Noreta’s New Office and Your New Year’s Resolution

It is never too late for a new beginning! It is thanks to good luck, helpful consultants, and prayers that Noreta is now settled in a new office. We (my husband and I) were able to move in the weekend I received my 2nd COVID vaccination, so despite having experienced the expected vaccine side effects, we were able to get it done! Thank you to Tim McClendon, interior designer extraordinaire, for helping to make the office feel more like a home. I just wish I could have celebrated with more than just my husband! Perhaps Noreta will host a one-year celebration instead!

Did you have a plan for a new beginning in 2021 as well? Perhaps a New Year’s resolution? Since we are nearly 2 months into the new year I have to ask if you have stuck to your New Year’s resolution. Perhaps it’s time to take another look at that resolution and see if it was a “SMART” goal. Research shows that the SMART method of setting goals can be applied to improve your chances of making beneficial health changes.

Rethink Healthcare 2021

What is it that you want to change in your life in 2021? Stop smoking? Quit drinking? Exercise more? Change your career? Let’s use the SMART method to assess your resolution. Is your resolution:

  • Specific?
    • Be as specific as possible. “Start exercising” is often not specific enough. How often are you going to exercise, what are you going to do?
  • Measurable?
    • Are you going to count how many cigarettes you smoked at the end of the day and write it on a calendar? How about keeping track of how much money you spend (daily/weekly) on cigarettes and watching that amount decrease during your quitting process?
  • Attainable?
    • Is this goal realistic? Where is your motivation coming from? If you want to change your career, do you have the training/experience/education to be able to do that?
  • Relevant?
    • How will the change improve your life? How will this change improve the lives of your family? Does this goal fit into the long-term picture of what you want your future life to look like?
  • Timely?
    • When do you want to achieve your goal? It is often good to set a big goal (e.g. to quit smoking by April 1) but then set more achievable short term goals (e.g. cut back by 2 cigarettes per day each week). Think about setting daily or weekly goals that will make you feel good when you achieve them!

Some of my patients may recognize these questions, as I often ask these questions when we talk about goal setting in the office. I can’t count the number of times a patient says they want to lose 20 lbs. However, asking them the SMART questions really makes them think!

You don’t need to wait for Jan. 1 each year in order to make significant and positive life changes. However, it’s probably not wise to just jump right in without setting up a plan first. I hope the SMART way of thinking about goal setting sets you up for success!

If you would like help setting goals to improve your life, give Noreta Family Medicine a call at 803-667-4190 or email

Melissa Boylan, MD, FAAFP