New Year, New You: Four Tips for Success in 2017

January 11, 2017

Saba Zahid, RD
Patient Experience Manager

With the new year underway, you may have resolved to be a better person, lose weight, or save money in 2017. If you've ever made New Year's resolutions in the past, then you know how difficult it can be to stick to them. That's because too often we set goals that are overly ambitious and unrealistic. With the right attitude and approach, however, you can be successful in 2017! Follow these four steps and you'll be well on your way to a new and improved you.

  1. Set SMART Goals: SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based. If you want to lose weight and maintain that weight loss, for example, specify the amount of weight you'd like to lose. This step makes the goal both Specific and Measurable. Be sure that your goal is also Attainable and Realistic. For instance, a goal to lose 30 pounds in one month is not attainable – or healthy. Losing weight by doing a juice cleanse and then maintaining the weight loss is also probably unattainable. After you've developed a reasonable goal, give yourself a reasonable Time frame to achieve that goal.
  2. Create an Action Plan: Once you have decided what your SMART goal is, develop an action plan. If you want to lose weight, part of your action plan could be going to the gym three times a week. Another component of the plan could be to eat out only twice a week instead of four times. Also, don’t overwhelm yourself by having too many different steps in your action plan. Remember to keep your personal circumstances in mind.  Your goals and action plans are not going to be the same as someone else. Make it work for you.
  3. Keep it Simple: While there may be many different things you want to work on in 2017, focus on a few goals at a time. Having too many resolutions with different action plans only sets you up for failure. It’s also OK to break up a bigger goal into smaller goals. This can make a bigger goal feel less intimidating. Achieving each smaller goal will give you motivation to keep going.
  4. Go Easy on Yourself: Lastly, give yourself a break! Lose the all-or-nothing attitude. It’s OK to have setbacks. It’s OK to give yourself more time to achieve a goal or to re-adjust your goal if you need to. It doesn’t mean you failed. As long as you continue to work towards your goal, you haven’t failed. Remember, each day is another opportunity to improve, progress, or change.  If you keep that in mind, you will always be able to achieve your goals.

If you're looking for ways to improve your life in 2017, Shore Medical Center can help! If you're looking to improve your diet, consider scheduling an appointment with our Outpatient Nutrition Counseling program by calling 609-653-3913. On our Wellness page, you'll also find recipes, nutrition and fitness tips, resources and support for family caregivers, Senior Socials and much more.  To learn more, visit http://shoremedicalcenter.org/education_outreach/wellness_program

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