It seems that with the start of a New Year we celebrate by setting a goal to do something to better ourselves. We call it our New Year’s resolution. But, resolutions can be hard to keep. Many resolutions are aimed at improving health. Only about 63% of people report keeping their resolution after two months. What can you do to improve your chances of succeeding?
- Pick one resolution that is important to you and focus on that one.
- Pick a resolution that is achievable and realistic. Write down what you expect to achieve.
- Pick a resolution that has a specific outcome that is achievable.
- Don’t choose the same resolution every year, especially if you failed at that one in the past.
- Prepare yourself before starting your effort to change. Make a plan on how you will succeed with short term goals that will lead to your long term goal.
- Recruit family and friends that can support you or join you in working to achieve your goal.
Here are some specific examples of things you might decide to do with some suggestions on how to be successful:
- Stop smoking (this is the number one thing that any smoker can do to improve their health). Call 1-800-quit-now or go to www.Quitline.org for help. Set a date to quit. Contact your provider to discuss possible medications to help.
- Lose weight. Pick a high calorie food to eliminate from your diet like French fries, pizza, or regular soda. Start counting calories. Eliminate bedtime snacks. Use smaller plates and smaller portions.
- Become more active. Join a health club. Park farther away so you get walks in when you go to work or shop. Use the stairs instead of elevators. Sign up for a run/walk event.
- Reduce stress. Make a budget and stick to it, live within your means. Schedule time to do something that you enjoy doing regularly. Don’t over extend yourself.
- Improve relationships. Communicate effectively. Commit to sit down to eat with the people you care on a regular schedule with no distractions. Show forgiveness and look to the future rather than the past.
- Improve your spiritual health. Join a church. Read inspiring books. Volunteer.
These are just a few ideas, I’m sure you can think of more. Have a Happy New Year and stay healthy my friends.
By: P. Michael Shattuck, M.D. – Community Health Network Family Physician