Setting Goals for the New Year

Published in Bariatrics/Weight Control Author: Carris Health

Can you believe that it’s already March? How are you doing on those New Year’s Resolutions? Have you lost your 10 pounds or joined the gym? Many people have given up on resolutions as they realize they are not a real solution in the long run. Doing nothing however, is not the answer either if you have health concerns or potential areas needing change.

The capacity and potential for change and adherence is within every person. The following are some important keys to successful change.

Right Goal = Momentum to Get Started

To be successful, you need to find the right goal or you will not have momentum to get started. It is only the right goal if YOU WANT to make the change. Goals that start with the words should, ought and must often lead to perfectionist beliefs, anger and failure. This also suggests that you don’t own this goal, but it is likely someone else’s idea and will not result in success.

Right Reasons = Motivation to Follow Through

Research suggests that the more internalized the reason or reward, such as making a change for overall health or improved cholesterol, will produce longer term success. This is contrasted with short term results that occur when your goal or reward is external, such as fitting into that dress for an upcoming wedding.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any one thing.” Abraham Lincoln.

Motivation Follows Action, It Doesn’t Precede It.

If you are waiting to go to the gym until you “feel like it” it probably isn’t going to happen. On the other hand, if you have a life goal that is to improve your fitness and YOU identify a reasonable action such as going to the gym 3 days/week, you will be more likely to follow through because you are committed. As you go to the gym, your motivation will build because you are following through on an important goal that YOU WANT to achieve. Commitment is the key, which goes back to selecting the right goal.

You are not the problem.

If you think that you are weak and unmotivated and thus overweight, you are making the core of who you are the problem, which has no easily identifiable solution. However, if you skip breakfast, this can cause you to over eat in the evening which adds excess calories and results in weight gain. Skipping breakfast is the problem. Your goal becomes the flip of the problem, to start eating breakfast. This will shift your calories to earlier in the day which results in less snacking and smaller portions at supper, which reduces your overall calorie intake and results in weight loss.