Your weight loss surgery journey does not end when you return home from the hospital. Rather, it has only begun. Keeping promises to yourself has never been more vital than now, when the choices you make directly affect the new body you are creating for yourself.
Around this time of year, there is always a lot of talk about goals and resolutions. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they are far from synonyms. When coming through for yourself, always consider how to make it as easy as possible. This process includes looking at the way you speak to yourself about your promises, or what you call them.
Goals and Resolutions, Decoded
Goals have a time limit. When achieved, they cease to be your goals anymore. Goals are also specifically achievable. An example of a goal that is relevant to weight loss might be “lose 30 pounds by such and such date. ”
Resolutions, on the other hand, are objectives that you promise to carry out in an extended manner over time. They do not, ideally, exhaust, but exist as habits that support and nourish you. A health-related resolution might be, “drink fresh juice 4 days each week” or run for 20 minutes every morning. Resolutions can continue for a lifetime, and may deepen as they become established parts of our routines.
How We Get Into Trouble
Goals in particular are both excellent plans for achieving our dreams, as well as feeling like dismal failures if we don’t. The problem with goals is often the time frame in which we promise to achieve them. If over-estimated, we may not achieve our goals at all and can easily engage in negative self-talk, which can lead to self-indulgence (trips to the fridge) and frustration.
However, because resolutions are better for maintaining long-term plans than achieving them, it may be best to set goals with flexible deadlines. This does not let you off the hook. A goal is a goal, and achieving it is obviously the point. However, consider that your body may require more dietary changes than you thought to achieve your goal loss, or you may experience a loss in the family and fall off the wagon for a few days.
What’s the point? If, with consistent effort and commitment, you do not achieve the goals you set out to, don’t panic. Adjust the goal and re-commit.
Another useful goal-tweak might be to evaluate your goals for realism. Are they realistic? If you set out to lose those 30 pounds in two weeks, failure is almost guaranteed without unhealthy measures, even during the early post-op phase, when a loss of 5 pounds per week can occur.
If a logical look at your goals does not shed enough light, consider asking a friend from your support group or counselor to help you review your goals for achievability. One quick discussion can go a long way to clarifying your goals and resolutions so you can create lasting change in your life.
Goals and resolutions both play a role in changing your life for the better. However, making sure both are realistic and supportive goes a long way to making your health and fitness dreams come true.