Did you set a New Year's Resolution? If you're like most people who set resolutions, the chances are good that you've already thrown it in the trash along with last year's calendar. Studies make it crystal clear that almost 200 million Americans declare resolutions related to money, health, career, self-improvement, family, and love.
Regardless of the stated resolution though, by mid-February, most resolution-setters have abandoned their declaration of a specific course of action (the definition of resolution). What's up with that?
A resolution implies a direction in which you want to take your life. It does not, however, provide any steps for getting there. That is why we need goals. Goals are the stepping stones along Resolution Road. Let's say my resolution is: "This year, I am going on vacation in Paris (which may actually be possible again in 2021)!" I need to establish goals or specific steps I have to take for my stated declaration (my resolution) to become a reality.
The goals may be:
- I will set aside $200 a month for my European vacation.
- I will ask for vacation days at the office by March 1.
- I will purchase airline tickets by July 1.
Resolutions are accomplished by setting, and acting upon, goals!
It is critical to set goals in your weight loss journey. Simply resolving to "lose weight" is relatively meaningless without having goals to help get you there. And, by the way, if your goal for having bariatric surgery is to "lose weight," you may want to get out your eraser and set a new goal.
WHAT? Yep. You've lost weight before, so if your only goal is to lose weight, you may end up with the same result again: regain.
Set your Ultimate Goal (your resolution) as "I will maintain a healthy weight by living a healthy lifestyle." Then back it up with goals: SMART GOALS.
SMART goals mean that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Use the Gotta Do' Ems, or the behaviors needed to lose weight, keep it off, and set SMART GOALS for each Gotta Do' Em.
Here is an example to get you started.
Gotta Do' Em: Keep a food diary.
Here is how to set this up as a SMART goal:
- Specific: I will track each thing I eat during the day on My Fitness Pal.
- Measurable: I will track my food three times a day.
- Achievable: I will share My Fitness Pal with my accountability friend each day.
- Relevant: Tracking my food intake is important to my goal of maintaining a healthy weight and living a healthy lifestyle.
- Time-bound: I will complete my food diary daily, tracking three times a day.
Your Happy New Year will be happier ALL year if you use the Gotta Do 'Ems to create SMART Goals! Establish a clear roadmap full of SMART Goals to achieve your resolution of living a healthy lifestyle!