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  • Writer's pictureSophia Kamveris, MS, RDN

What's Your Fit?



This is the time of year that New Year’s resolutions and goals start circulating the airways. It always amazes me that the turn of a calendar (ahem, a piece of paper) shifts everyone’s mind set into a new stratosphere. Reboots, renewed inspirations, and a blaze of motivation fills the air. So, this got me to thinking (as it always does at this time of the year) what’s so great about December 31st to elicit such a response in people’s behaviors? Not to copycat Groundhog Day, but maybe everyday should December 31st?


I’m not going to share tidbits of ways to change or things to do differently this year —there’s tons of blogs on the Internet for that. But I do want to take a few minutes to talk about that four letter word—GOAL. Since we were kids, it’s that ‘thing’ that is forefront in our personal and academic lives. It’s kind of like that brass ring on the carousel that brings you a reward when you grab onto it. It’s hanging out there.


The dictionary definition of a goal is as follows:

  • Merriam-Webster: the end toward which effort is directed.

  • Oxford Languages: the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.


This got me to thinking more on how goals influence our lives. Do goals frame ones success in life? And dare I ask, how does one measure success? And, are dreams different than goals? A whole other blog discussion, for sure, and maybe a conversation starter in very awkward social situations when the silence is deafening….LOL.


I polled a group of colleagues (dietitians) on their viewpoints of what goals mean to them. Here are a few of their responses:


  • Goals need to be evaluated and adjusted frequently. It's just not a once a year thing to think about. 


  • I think goals are great when we start small; then we add some bigger ones.


  • Goals lead to outcomes and goals should be stated in the clients’ own words. As a coach, you need to help clients with accountability and to practice actions daily in order to elicit long-term behavior change. 


  • Goal outcomes are one thing but daily actions/behaviors are where it's all at. I like to emphasize progress, not perfection when helping clients with goals.


  • Goals are great to have; maybe use the SMART goals for people to relate. Also focus on not giving up— just restart.


  • I like to look at strategy versus goals. 


As a follow up to one of the notations above, the SMART in SMART goals is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. The sequence was developed in 1981 as a corporate program to provide the tools to help achieve and successfully reach a goal. Here’s a link if you want to learn more about them. [https://www.smartsheet.com/blog/essential-guide-writing-smart-goals]


I think all of the dietitian recommendation are important but I want to talk about the last bullet. Strategy. I think you can have all the goals in the world sketched out on paper, but if there’s no plan on how to reach them, then you can get lost in your journey. That’s where a dietitian or coach can help you. As one patient told me, “You are the compass.” Don’t rely on technology (or AI) to guide you. Those modalities simply rely on prompts and can’t personalize what your own needs are. 


As I have gotten older, I have shifted my viewpoint on my own, personal goals. I don’t think goals are bad, they just aren’t for me these days. I find myself as more of a “to do list” person. I find this a more tangible measure of achievement; crossing off stuff on a list makes me feel so accomplished!


Be mindful of how you react to achieving your own goals. I have many patients that set up goals and when they aren’t reached, they feel guilty…some actually think they are disappointing ME when they don’t reach them. 


I think it’s important to know what system works best for you. It reminds me of a toddler’s wooden puzzle whose design is a geometric collection of colorful circles and squares. Finally, after several rounds of trying [and lots of frustration], they eventually find the right fit. So will you!



In Good Health and Happy New Year!

Sophie 

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