…Make a Plan
C hances are, at some point in your life, you’ve made a new year’s resolution. Maybe it was the desire to lose weight. Exercise more. Improve your diet. Stop worrying so much. Smile more. Get rid of a few wrinkles. Most of us have resolved one or more of these things in the past, even if we haven’t said them out loud or put them in writing. Unfortunately, the reality is that all too often, by January 31st, those new year’s resolutions seem like they were made in the distant past. Now, we’re certainly not saying that resolutions are a bad thing. After all, aspiring to improve ourselves is commendable, and reaching our goals is a reason to celebrate. However, there’s one important thing we need to help us stick with our resolutions and achieve our goals…we need a plan.
First Things First…Setting Goals
Let’s start at the beginning. Before we can develop a plan, we need to determine what our goals are for the new year. What are you hoping to accomplish this year, and how might improvements in your physical, mental, or aesthetic health help you? For example, you may very well want to lose some excess weight, but what is your motivation for wanting to do so? Is it so you can be more active with your family and friends? So you can take that vacation you’ve been dreaming about? Do you just want to feel satisfied when you look in the mirror? If you’re struggling with anxiety, do you want to overcome it so you can be more comfortable in new social settings? To pursue a new job opportunity? So you’re not so irritable around your family? Understanding our motivations for wanting to change can be just as important as our goals, themselves. Don’t forget, your physical, mental, and aesthetic health are interrelated, so successes in one area may very well lead to improvements in others.
When you’re setting your goals, be sure to make them specific enough so you can develop a plan to achieve them and measurable enough so you can celebrate your successes along the way. For example, you may want to lose ten pounds, but on what timeline, and is that timeline reasonable or does it pose risks to your health? While general goals like “lose ten pounds” are a good start, your chances for success improve when your goal is more specific, for example, “I’d like to lose ten pounds by March 31st, losing about one pound per week,” or “I’d like to address a social anxiety concern with a counselor, so I can attend a concert with my friends in May of 2020. Specific goals like these not only give you a target and a timeline, but they also allow you to celebrate along the way. If you lose four pounds by the end of January or you’re able to attend a concert before your goal date, celebrate your early success!
Your Healthcare Provider Can Help You Plan
Remember, “slow and steady wins the race,” and the same is often true when it comes to planning for improvements to your physical, mental, or aesthetic health. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about your goals and ask for help in developing a plan to achieve them. Your provider can help you determine if your goals are realistic and that they don’t pose a risk to your health (such as in our weight loss example above). Your provider should be able to offer you educational resources to help you develop a plan for success, and she/he can also refer you to other specialists (e.g., dietitian, nutritionist, counselor, etc.) who may provide additional support.
Another benefit of developing a plan with your provider is that it may allow you to budget your healthcare dollars more effectively. Many people are concerned with the potential cost of out-of-pocket medical expenses posed by deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance. By developing a plan with your provider, especially for diagnostic testing services, elective procedures, and aesthetic services (which are typically paid out of pocket), you can begin to budget your healthcare dollars and become a more savvy consumer of healthcare.
New Year. New You.
If you’ve struggled with new year’s resolutions in the past, then try something different this year. Work with your healthcare provider to set goals for success, develop a plan, and gain access to resources that can help you succeed. From all of us at Rudoy Medical, Happy New Year, and best wishes for your health and happiness in 2020!