It’s that time of year again. The time we make the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. Every year we make them and just as often we forget them before the year is over. Maybe your resolution was to lose weight. Or eat healthier. Or exercise more. Maybe it was to earn more money or get a new job. Maybe you don’t even remember what it was. But, this year, make a resolution that you want to work toward. One that we see you becoming a better version of you as the year progresses.
How? Follow these steps to plan a New Year’s resolution that you can stick with.
Figure out why you want to make a change.
Maybe you want to lose weight. That’s great. But, figure out why you want to lose weight. Is it for your health (to lower your blood sugar or blood pressure, to reduce your need for medications, so you can breathe at night without a sleep apnea mask)? Is it for your self-confidence? Is it so you can fit into different clothes? Figure out your motivation for wanting to make the change, it will help you want to work toward it.
Make your goal measurable and concrete.
A goal of “I will exercise more” won’t cut it. You need to specify a goal of how often you want to exercise. Or what type of exercise you’d like to be able to accomplish. Your goal should be something you can measure. It could be “I will exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week.” Or something more results oriented like “I will run a 5K without stopping.”
Have a plan to be successful at it.
If you are going to exercise 3 times a week, what types of exercises will you do? It doesn’t have to be specific for each day or each week, just make a list so when you feel you’re at a loss of what to do you can refer back to your list for ideas.
Recruit family, friends, or coworkers to help support you in your goal.
When trying to lose weight, the new year can be a good time to recruit support as many people may have the same goal as you. Find a buddy, someone who can help you through and you can help as well. Inspire each other.
Mark your calendar with how often you check yourself and decide how will you reward your efforts.
Mark your calendar, perhaps at the end of each month, or weekly. Don’t only mark your home calendar, which can be easy to overlook, but set alerts on your phone so you will get dinged and you will receive an email reminding you to evaluate your efforts. Pick a day you can spend a few minutes reviewing your efforts. If getting a new job is your resolution, you may want to tally up how many resumes you send out each week, or how many interviews you’ve had in a month. You may not get offered a job, but reward yourself for meeting your goal of trying. A new tie or a new pair of interview shoes could be a good reward and helpful to succeeding at your resolution. If you didn’t meet your goal of applying for jobs, reevaluate your efforts. Are you spending enough time looking, are you being too specific. Do you need to expand your search to include new locations?
The best advice is to choose a resolution that you will want to stick with, one that improves your life, one that will make you a better person. Have a plan for achieving it, even if that plan changes or is fluid. Make your goal something you can measure your progress against. Don’t hide it, encourage people to keep asking you about it so it stays in the forefront of your mind. Measure your progress multiple times throughout the year, reevaluate your efforts if you need to, and then compare your progress next time to see how it changed. New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be something you dread, look upon them as a self improvement project that should lead to a happier you.
These suggestions are offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a Center of Excellence Surgeon specializing in gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery. Dr. Shillingford’s reputation for excellent surgical skills and comfortable bedside manner attract patients from all over Florida, including Naples, Tampa, Sarasota, Port St. Lucie, Orlando, and Jacksonville. His bariatric weight loss patients receive top notch care during their hospital stay at Northwest Medical Center’s Center for Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, where he serves as Medical Director, and during their follow up care in his Boca Raton office. Dr. Shillingford and his dedicated staff wish his patients a healthy and happy New Year.