With another year gone, it is that time of year again to promise yourself that you will eat healthily, hit the gym often, and fit into that outfit that you’ve been holding on to for years. In other words, it is that time to create those New Year’s resolutions. Here are some simple pointers from our providers to help you achieve your goals.
Rajae: My recommendation is moderation; it is about quantity and quality. I'd like you to focus on this in the new year. It is about what you eat and how much you eat. The critical point here is balance. I always tell my patients it is okay to treat themselves once in a while, but we only have one body, and we need to take good care of it so that it lasts in good health for an extended period.
Patty: All I can say is that a busy mind is a healthy mind. Taking up a hobby or keeping busy with other enjoyable interests may help to stick to your resolutions.
Focus on what you are putting on your plate. Aim for half the plate to be salads and the other half to be meat and carbohydrates. Also, try to exercise for 30 minutes a day at least four times a week. Exercise doesn't have to be heavy impact; it can be brisk walking or cycling. Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks as much as possible. It's ok to have your favorite beverage in moderation!
Create goals that focus less on a number and more on effort. Everyone wants to lose 50 lbs in 2 weeks, but let’s be honest, that will not happen. Instead of focusing on the amount of weight you will lose, focus on the effort you will put in to obtain your goal. For example, instead of saying, "I’m going to lose X lbs in Y amount of weeks," create a plan that states, "I am going to walk 3x/week and eat a salad 5x/week." This way, we focus on more obtainable, easily measured goals that we can be proud of when we accomplish. I suspect we will have surprising results with time, like losing 50 lbs.
Get your sleep! People often say that they will sleep when they are dead. Well, there is more truth to this than they might realize. In addition to the infinite amount of health benefits, sleep has also been shown to improve mood and help you make healthier, better decisions. Our sleep-deprived brains lead us down that ever-spiraling bad habit-forming drain. Focus on giving yourself healthy, consistent amounts of adequate sleep every night, and I think you will be surprised at how much more motivated and determined you will be.
Make your goals enjoyable. Now, I am not saying to make a goal to eat a donut every day for the next year (which sounds amazing, by the way.) However, I am saying to find a way to make your challenging, worthwhile goals fun. For example, choose a goal that you can do with a friend or family member. This way, you can commiserate and celebrate when you have ups and downs. Join a club/group/sport that provides structure, accountability, and camaraderie. Even create prizes for when you hit your milestones. Whatever it is, make it enjoyable. Life is too short to go through it grumbling all the way. Remove obstacles.
Being someone who often tries to force his way through success (and often fails, just ask my wife), worker smarter, not harder. We are trying to create an environment that will promote success, not failure. Quitting smoking is an accomplishment regardless of whether or not you have a pack of cigarettes lying around or not. If you can’t remove your obstacle, try to minimize it. If potato chips are your bane, put them in the basement or the cupboard above the fridge. Use your natural laziness (and let’s be honest, we all have it) to your favor. If you want to eat chips, you will have to get your lazy bum off the couch to get them.
Put yourself in an environment of success, free of obstacles. Don’t be afraid to try. Starting anything new is scary, but don’t let this fear prevent you from reaching your best self. Focus on the positives of all the potential good you have coming your way, and try to block out all the noise. If you still struggle with your fears of trying, talk to your provider at Lamprey Health Care. We are all here for you!
Wash your hands and wear your seatbelt! (And all those other things your mom told you!) Make small, obtainable goals that you can measure. instead of a goal of, “I will eat healthier,” think of, “I will walk 10 minutes every day” or “I will eat a fruit every day at lunch.” Check-in and don’t give up; set a reminder on your phone to check if you are achieving your goal. After one week, one month, or three months, if you are not doing it, then don’t give up, but maybe make it more obtainable. “I will eat fruit three days a week with lunch,” or “I will walk at least three days a week.” Don’t forget your flu shot. Remember, you can call Lamprey Health Care and make a nurse visit to get it done. Influenza in this area is raging now, and one of the best ways to stop the spread is by getting immunized.
Instead of having one significant health goal for the year (which can be quite daunting), think of smaller, more attainable goals you can work towards each month to help you succeed at your big goal for the year.