New Year’s Resolutions
By Kelsey Lee, MD, of Avera Medical Group Sibley
Welcome to 2023! We usher in the New Year with traditions, resolutions, and a LOT of snow. Each person may have a different wish or goal for this coming year – maybe saving money, quitting smoking, losing weight, paying off debt, or learning a new skill. Regardless of what resolution you have been pondering, I invite you to consider “SMART” goal setting to help accomplish your goal using a research-backed method.
SMART goals are S-Specific, M-Measureable, A-Achievable, R-Realistic, and T-Time-bound. A “SMART” goal for weight loss might be “For the next week, I plan to do a home yoga workout for 20 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7 a.m. My back up plan is to exercise on Sunday at 10 a.m. for any minutes missed.” This goal can be specified on the calendar like an appointment, measured in minutes, achievable for someone with access to a guided yoga video, realistic with a contingency plan on Sunday, and time bounded to a one week timeframe.
A “SMART” goal for paying off debt might be “For the next 10 months, I plan to pay off my $2,000 credit card debt by paying $200 on the first of every month. I will cut back on eating out and work an extra shift each week.” Again, this goal is specified on the calendar, measured in dollars, achievable and realistic with adjustments in the budget, and time bounded to a 10 month timeframe.
A “SMART” goal for quitting smoking might be “In 2 weeks, I plan to quit smoking a cigarette before noon. When I get the urge for a cigarette today, I will practice putting it off for 10 minutes, then 15 minutes tomorrow, 30 minutes, etc. Instead, I will drink a glass of ice-cold water.” Once again, the goal is specific, measured in time, achievable in gradual intensity, realistic with a contingency plan, and time bound.
Share your “SMART” goal with someone invested in your success and you may find yourself laying out a new “SMART” goal after accomplishing the first. If your goal is centered more specifically on weight loss or smoking cessation, consider scheduling an appointment at Avera Medical Group Sibley to see how a doctor can help. To schedule an appointment, call 712-754-3658. Best of luck this year with your resolutions, and Happy New Year!