Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick

The teams at Sierra View Medical Center wish you a Happy New Year. The beginning of the year is a great opportunity to reflect on the successes and challenges from the previous year and set new goals for the year ahead. Here are five insights to help you along the way from our Outpatient Clinical Dietitian, Melissa M. Williford, RD, LMNT.

  1. DREAM BIG: Huge goals are captivating and often inspire you to keep going. Think long-term here, such as losing 50 pounds, fitting into the clothes you once loved or completing a marathon.
  2. SMALLER GOALS: The smaller steps in your day-to-day life that move you towards that big goal are just as important. Start with a couple of sure-fire goals because meeting your first few will give you the confidence to push forward through some of the more difficult goals ahead. When planning your goals think SMART. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
  3. REAL COMMITMENT COUNTS: Make yourself accountable through a written promise to others. Put money on the line if that’s what it takes. This will force you to get through the really tough times.
  4. REWARD YOURSELF: Be sure to reward yourself for the small goals you meet too, not just the big ones! Be sure the reward is not food-based, though. Some examples might include purchasing a new pair of pants, getting a massage, taking a day trip to the beach, or spending the evening at home watching movies or enjoying a bath.
  5. LEARN FROM THE PAST: Any time a smaller goal didn’t work out is a chance to learn. What did and didn’t work in relation to that goal? Maybe it was too big and needs to be broken down into smaller goals. For example, let’s say you made the goal of exercising for 30 minutes each morning but realized you can’t seem to hit it on busy days. To break that goal down into smaller chunks, you could do two 15-minute exercise sessions instead – one before work and one after work.

Go ahead and set your goals today and don’t wait until you reach them to be proud of yourself. Allow yourself to feel proud of every step you take toward reaching your goals and remember that you can always take a moment to assess how you’re doing as well as make necessary adjustments.

Outpatient Clinical Dietitian, Melissa M. Williford, RD, LMNT, is an expert at helping community members make lifestyle changes to help manage chronic conditions as well as reach health goals through personalized meal-planning, diabetes education, and other services. Melissa is accepting new patients to SVMC’s Nutritional & Physical Education Program (NEAP) at our Community Wellness Center. To learn more, visit