I use recovering from a broken neck as an example of how to set a life goal to get through crisis or change.

In my last blog, I explained how to make an IMPACT goal Positive even when facing many fears.

It felt important to make the goal Action-focused, even though I spent a lot of time resting in order to heal.

If you would like to discuss your own goals, then get in contact with me:

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Make goal Action-focused. I walked every day to be Action-focused to achieve my IMPACT life goal of recovering from a broken neck without any after effects.

Walking with my dog Luna was part of making my goal Action-focused

Is rest action?

Top of my list of actions was… ironically… rest!

Making my IMPACT Goal action-focused might seem contrary to the advice I received to rest.

In fact, rest was really the best really the best action that I could take.

Rather than procrastinating by resting, I was recovering and healing.

Being Forest Gump

One activity I could do was walk.

And boy, did I walk!

I felt like Forest Gump!

There’s a promenade near where I live where people congregate to walk by the sea – its flat and easy to walk on.

When I first got out of hospital, I walked slowly and tentatively.

I couldn’t see my feet because of my neck brace.

Gradually as I recovered, I picked up speed.

My dog, Luna, kept me company.

She would get me out three times a day.

I learnt that being mobile is a cornerstone to physical recovery.

It’s almost as though the body lubricates itself through movement.

And the release of endorphins and being out in the fresh air really helped me convalesce.

Find help

I decided early on that I would play detective and find as much about getting over my injury as possible.

I wasn’t going to lie back and let it dominate my life – I was going to dominate it!

One thing that recovering from a broken neck gave me was time to contact people.

I contacted medical friends, neurosurgeons, osteopaths, nutritionist, physios – literally any field that I felt could help.

Also, other people who experienced a similar injury, hoping to learn from their experience.

I wanted to recover and to find the best way to do do.

Some wonderful people helped me:

  • Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, put me in touch with his Head Physio within a couple of hours of me contacting him unsolicited. It’s no wonder that his team is so devoted to him!
  • Great Britain rugby league player, Alex Walmesley, is one big beefy guy. Scarily strong. Yet he provided my with the simplest and most useful advice: Rest, and your body will take care of the rest.
  • Sherylle Calder, who helped coach England to their rugby world cup victory in 2003 gave me free access to her EyeGym application. It became a habit every day.

OK, so there’s a theme: many of these people are from rugby, both union and league.

It wasn’t the only sport that I contacted, but I think that rugby is a family – they welcome people in and look after them.

Boredom…agggh!

I knew that boredom was a risk.

And if I became bored, then I would become irritable, which is not ideal when I’m stuck at home alone in a neck brace.

The situation would make me want to scream!

By being Action-focused I could alleviate my boredom, because I set myself things to do.

For instance, I explored a new galaxy, working through the whole of the Star Wars saga!

Accepting the situation that I was in and allowing my mind to switch off helped.

I wasn’t allowed to work – my company had a duty of care and wouldn’t let me – so I accepted this and entered a kind of comatose state.

I accepted that what would be would be and that I would face the world once I was out of my neck brace.

In my next blog, I will share the how my IMPACT Goal was “Challenging”.

In the meantime, if you would like to get in touch, you can contact me here:

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