New Year’s resolutions. You either love them or hate them, but somehow we always end up setting a new goal every December or January. If your goal is to be a healthier new you in 2017, we’ve compiled a list of resolutions to consider, and tips so you can follow through and cross this year’s resolution off your list.
I will lose weight.
We’re listing this one first because it’s the most common, but it can also be the most challenging resolution. The key is to set a manageable ideal weight, and a write out a plan to make it happen. Divide your plan into chunks of time; you’ll achieve this weight by this date, and a lesser weight a few months later.
To carry out your plan, document the tactics to get you to that goal. Write down nightly walks or gym time in your planner, include it in phone calendar—whatever you need to do to make it actually happen. If better nutrition is part of your plan, write down your meal plan and keep writing it down so you have it in writing (it’s easier to follow through if you have a written plan).
As for an exercise plan, choose an activity that you like to do—or at least don’t mind. Yoga, nightly walks, swimming, training for a 5K…there are a lot of options for a healthier lifestyle. Choose an option you don’t mind so it’s easier to go. Ask a friend to train with you, go on walks, or take a class together. It’s easier to stick to your goal when you have someone else to encourage and commit with you.
I will quit smoking.
If you want to quit smoking, you need to look at your New Year’s resolution as a long-term effort. Renew your commitment to quit tobacco every day. Write down your reasons for quitting smoking or keep a picture of that someone special you’re quitting for, and keep it within easy reach so you can remind yourself when the cravings hit.
Throw out cigarettes, lighters, and any other reminders of your smoking routine. Don’t forget about “back-up” packs in your car or in your kitchen cabinets. Identify any times of the day, such as when you’re driving or having your coffee, when you usually smoke. Try to replace that part of your routine with another more positive activity, like taking a walk or working out.
Don’t feel that you have to quit the same way your friend or family member quit. Select the way that would work best for you. Let your family and friends know that you’re quitting; a support system is always helpful as you try to hit your goal.
I will make my health a priority.
When life gets busy, keeping appointments with your doctor, dentist, and eye doctor can take a backseat to whatever is more pressing at the time. But to stay healthy, you need to meet with the health care professionals in your life to make sure you stay healthy.
It only takes a few minutes to schedule your appointments online. No matter how crazy your schedule gets, resist the urge to cancel them. If you are afraid of the appointment, like a fear of the dentist, use these tips to overcome that fear.
I will eat healthier.
A resolution for a healthier diet in the new year starts with an evaluation of your present lifestyle. Where can you make improvements? Can you cut out—or cut down on—your soda intake? (It’s bad for your teeth anyways.) Can you replace your mid-day sweets with a healthier alternative?
If you want to stick to a diet plan, try to find a tried-and-true approach than the latest fad. If possible, try to take on the healthier diet with someone else so you are both committed to the change. You’re more likely to stick to your new year’s resolution if you have someone else to help you commit.