R.V. Doon

Resolution Walls, Weight Loss, and Goals

I hope everyone has enjoyed their holiday time. Now, back to the grindstone!

This is the first year I haven’t written New Year’s resolutions. I’ve finally figured out it isn’t a rite of passage that is tied to getting a raise. Besides, I forget my resolutions or should I say ignore them? The beauty of New Year’s resolutions are in their dream like bliss. You can go to sleep and forget them.

In downtown Mobile for the New Year festivities a crowd favorite was at the Reach For the Moon Resolution Wall. Here the crowds could write their resolutions down in a public place and for all to see while eating a piece of a giant MoonPie. As anyone knows, you can’t eat just one bite from a MoonPie. Duh. Weight loss was the number one resolution written down. Wow, what a surprise. Will the resolution wall remain standing for the whole year? I’ll check back on that since I don’t know. Resolution walls are a catchy trend for the evening but have no power over changing anyone’s behavior.

I’ll bet there are thousands of resolutions printed on paper and taped to walls or refrigerators in households across America. This year RV’s wall is free of resolutions but it does have 2013 writing goals and personal goals. So what is the difference between a goal and a resolution?

Maybe my brain is warped from years of failed resolutions, but I place resolutions in the dream category. Wait, you’re thinking, aren’t resolutions actions? Technically yes, but after years of weight loss failure and not making super model status, I think resolutions are dreams. One day resolutions are doomed to fail in my experience.

To me a goal is more actionable. I can break a goal into mini-steps. As many mini-steps as I want. First, I’ve listed tiny actions that I fold into my routine every day. For instance, my drink will be water from noon until bedtime. No meat breakfast and no snacking after 6 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. In other words, I phase a goal into my life by using painless small steps instead of painting a final product in broad brush strokes. The secret I think is to evaluate progress on a weekly or monthly scale.

In Body Wave, Reece Carson the protagonist, solves her big mystery by writing out a nursing care plan. Reece is a nurse entrepreneur and she’s found a way to make the dreaded nursing care plan a tool. Basically, a nursing care plan is a goal setting plan that is evaluated by the individual nurse or groups of nurses taking care of patients. The problems and actions are updated on a regular basis. In healthcare a medical diagnosis has well known symptoms, but not everyone experiences all of them. Nurses make a nursing diagnosis to correct the problems or alleviate the symptoms. So each nursing diagnosis includes nursing actions and time lines that go along with it. The ideal care plan has several symptoms and goals listed for each diagnosis with an attached end date or an improvement. Ideally, by the time a patient is discharged the problems on the care plan are resolved.

So basically, I wrote an individualized  nursing care plan for my personal goals and writing goals. The catch is to daily review the goals, set an end date, and then move on to the next level.

It’s about making change a daily part of my life and evaluating the actions as I go.  This is a tenant of the Twelve Step programs as well–one day at a time.

The bottom line is resolutions are like dreams or ideals and we can’t control them, but we can define our goals and list our actions to follow to be successful. With goals you can celebrate many success along the way.  It will be funny if all these years of failed resolutions turns into success for me because I adopted  a nursing care plan approach. I hear nurses cracking up, hey, hope you’re laughing with me.

I’d like any and all tips a reader has to offer to be successful. Are you a goal or resolution type? Don’t be shy share your winning tips with others.


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