Millions of Americans will make resolutions, yet only about 8% are successful in achieving them. Why? Read on for some tips that will help you achieve your goals and stay healthy by connecting with your medical provider.
Make an explicit resolution rather than a general one
An explicit resolution is a clearly stated goal. A lot of people dream of being thin, running a marathon, or quitting smoking. But a dream only resides in our imagination until we turn it into a goal. A goal has direction and purpose. It is something that we are actively working towards.
The best way to formulate goals is by using the SMART approach. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timed. When we create goals with these issues in mind, we get a clear idea of the direction we need to take.
Specific: The #1 resolution is to “lose weight,” but what people actually want to lose is body fat—not bone, muscle, or water! Get specific with what you really want to accomplish.
Measurable: It’s helpful to have an amount or number to focus on. Our resolution might become “I want to lose 10 pounds of body fat.”
Realistic. Goals that are not realistic are seldom reached. You want your goals to be challenging, but you also want them to be possible. Setting impossible goals sets you up for failure, which can weaken your self-confidence. Expecting to lose 10 pounds in a week when 1-2 pounds is the safe, healthy average will just leave you disappointed.
Timed: When your mind is given a deadline to complete a task, something “kicks in” and you find a way to make it happen! A timed goal is very effective.
Action-oriented: The only thing we have control over are our actions. Creating a powerful goal like “I want to lose 10 pounds of body fat over the next two months” is a great start, but what day-to-day actions are going to get you there? Maybe you decide you’ll exercise 5 times a week for 30 minutes or eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Increasing the amount of water you drink is also helpful. Every time you set a daily action-oriented goal and achieve it, your self-confidence will get a boost, and you’ll be one step closer to success!
Next step: Consult your medical provider
Before making any changes that may affect your health, please consult with your primary care provider. They are your “go-to” resource! For instance, if you have diabetes or high blood pressure and are planning to eat less and exercise more, that’s fantastic but your provider should be consulted on these changes. Maybe you should start out slow and keep track of what you’re eating and how much you’re exercising. Bottom line, consult your primary care provider.
Don’t have a primary care provider (PCP)?
If not, now is the time to choose one. A PCP is the key to overall good health. You want to start by establishing a relationship with a clinician, such as a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant — someone who gets to know you personally. This will allow the provider to give you healthcare solutions that are specifically tailored to you. Your healthcare should be just as unique as you are. And don’t forget, should you need to see a specialist, your PCP can coordinate that care on your behalf.
This holds true for children. Whether you choose a physician who is board-certified in pediatrics or family medicine, they are prepared to care for your children under 18. At Finger Lakes Community Health, we also have medical professionals that treat the entire family.
After hours and chronic conditions
Your PCP will not only become familiar with your medical history but also your family’s. This is extremely important. That’s why we urge our patients to contact us even if it’s after hours – (315) 781-8448. For those who have hearing/speech disabilities, please call 711.
It’s never too late to take steps to improve your overall health. Your first step is to make an appointment with your medical provider and consult with our nutritionist. If you haven’t seen them in more than a year, now’s the time to do so. At Finger Lakes Community Health, we’re always here to help with your healthcare needs. Give us a call today, 315-531-9102.