals underneath them, small day trips that add to the essence of the journey.

As we map our journey, these are what the travel guides recommend:
1. Use positive language.
2. Use present tense.
3. Use a timeline.
4. Be succinct and specific.

Example
Destination - I am running my first 5K on January 29th.

To support this goal, the map will have:
Cross-training 30 minutes, Tuesdays and Thursdays
Steady run 30 minutes, Mondays and Wednesdays
Interval training Fridays
Walking Saturdays
Massage Sundays


Use the map and share with me your destination and the small sights along the way.

Maybe you would like to stop at the second largest ball of twine on the face of the earth, which is only 4 short hours away. They’re your goals. I will not judge your goals.

Rather, I will help you make them attainable. I can help you fill in those gaps, place your sign posts, and keep you motivated to stay on the road.

Remember, it’s the combination of long-term and short-term goals that keeps us on the road, and as each exit is passed and the next sign is visible in the distance, we stay motivated to keep on trucking. These goals are achieved in a progressive manner. We may have pit-stops, re-fuels, detours, and tune-ups along the road, but we’re still cruising toward that end-point.


…Next Chapter - Goaltending 101, Part 2: Power-Plays and Penalties - The Beauty of Circles and Vanity Goals

Visit Mindy Neal's blog regarding health and fitness and oyther journeys at: http://www.thefitkitchen.net/

Reference:
Neal, M. (2010). Part 1: Driving on the freeway, All Species Nurse, LLC

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