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Resolutions vs setting SMART goals

By Nikki Conley, Joint Base Health Promotion Program Manager | 628th Medical Group | Feb. 11, 2019

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —

Each year, millions of people make resolutions…and each year, millions of people fail to keep them. The most common New Year’s resolutions are quitting smoking, dieting and working out. People wake up on the morning of Jan. 1, very determined to make these important changes. However, the longevity is shockingly brief.  

Some won’t make it through the first morning without their cigarette, sweets or morning jolt of caffiene. Less than 20 percent last more than eight weeks. Only a few determined people stick out their resolution past the first three months of the year. Stopping—or starting—anything “cold turkey” is difficult, especially if you don’t have a solid plan in place. Once you fail at these difficult changes, it is harder to make the effort to try them again.

If you’ve experienced a failed resolution or any failed attempt at change, how about trying to set a goal instead? You are more likely to have success and you don’t even have to wait until the next New Year. Just make sure your goal is S.M.A.R.T.

Specific – Goals are well defined and focused

Measurable – Goals have outcomes that can be measured or counted

Attainable – The goal is actually realistic and achievable

Relevant – The goal makes sense when you consider in all factors

Time-based – The goal has a time frame that is neither too short nor long

It make take setting several smaller goals to reach your bigger goal, but the end result will be worth it.  Once you achieve one goal, reward yourself, praise yourself and set your next.

Remember, resolutions tend to “take away something” from your life, leaving you feeling deprived. Goals tend to add to your life making you feel positive, energized and productive. Add something great to yours by setting a goal today.

Don’t forget that the Health and Wellness Center (HAWC) is here to help you reach your weight loss, nutrition, body composition, tobacco cessation, relaxation and meditation goals. The HAWC is a part of the Community Action Team, a larger network of helping agencies on base which works diligently to bring services and skills that can help you succeed in areas such as finance, family and relationships, and education, to name a few. To contact personnel at the HAWC, please call 963-4087.