January 1, 2015

Are New Year’s Resolutions Really a Good Idea?

Most of us do it every year. We resolve to change our health and lifestyle starting January 1. Then, over the course of the year, our exciting goals and big plans fall by the wayside in a wave of frustration. So we may question if setting a New Year’s resolution really is worth it. The short answer is yes, but for the right reasons. The New Year’s resolution itself is not the problem. Rather, the concern lies in the way we approach the goals that we ultimately set. Having goals is a wonderful thing and when set properly can be very achievable and satisfying. So whether you’ve been discouraged by years of failed resolutions or you’re embarking on your latest this year, follow a couple tips that will give you a leg up as you navigate 2015.

The first, and most important, way to set a good goal is to ensure that it is attainable. Too many diets and exercise programs fail because the goals are either too broad or simply beyond our abilities. Wanting to lose too much weight too fast or wanting to see exercise results in a short amount of time simply isn’t possible. So use a few days over the course of the next month to plan a strategy that makes sense and is within realistic limits.

Once you have set your overarching goal, whatever that may be, it is important that you split it up into smaller, stepped, mini-goals. These incremental victories will give you a lasting enjoyment and an opportunity to celebrate more often. So if you are looking to lose 50 pounds this year, set your target at 5 pounds a month and enjoy what you see on the scale each and every month. A daunting number becomes far less so when you take it monthly.

Finally, bring some diversity into your goal setting. Most of us rehash our weight-loss goals, but what we see on the scale is not the only indicator of health and wellness. Use some less common markers that can show similar improvements. For example, use your waistline measurement as a goal – after all, it is a leading indicator of cardiovascular health. For women, the magic number is under 35 inches, while for men that number is under 40 inches. Anything over that suggest significantly increased risk of health troubles. You can do the same for blood test measurements – cholesterol and sugar are both measured as part of routine blood tests that can be monitored by you and your doctor regularly.

No matter how you approach your 2015 resolutions, we hope that you do not get discouraged by the process. Losing weight is not a fast or easy proposition and keeping it off is similarly hard. But by balancing lofty goals with realistic expectations, we can make 2015 the year we finally follow through with the resolutions. Good luck, and we wish you all the best!!

 

2016, Bariatric Specialists of North Carolina, a part of the EmergeOrtho network
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