- 37% Stay fit and healthy.
- 32% Lose weight.
- 28% Enjoy life to the fullest.
- 25% Spend less, save more.
- 19% Spend more time with family and friends.
- 18% Get organized.
- 16% Will not make any resolutions.
- 14% Learn something new, new hobby.
- 14% Travel more.
- 12% Read more.
What we know about these resolutions is that fewer than 90 percent of people keep their New Year’s resolution, and a third don’t make it to the end of January. It’s easy to make a resolution, but how can you make one that sticks?
You may have heard about SMART goals in the past. These are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time oriented. Peter Drucker and George Duran created SMART goals to enhance productivity in the workplace. Somewhere along the line we adopted this strategy as a personal one to help us lose weight, stop smoking and exercise more. If these haven’t worked for you in the past, consider setting a WOOP goal in 2016.
A WOOP goal is more human psychology, behavior based and focuses on what motivates us on a personal level. Positive thinking, visualizing what success looks and feels like, how you get there, and how to overcome the obstacles and temptations along the way are all part of WOOP goal making. However it’s a little more in depth then clicking your red sparkle shoes together three times, saying “I want to go home” and walla, your back in Kansas. Here are the four steps to WOOPing it up.
- Wish. What is your wish? It needs to be one that is specific and realistic. Let’s take the example of staying fit, healthy and losing weight since that’s statistically what the Nielsen Report suggests the majority (69%) of us resolve to do better. As a Registered Dietitian, I can tell you that a realistic weight loss goal may vary from ½ to 2 pounds per week, depending on your starting point, age, gender and other factors. Many of my clients want to lose weight before Spring Break. For some, this may mean 6 pounds over the next 12 weeks, while for others it could mean 24, but the common goal of 30-50 pounds isn’t realistic or healthy for any of us.
Many of us underestimate the amount of time it takes to achieve a goal. This unrealistic optimism in turn makes us feel like a failure when we don’t stick to our resolution or have setbacks. Conversely, when we beat the deadlines we feel like winners and it rallies on to even more success! Remember slow and steady wins the race so give your self more time.
- Outcome. What does 100% success look and feel like? What is the most important thing to you about this goal? What happens to your world when you achieve this goal? For example:
- I successfully maintain my weight loss because it is such hard work to lose weight and don’t ever want to repeat the weight regain and loss cycle again!
- I don’t feel like I’m starving all of the time or missing out on my favorite foods. I can enjoy a little of them without over indulging or gaining my weight back.
- My food choices range beyond carrot and celery sticks and buckets of water.
- I don’t have to exercise for hours on end to lose and maintain my weight loss at the expense of my family, work and “me time”.
- I can be more active with my grandchildren because my lighter weight no longer slows me down, I don’t huff and puff to keep up and my joints don’t ache as much.
- Obstacle. What has derailed your success in the past? How will you overcome it this time? Is it time, a person, a place, thing or a combination of all? For example:
- What time of the day is most problematic to your eating such as mid afternoon or night eating in front of the TV or while reading a book.
- Do you have trouble carving out time in the day to exercise?
- Do you get adequate rest or are you contantly running on low sleep?
- Is there a group of friends that you meet up with regularly at a restaurant followed by movie, popcorn and drinks?
- Do you have a spouse who loves you the way you are and maybe isn’t supportive of changing up dinner plans to accomodate your weight loss goals?
- Plan. Based on your obstacles, create a plan using a series of if/then statements.
- If I have to bring work home, then I will exercise 30 minutes after work before I get home or build it in as an evening break to refresh my mind.
- If the kids have play dates that keep me running from pillar to post, then I will sport a water bottle and an apple, granola bar or nuts in my purse to take the curb off my hunger.
- If cooking for one or two doesn’t motivate me to spend time in the kitchen, then I’ll buy a new cookbook or subscribe to a healthy cooking magazine so that I am more inspired.
- If my spouse complains that they don’t want to be on a diet too, I’ll use a smaller plate or cook their favorites with a healthy twist.
- If the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day or the kids’ winter break has derailed my efforts in the past, then I will plan to be more active during these times, learn new healthy appetizer dishes or enjoy a small portion of chocolate instead of overindulging and regretting the aftermath.
Yes, just as you might have already suspected, there’s a free WOOP app ready for you to download to your Smartphones to help keep you on track. Yet better than an app, enlist the support of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to help you successfully achieve your health and wellness goals permanently. Toss out the fad diets and weight loss gimmicks that are currently lining grocery store shelves. Avoid the cleanses, tabloid shakes and pills and certain to be released celebrity latest and greatest weight loss book. WOOP it up with me instead!
Finally, enlist the support of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for help in achieving your health and wellness goals. Toss out the fad diets and weight loss gimmicks that line our grocery store shelves this time of year and WOOP it up with me instead!