• Angel Alfaro | MD

What is holding you back?

Updated: May 10, 2020


Lily and I did it!

Thank you to the City of Valdez Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services for hosting the Uncle Salmon 5K Fun Run. I haven't ran a 5K in a year, so when I told my husband I was going to run the 4th of July Fun Run he appropriately asked, "Run or walk?" I said I was going to move forward and that got me to thinking. Moving forward, that is a good goal wouldn't you say? How are you moving forward? Are you moving toward something, running away from something or staying stuck because you are afraid? On this race I saw so many people running and walking forward...can you believe not one person was going backward? That may look silly to read in print, but seriously all of those people at the race were moving forward, one step in front of the other. I saw moms with kids, dads hauling wagons, people with dogs, true runners making good time, people with chronic illness and those with cancer. Every last one of us has something that we are moving toward and away from. Are we smashing records, conquering obstacles, meeting goals, defeating cancer, coming together for a cause we hold dear or just putting ourself out there hoping to connect with others?

In case you were wondering- Here are the times for my race:

Start: Yes I did!

Finish: Yes I did, but there is more to do!

Goals are important for getting work done, making dreams come true and defining your ideas for good health. Use tools like those from MindTools to make your goals S.M.A.R.T.

S: Specific- Simple and clear- Who, What, Where, When and Why---Just saying: I want to get healthy is NOT a specific goal, but if you would like to lose weight, then try making a goal like: "I want to lose 20 pounds so I can walk without being short of breath and play with my grandkids".

M: Measurable- Measurement keeps the goal in mind and keeps us accountable. Going with our losing weight example a measurable goal may be: "I want to lose 20 pounds in the next year to feel comfortable in my body and run the Uncle Salmon's 5K Fun Run." or " I want to improve my diet by eating 5 servings of vegetables per day for the next 30 days."

A: Achievable- Realistic and attainable, but should stretch your abilities. Think about how you will attain these goals. To wish for something to happen is not realistic. Maybe you need to gather more skills or seek help to reach your goal. So rather than saying "I'll go to the gym every day in order to lose weight" think "I'll go the gym 3 times a week with my friend, Jane, who will keep me accountable."

R: Relevant- Reasonable and result based. Who is this goal for? If your doctor says you should do something for your health, chances are it isn't relevant to you yet. This is why so many people change their ways after a close call or health scare rather than seeing the problems and attacking it years before there are consequences. A relevant goal is about the right time and being worthwhile.

T: Time- Sensitive- Time bound and defined by a deadline. When will this happen? What can I do today to move this goal in the right direction? Rather than get overwhelmed by trying to lose 100 pounds, start with 5 pounds in the next 2 months or work to decrease cigarette use by one less cigarette per day over the next week.

Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-sensitive goals in order to make changes in your life.

What obstacle are you going to punch in the throat today?

How can you move forward?

Drop a reply, I would love to hear about your goals.


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