By Dr Chloe Kindred
Ah, the first few days of a new year! It’s a heady time of fresh starts and setting good intentions with many of us making new year’s resolutions and setting goals for the year that is to come. Whilst these are often great ideas, Anthony Grant, the head of the coaching psychology unit at the University of Sydney, said up to 88% of us fail to keep our resolutions due to a lack of planning and readiness for ongoing change. (1)
We want to provide you with a few pointers on how to make your fantastic ideas come to fruition and how to stick with changes beyond the first few weeks. Many of us have goals about improving our health and fitness, but it’s important to take care of your mental and emotional health as well.
Here are some pointers for helping you keep your focus and see results.
The SMART goal setting model is a simple and effective framework for helping you make your plans reality. Your goals should be:
• Specific. Get out pen and paper and describe exactly what you want to achieve and how you will do it. This converts a vague idea into a powerful plan – for example, instead of “I get fit,” write down when and where you plan to exercise, what the exercise will be, how often, and why you want to achieve this goal (a little motivation never hurt!).
• Measurable. Define how you will measure your progress. If your goal is to lose weight, find a way to measure that goal – be it weighing yourself every week, or monitoring your waist circumference.
• Attainable. This is very important – whilst we wouldn’t want to discourage you from aiming high, it’s important to appreciate that big results are achieved in a series of smaller steps. Break a big goal down into smaller chunks and realistically weigh up what you are willing to change, sacrifice, or make time for in order to achieve the end result.
• Relevant. Your goal must be relevant, most of all, to you, and part of the bigger picture of what you want in life. It’s got to fit with your values about how you live. Change is not easy, so choose a goal that you believe in and will benefit you.
• Time frame. You know how it’s easier to focus with a deadline looming? Same with goals. Say you’re interested in quitting smoking (good on you!) – give yourself a timeframe over which you cut down your smoking, and then a Quit Date, after which you do not smoke (if this is your goal, please come in and see our doctors – we are more than happy to help you make this fantastic change!).
As I said, many of us have plans for improving our health and wellbeing. At Moreland General Practice we would be delighted to assist you with yours. If you’re in the 45-49 year old age group, we would love to offer you a Health Assessment, which is a comprehensive consultation to assess and manage your risk of diabetes and chronic disease. These are often bulk billed by our doctors at their discretion (double check when making the appointment as to your doctor’s policy on this). They are also available to those aged over 75 years, but of course any one is welcome to come in for a check up and to discuss any of those concerns you may have kept on the back burner.
If you have a mental health issue that you’ve been struggling with, remember you are not alone and we are here to help and support you. Please come in and our doctors can arrange a mental health care plan for you, which gives you up to ten subsidised appointments with a psychologist of your choice.
All of our GPs are invested in your health and wellbeing and would love to support you in making positive new changes in 2017. Come in and let’s see what we can do to help you achieve your goals in this area.