2022 back pain back pain relief back rehab new years resolutions spondy spondylolisthesis Dec 27, 2021

Timecheck: We are in the final days of 2021 and we are two and a half years into this pandemic. For many, back pain is getting worse and back pain relief is hard to come by.

I chose the elephant for this week's image because unspoken health issues that need more attention are like the elephant in the room (or in the pool, as the case may be ;)

By now we all kind of know what we want to be doing but we might not be naming it and, if you're like me, the marathon of pandemic exhaustion might have you feeling particularly noncommittal right now.

Which brings us to the fact that we are rounding into a new year.

How would you like to move into it?

Denial is one strategy; it's comfortable and it works for awhile, but action, once taken, ultimately feels better and results in better outcomes, doesn't it?

Which brings us to this in-between Christmas - New Year's holiday week.

To be clear, I find the phrase, the concept and the all the buzz about New Year's Resolutions incredibly annoying.

It's like, yeah, yeah, yeah, soooo tired of hearing about em. I've made em, broken em, blah blah blah. Take a hike.

But what about Annual Reflections?

Similar but different because they're less about outcome and more about process and learning. yay

Reflection + Process + Support + Execution = A Plan

And OH how I looove me a good step-by-step plan!!

If you're happy where you're at, i.e., nothing hurts, no room for improvement and you don't need a new perspective or a nudge, then you can close this article and carry on.

IF, however, deep down, you really do want to feel better, sleep better, move better but your psyche just can't handle another failure again, then read on.

First off, let us acknowledge the elephant in the room, which is that I'm writing this email in the dead of winter, in year 2.5 of a global pandemic.

For some people life goes on, no biggie. For others, resolve and productivity come in waves, between what the New York Times has called languishing (good article, read it!).

For others still, every last resource of personal resilience is tested daily so that perhaps just getting up and getting showered is a very big deal.

Let's agree to meet you where you're at. No judgement, okay?

One of the problems with New Year's resolutions is that not adhering to them is staged as if you don't have enough willpower, but that's totally unfair. Really, your success depends on finding the resources you need, having a solid, achievable plan for execution and then finding some one to support and work with you so that you can be consistently accountable to that plan.

But let’s face it…you are not your best accountability partner are you?!

- this is why we have coaches and personal trainers!


For right now let's just get comfy with your favorite notebook and simply reflect...

First, we will muster up warm and fuzzy emotions, and then we will tip-toe into getting aspirationally reflective.

Sound good?

Here we go, let’s do these together!

  1. Name 5 things/people/experiences you are grateful for in this moment

  2. Name 5 things you’re proud of yourself for doing this year

  3. Name 5 things you’re excited for in the coming year

  4. Name 3 things that improve your mental, emotional and/or physical state

  5. Name two specific movement or exercise goals you’d like to accomplish this year

  6. What are 2 things that really helped you feel pretty good last year?

  7. What's something that didn’t work for you that you’re ready to leave behind?

  8. What's one thing you can do differently at the start of 2022 for better results?

Here are some next steps:


  1. Get a white board, a calendar or a sheet of paper and choose three dates

  2. On your first date: Research what you need help with and who might be of service to you (just bullet list it)

  3. On your second date: Jot down which proactive things you can do to prepare you well for some of the above changes? (all the little things count, so write em down)

  4. On your third date: Name your biggest health/back care priority (be specific)

  5. Set three new dates for the following week and follow up in the same fashion on each action item above

All too often, we set lofty, unwieldy goals for ourselves and then we get overwhelmed, feel like a failure and give up.

Alas, this is a softer, gentler approach to moving forward, specially designed to foil overwhelm paralysis.

You're off the hook on failing because you don't need to 100% complete each task! Just wrap your brain around the question and start the task, then baby step to the next part of completing the task.

Is this Annual Reflection process a slow roll? Sure, but "better done than none"!!

This style of inquiry is part of the empowerment process I use with my one-to-one Retrain Back Pain clients in every session and it works really well.

Speaking of which... if you've read this far, you are the first to know that in January, 2022, I'll be re-launching my Back Rehab Boss online coaching course AND I'll be offering another 1:1 Coaching Case Study Opportunity. You can find all the links to these great offerings here

I’m here to help, so just email me if you have any questions or if you care to share your discoveries and plans with me!

Sending you much love and oodles encouragement,