January 23, 2019 – Resolutions: Setting and Achieving Realistic Goals

Now that we are starting a new year, a lot of people make resolutions – about 60% of us make them, but only about 8% of us keep them.  Katie gave a brief overview of the history of New Year’s resolutions going back about 4000 years, when people started each year making promises to the gods.  A resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or NOT do something,” that will improve your life in the coming year.

Why do so many of us fail?

  1. We go it alone
  2. We make lofty and unrealistic goals
  3. We give up too easily
  4. We have poor time management
  5. We don’t have a plan

Why should we make a resolution or set a goal?  Because setting resolutions gives you long-term vision with short term motivation.  It helps you focus and organize your time and resources.  So what do you want to achieve?  Set yourself up for success:

  1. Set goals that motivate you – the goal must be important to you and you see value in achieving it
  2. Set SMART goals: 
    • Specific  –  be specific so you know what the goal looks like
    • Measurable – your goal should be measurable, including dates, amounts
    • Achievable – make sure it’s something you are confident you can achieve
    • Relevant – goals need to be important to you
    • Time-based – set a deadline so you can celebrate success
  1. Set goals in writing – it helps to make it real
  2. Make an action plan and get support – you don’t want to be so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all the steps you need to get there. Arrange your environment or routine to help support the goals, and then chart your progress – use a calendar to set out each step of the plan. If your goal is a common one, find a plan online or join a group so you have support.
  3. Stick with it! Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and celebrate your successes. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a bad day.  Start in again tomorrow.
  4. Put yourself in charge – share your goals with family and friends, but you must take responsibility for your future.

Katie shared how she had a goal to do a half marathon and discussed how she made the resolution with a friend, they registered for a marathon, paid their money, then she got a calendar and followed a training plan, and they completed the ½ marathon together. 

Why we will succeed:

  1. Tell others, get support and join groups
  2. Set realistic and attainable goals
  3. Review goals frequently, be compassionate with ourselves, and stay motivated
  4. Make a schedule, to do lists and use calendars
  5. Make a plan with bite-sized chunks to achieve the full goal

Top 5 New Year’s Resolution for 2019:

  1. Diet or eat healthier (71%)
  2. Exercise more (65%)
  3. Lose weight (54%)
  4. Save more and spend less money (32%)
  5. Learn a new skill or hobby (26%)

Some resolutions bariatric surgery patients can set:

  • Get back on track
  • Meal plan/prep
  • Try one new recipe each week
  • Eat more organic food
  • Sign up for a 5K
  • Tray a new exercise class – yoga, Zumba, dance class, weight lifting
  • Maintain weight loss
  • Lose the “holiday weight gain”

Non-weight related resolutions:

  • Volunteer
  • Read a book a month
  • Declutter
  • Detoxify
  • Travel
  • Learn something new
  • Decrease screen time
  • Get more sleep
  • Drink less alcohol