Instead of making lofty promises to lose weight this New Year, you can be much more successful if you focus on changing your behavior. The reason most resolutions aren’t achieved, or are only short-lived, is because we don’t define how exactly our behavior will change. Our goals are often vague, unstructured or don’t define actionable steps.
Set SMART Goals
The most effective goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. For example, if your primary desire is to lose weight, a SMART goal would be to keep a food journal and write down everything you eat, each day, for a week.
Once you have your SMART goal, take steps to monitor your behavior and adjust as necessary.
Plan For Slips
It would be unrealistic if we didn’t anticipate slips, or lapses, as we work on building new behavior. The most important thing is not to be hard on yourself when slips happen. Reflect on what contributed to the slip and find ways to navigate through the challenges.
Define what success looks like for you and reward yourself for the behaviors that support your goal. For example, at the end of the week if you met your goal six of the seven days, treat yourself to a movie, pedicure, shopping or whatever you like.
If you find yourself continually coming up short on weight loss goals, or if the idea of starting a weight-loss plan is too overwhelming, you may want to consider enlisting some support. Health care providers can advise you on diet, physical activity and medications that may help.
You may also want to consider a weight management support group. It’s empowering when you are successful and when other people recognize that success.
Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at UCFHealth.com, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.
- behavior change behavioral health goals health healthy choices healthy living New Year primary care primary care physician primary care physicians resolutions rewards weight loss