By Rob Morris on November 2, 2019
Many of us have great intentions for the new year. Resolutions with lofty goals around weight loss, smoking cessation, and increased exercise are common this time of year.
Unfortunately, after just 30 days, less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their New Year’s resolutions, and only 8% accomplish them, according to Forbes magazine.
Not very inspiring.
What if instead we made a “New Day’s” resolution, something that was simple and easy to accomplish? We don’t have to wait for 2020; we can start tomorrow with a commitment to increase our daily water intake by 8 ounces. Once that becomes a habit, we can make another New Day’s resolution to increase intake by 8 more ounces.
“Setting unrealistic goals is often met with failure,” notes Christina Bowen, MD, of The Outer Banks Hospital’s Center for Healthy Living (TCFHL). “Setting simple, attainable goals enables individuals to succeed, and it’s those little successes that help us make better lifestyle choices.”
While genetics plays a role in our predisposition to various health challenges, it doesn’t mean that they must be our destiny. Our future is in our hands when we make lifestyle choices.
“Living your best life comes down to behavior and choices made on a daily basis,” says Denise de Pedro, a certified health coach at TCFHL. “We have the potential to change our health by adjusting our approach to food, smoking, alcohol use, and managing stress.”
Making a shift in lifestyle, whether large or small, is never as easy as it sounds. “It’s important to focus daily on efforts and success,” notes Marielle Silk, FNP, of TCFHL. “Making something routine requires consistency, so it should be performed every day. Doing something just a few times a week makes it tougher to establish as a habit.”
Silk also noted that the first resolution may be the toughest, “Success builds on success, and once we experience it, the next shift comes a little easier. Before we know it, the small shifts have a noticeable impact on our quality of life.”
The graphic offers 10 positive lifestyle choices. Pick one. Start small, form the habit, and then make your next resolution. “It’s one thing to know what to do to stay healthy,” says Silk. “It’s another to actually make the choice. This is a great way to start.”
More Health Tips
1. Choose not to smoke. One of the most important lifestyle decisions is to quit smoking or choose not to start. Smoking causes cancer, emphysema, and heart disease.
2. Get an annual wellness checkup. Routine blood pressure checks, cancer screenings, and immunizations are all ways that help you stay on the wellness road.
3. Watch your weight. Carrying too much weight increases common disease risks as well as putting stress on your weight-bearing joints, which can contribute to arthritis.
4. Take care of your teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss, and adhere to regular checkups. Poor dental health can affect overall wellness.
5. Pay attention to your emotional well-being. Take time for yourself. The mind and body are naturally linked, and a healthy mental state affects how we handle stress and make choices.