New Year’s Resolutions don’t exist. It should never take a new year to make you realize you need to change something. Not just the goals, but how to set and actually achieve them determines whether we make it or not. We can set ourselves up for failure without even knowing.
A goal without a plan is just a wish!
In BariatricEating Support Group on Facebook, we read some wonderfully grandiose goals for weight loss – I want to lose 100 pounds by Summer! Then their next post is a video of ‘jazz hands’ making a thick sliced, bacon wrapped, cheese crammed, roasted portobello mushroom. Either that person had already FORGOTTEN their goal or they never really thought about how they were going to attain it in the first place. Obviously the road paved with bacon and cheese does not take one there.
What’s wrong with my goal???
Simply saying you want to lose 100 pounds by Summer is not a goal, IT IS A WISH. I wish I were married to Brad Pitt. I wish I had a dark blue Maserati convertible. I wish I were 34 again. I wish I had a pair of slim straight leg, pale palomino brown, suede pants. I wish I were 5′ 9. These are random ideas without a means to attain them. Just like wanting to lose 100 pounds by Summer is, unless you detail a path for getting there.
Sometimes Improvement is better than a Goal
I think that for some personalities or situations, a small change in your lifestyle may be better than a Big Ole Goal. If you have a nighttime eating issue, a goal to lose 40 pounds of regain might not be something that you are able to reach without taking care of the ahem, issue. A better idea might be to make a plan that when you find your self staring into the fridge at midnight, that you make yourself an Inspire Peanut Butter Cup drink. It’s a small self limiting change of habit instead of a goal. The reward would be the yummy peanut butter cup taste and being too full to eat anything that would hurt you, but ultimately the result would be weight loss or more control. Rather than defining your own limitations through long-term goals, perhaps just make a commitment to continual improvement.
Stop and smell the roses along the way
Don’t wait until you reach your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of each step you take towards reaching that goal. Small bites got us to the door of the OR and small bites will get us to our ultimate goal of good health and longterm weight management. These ambitious goals of 100 or 200 pounds are nice neat numbers but they are often random. In fact goal weight is random too! We have group members who are obsessed with their surgeons random goal weight assigned from a chart. They truly feel as if they have failed because they are NOT 135 pounds. HEY, YOU MAY NEVER BE 135 POUNDS but that does not mean anything. This is why many surgeons who do not assign a goal weight. They feel it is healthier for their patients to celebrate each pound lost and each positive movement along the journey.
Some of you are quite crafty!
I love seeing photos posted by people who add a charm to a bracelet for every five pounds or put a number of dollars equal to pounds lost every month into a jar or those who transfer colored glass beads to a beautiful crystal jar to remind themselves of how far they have come rather than how far they have to go. You can really get creative with this one – manicures and pedicures, workout clothes, getting your hair cut, buying a new pair of jeans, a Friday night stay over at local hotel to ‘wrassle’ around with someone you love. The whole point of rewarding yourself for your small goals is that you actually make it and get the reward. Thats what makes us work harder! Making the goal too big where you don’t make it is punishing yourself. So. Not. Inspiring.
Once again it boils down to math
Consume 500 fewer calories than you need every day and you’ll lose one pound per week. Weight loss starts with a simple plan and achieving that goal is easy. This isn’t rocket science, it’s just math. You have had bariatric surgery and unless you work against it, saving 500 calories a day isn’t that hard. Choose places along the way to celebrate and you don’t need to pay attention to the end. Remember that weight loss is not a race to the finish with a beginning and end. It’s not like we eat special food until we get to goal and then we can have pizza. Bariatric surgery dictates the way we have to learn to live forever.
Does anyone really know what time it is?
Please stop putting time frames on your weight loss goals. Making your goal losing 100 pounds without a plan for how to do it is bad enough, but then many of you slap a random time frame on it. MY GOAL IS TO LOSE 100 POUNDS BY APRIL! When they don’t make it by April they are MISERABLE and feel they have failed. They end up hitting the mark in July – but are unhappy while doing it. Flip it around and simply make the goal losing 100 pounds WITHOUT the time frame so no matter when it happens, it’s a GREAT MOMENT.
What is my goal?
My goal is to lose 40 pounds and this is how I am going to do it. 1. get rid of all the ‘bad choice’ food in the kitchen, including any soda I bought for guests, Christmas candy, Panettone bread, dark chocolate and even sugar free cookies and OH YES, THE BOX OF CHEEZ ITZ IN THE BACK OF THE PANTRY. 2. I will follow Back on Track plan with 4 Inspire shakes a day at designated times and my one healthy meal each evening – keeping the 5th shake as an option if I am in the kitchen at midnight 3. I will wash and fold my workout outfits and put them in the drawer so they are available. 4. I will work out on either the elliptical or do the BJ Gaddour 10 minute torchers video in the house 4 days a week. 5. I will focus on Being Positive and read my Affirmations every morning before work. 6. For each 5 pounds I lose I will reward myself with $10 to download on iTunes. 7. When I hit my 40 pound goal, I’m going to call a few girlfriends and see if they want to meet me at a Scottsdale spa for a Girlfriend’s Getaway.
Now that’s Goal Setting!