Solution to Resolutions

February 2005

By: Scott R. Harden
It’s January, and it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution. What is your New Year’s resolution for 2005?

Here are the top ten most commonly made resolutions:
1. Improve my overall health
2. Lose weight
3. Exercise
4. Quit smoking
5. Quit drinking
6. Be a better person
7. Spend more time with the family
8. Be more organized
9. Get out of debt
10. Be more spiritual

It is interesting to note that of the ten most common resolutions, half of them are related to health and wellness. As the old saying goes, “if you have your health, you have all the riches you need”.

Health has greatly impacted our society. We are exposed to a deluge of health-related products and systems every day: Atkins Diet, Weight Watchers, South Beach Diet, Scarborough Diet (for those who can remember this one), Slim Fast, Metabolite, Apex, GNC, Jenny Craig, and a variety of health publications. As a society, we spend an enormous amount of time discussing wellness and making plans to improve our health.
So, what is the outcome for the highest majority of Americans trying to accomplish their New Year resolutions? Failure.

The following are some enlightening U.S. statistics:

  • Each year, approximately 300,000 deaths are directly attributed to obesity.
  • Approximately 97 million Americans are overweight.
  • About 66% of Americans are trying to lose weight at any given time.
  • Cardiovascular disease is responsible for 1 of every 3 deaths in men and women and is responsible for almost 1 million deaths each year in the U.S. alone.
  • Nearly 100 million adults in the U.S. are overweight and of these, approximately 40% are obese.
  • There has been a 58% increase in obesity among adults between the ages of 20-40 since 1990.
  • Alzheimer’s disease afflicts 1 in 10 people over 65 and almost one half of all people over 85.

The next question is why do most people fail at achieving the resolutions they make, leading to such devastating statistics as we observed above?
Most importantly, a resolution is a goal and must be treated as one. According to most opinion polls, less than 3% of individuals surveyed set goals. Goals must be written statements that are specific, realistic, and achievable. Therefore, if we carefully define our resolution, and write it down, we should succeed at achieving our resolution, which is logical, since we defined it in the first place.

Goal setting is one of the best ways to achieving success in any area of life, be it a New Year’s resolution, financial, business, family, health, or fun time. As a dentist, I perform this task every time I create a treatment plan for a patient; a goal is created, written down, and then achieved typically in stages.

There are key factors to creating a New Year’s resolution or goal:

Passionate: You must have a genuine desire to define and achieve this goal
Realistic: Your goal must be realistic in order to be achievable. Setting an unrealistic goal ensures failure.
Values: You should define and maintain a respectable set of values throughout the process of achieving your goal, so you do not compromise your beliefs and remain proud of your accomplishments.
Detailed: Create a clear definition of your goal/resolution, by date, quantity and quality; only then can you measure the success of your achievements.
Accountable: “Call a friend”. Discussing your results at a certain level of your goal (by date, quantity, etc.), allows you communicate and better focus on your progress.
Help: Goals are not always easily accomplished by yourself, and may require advise from others (friends or professionals).
Celebrate: A goal that requires the time and effort to achieve successful results and provided a good challenge should definitely be cause for celebration. This allows you to rejoice in the goal-setting process and plan another goal.

Making a New Year’s resolution or setting a goal is a very powerful technique that can yield strong results in all areas of your life. Goal setting will provide you long term vision, while providing you short-term motivation. Write down detailed, realistic goals you are passionate about and you will discover a great sense of pride as you achieve successful results. As amazing as it sounds, this will put you in the top 3% of people in the country, and therefore qualify you as a goal-setting expert.

The New Year’s resolution for Fountain View Family Dentistry is to provide wellness through nutrition to our patients. We are introducing a high quality line of neutraceutical supplements, based upon the latest scientific research, which are formulated to target specific health needs. Additional information will be presented in upcoming issues.

Happy New Year!