Author: Michele Butler Gilbert, Program Manager, RiseVT-Addison County

The New Year seems to blow in with noise-makers and parties! And, reflectively, many of us look back over our previous year of life with thoughtful questions.

  • What are my priorities and goals?
  • How is my health?
  • What could I think about doing differently this year?

And from this introspection and self-diagnosis, we often develop New Year’s Resolutions. And from New Year’s Resolutions we often encounter… disappointment. Not surprisingly, according to U.S. News & World Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.

Failure and disappointment? Why?  The reason we tackle New Year’s Resolutions is to improve ourselves. Many of these resolutions are related to our health and well-being—a great preponderance of these are related to weight loss. So what can we do to make resolutions stick? At RiseVT we encourage everyone to play more, eat well, and feel good. RiseVT wants everyone to be healthier—and to have fun becoming healthier. And that just may be the glue to help those resolutions stick—enjoying the process of change.

Let’s talk about revamping our resolutions to increase our chance of success.  It’s March, let’s revisit our New Year’s Resolutions while there is still time for positive change in 2019. Let’s talk about SMART Goals and let’s be sure to incorporate the RiseVT philosophy—and enjoy becoming healthier.

Smart Goals are:
What exactly do you want to accomplish? Choose an action-oriented goal that is meaningful to you.
How will you know when you have reached your goal? Track your steps toward the goal. Define incremental success.
Be Realistic, is attaining this goal realistic with effort and commitment?
Why is this goal important to you? Delve into why it matters
Set a start and end date, and monitor progress along the way.

Setting Goals in the RiseVT spirit:

  • Choose a specific Fun-Goal! If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, a Fun-Goal can be to dance a bit each day to burn calories. The important thing is to include activities that make you smile—it makes it easier to stick to the plan.
  • Measure your success in novel ways: Are you laughing more? Are you sleeping better?
  • Keep your goals simple and achievable. Back to that ten pounds you want to lose-your initial goal could be to lose 2-3 pounds. A little success early leads to larger accomplishments.
  • Surround yourself with those who support you or share your goals. Ask your best friend to be your walking buddy and hit the sidewalk or trail together. Or, do a virtual walk together: Phone-a-Friend to say you are leaving for your walk, a check-in is a good reinforcement.
  • Be social—there is power in groups who are like-minded. Join classes, clubs, include family, friends and pets!

When it comes to setting healthy New Year’s Resolutions ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is really important to me? Peel it down and get to the core of what is motivating to you. Relevance is key.
  • How can I make this a fun task? Make it fun and you will stick with it.
  • How often will I revisit my resolution so it stays current and pertinent? Don’t let your resolutions wane, keep up the excitement by revisiting, reworking and refreshing on a schedule- perhaps once a month.

Napoleon Hill once said “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Give your New Year’s resolutions a timeline and some playfulness, a’ la RiseVT, and you hold the secret to achieving what’s important to you. Here’s to 2019—may all your resolutions come true!