As the New Year approaches, the ideas of New Year’s resolutions bombard us from all fronts. New Year’s resolutions are made with good intentions, but are often too lofty for people to achieve. When we “fail” these goals, we are left feeling badly about ourselves, and, in turn, abandon the resolution all together and fall back on our old habits.
This does not need to be the case. When setting New Year’s resolutions, or any goal for that matter, it is important to keep in mind our values; that is, remember what is important to us, what drives us to be the people we are. Our eating disorder mind often drives much of our decisions, but try and focus on recovery-oriented values, one that drive us toward happy and healthy. Once we have established that, it becomes easier to set goals more focused goals that are in line with our values. Additionally, instead of setting large, broad goals, try set smaller more achievable ones. Breaking a resolution up into smaller, sometimes seemingly ridiculously small goals can help an individual make progress to the greater goal. One way that we like to do this is by creating what we call a SMART goal.
S is for specific—choose something concrete.
M is for meaningful—that is something important to the person making the goal. If the buy in comes from you, you are more likely to
keep working towards that goal.
A is for achievable- something that the individual believes they can do in the very near future.
R is for reasonable– keep it simple!
T is for time-specific– These types of goals can give a much clearer, more focused direction for the individual in order to reach that goal.
Once that goal has been reached, you are on your way to completing their resolution. Keep in mind: resolutions need not be only at New Year’s. It’s perfectly reasonable to keep working on smaller goals throughout the year. And if you “fall off track”, you get to start back over from that moment forward. Remember, they didn’t build Rome in a day. It was built in stages with bricks. These SMART goals can be your bricks.
This blog post was written by Gillian Sacks, LMSW, and Meghan Womack, RD, LD.