The start of a new year is a time for new beginnings. Many of us have made New Year’s resolutions one time or another. Most people vow to eat better, lose weight or exercise regularly, but unfortunately most do not succeed in keeping their resolutions much past January.
When it comes to weight loss surgery, learning how to turn your resolutions into attainable health goals will help keep you on track.
Planning for Weight Loss Success
Why do most people fail to keep their resolutions?
Answer: Because they don’t have a clear plan!
Think of your New Year’s Resolutions as a health goal. You have a much better chance of achieving your health goal if you’re specific about what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. Here are some tips to help you make this year’s resolutions stick.
Ask yourself – What do you want to achieve? Write down your health goals. Writing down your health goals is the first step in making your goals a reality. Writing down your health goals also creates a sense of awareness and accountability.
Make your health goal doable
A doable goal is something you can reasonably do. If your goal is to start going to the gym five times a week for two hours and you haven’t seen the inside of a gym in a very long time, it might be advisable to rethink your goal. Start small; you can always revise your goal as you go.
Focus on the short-term with S.M.A.R.T. goals
Set short-term S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
Specific – Be very clear what your want to achieve and how you want to achieve it.
Measurable – Establish criteria for measuring your progress towards attaining your health goal.
Achievable/attainable – An attainable health goal is best when it is something that challenges you, but is also something that you are able and willing to accomplish. Evaluating what is achievable also allows to you to think about what barriers might be hindering your success and come up with strategies to overcome them.
Realistic – Are you setting the bar too high? Can you reasonably reach your goal?
Time Frame – Put a time frame around your health goal. Setting a goal within a specific time frame creates a sense of commitment to try to accomplish your goal.
An example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal: “I will walk 30 minutes 5 days a week.”
Enjoy the payoff of your efforts
Set a series of S.M.A.R.T. goals and commit yourself to them. Do that, and you’ll see big results in your weight loss efforts.
Dietitian’s Corner by Lori Skurbe
Dietitian’s Corner is a monthly column for post-op and pre-op patients of bariatric surgery in NJ written by Prime Surgicare’s Lori Skurbe. Lori has been a dietitian for over 20 years with an extensive background in weight management, bariatric nutrition and diabetes education.