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Setting SMART Goals

2021: a time to start fresh! COVID-19 made 2020 difficult, but I believe in making the most out of difficult situations. We need to get out of the mindset of thinking we’ll eat better or start exercising once COVID-19 is over. Due to social distancing and having fewer opportunities to dine out with family and friends, we now have more time to plan meals, try new recipes and exercise from the comfort of our homes. When things feel out of control, we need to control the things we can.  Building a new structure and setting goals that work within our current circumstances are part of that.

No matter where you are on your weight loss journey, goals are necessary. It’s never too late to start or get back on track.

Why Is Setting a Goal Important?

  • Goal setters have about 18 times more success than those who do not set goals.
  • Goals give you something to work toward.
  • Goals can help you set priorities.
  • Goals help you concentrate your time and effort.
  • Goals are the roadmap to take you from where you are to where you want to be.

Goal setting to help improve your health starts with establishing a plan.

Create a Plan. Write out your goals.  If it’s not in writing, it’s not a goal, it’s a dream. Writing down your goals keeps them clear in your mind and helps hold you accountable.

Make sure your goals are SMART!

“S” Be SPECIFIC when setting your goal: I want to consume 60-90 grams of protein per day.

“M” Make sure your goal is something MEASUREABLE: I will read food labels for the protein content, weigh my meats and track my intake manually or on apps, such as MyFitnessPal, Baritastic or Lose It.

“A” Make sure your goal is also ATTAINABLE: I need to use a concentrated protein shake containing 30 grams of protein if I’m unable to meet my protein goals while using a 15-20 gram protein shake.

“R” Your goal must also be REALISTIC: I will consume 15 grams of protein approximately every 3 hours in 5-6 small meals per day to consume a total of 75-90 grams of protein per day.

“T” Goals need to be TIMELY: I will consume 60-90 grams of protein no later than two hours before bedtime each night.

Maybe you have a long-term goal that you would like to reach. Breaking a goal into more attainable short-term goals helps you reach milestones on your journey. Starting small and working on achieving them will help build confidence. If you make the goal too big, you might feel defeated before you even start.

Here is an example to break a goal into segments: I will walk 10,000 steps per day for good cardiovascular health.

  • Short term goal: Starting January 1, I will walk a minimum of 2,500 steps daily and increase by a minimum of 500 steps each month until June 1, 2021.
  • Intermediate goal: I will walk a minimum of 5,000 steps per day by June 1, 2021 and increase by a minimum of 1,000 steps each month afterwards.
  • Long-term goal: I will walk a minimum of 10,000 steps daily by December 31st.

Have a Back-up Plan

Make sure you have a backup plan should problems arise. 

Examples:  I will use an exercise DVD or YouTube video if it’s too hot or cold to walk outdoors or if it’s rainy.  I have healthy frozen options in my freezer in case an unexpected circumstance makes it difficult for me to cook.

Ask Yourself Why These Goals Are Important to You

Be sure you clearly know your WHY. Take the time to write out your reasons.  Refer to the list regularly.  You will be surprised by how quickly you can lose sight of your ‘WHY’ with the busyness of life.

Ask Yourself What Items You Will Need to Reach Your Goals

Identify what tools will you need to keep you on track and successful. Examples might include: good sneakers, a water bottle, a planned time to prepare meals for the week, containers to portion meals, Bariatric vitamin and minerals and high protein products (which can be purchased from our Envision Nutricnter Store).

Need Help Supporting These Goals?

Remember, you are not on this journey alone. All members of the Bariatric Surgery & Medical Weight Loss team are here to help you succeed with both your short-term and long-term goals. Research shows that patients who follow-up with their bariatric surgery team and attend support group meetings typically have the greatest successes

  • Fitness Specialist, Joelle Sevio, is available for fitness sessions (by calling 919-350-8613).
  • Registered Dietitians help you work toward your nutrition goals. Patients of Drs. Bovard, Bruce, Enochs and Pilati, can call 919-234-4468 for up an appointment. Patients of Drs. Roy, Villanueva and Chung can call 919-350-7000 for an appointment.
  • Your Providers (which can include your Psychologist, licensed counselor, NP, PA, surgeon, and Bariatrician) are here to support your goals.
  • The Bariatric Surgery Support Group meets the second Wednesday of each month from 6:30-8:00pm. The group is currently meeting in a virtual format due to COVID-19.

About Trish Vulpis, RD, CSOWM, LDN

Trish Vulpis is an experienced registered dietitian specializing in bariatric patients. She earned her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Auburn University. She is board certified in Obesity and Weight Management and has over three decades of experience as a dietitian. Trish has a passion for helping patients meet their individual needs through one-on-one counseling sessions. Her goal is to empower patients to recognize their diet challenges and provides them with the tools to achieve a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.