Enjoy a Healthier You

Resolutions New Year's

What are your hopes and expectations for improving your health in the new year? Have you set any New Year’s resolutions to achieve your goals?

A common health resolution for Americans is to lose weight, but there are many others:

  • start a fitness program or be more faithful in following an established exercise plan
  • get seven to eight hours of sleep each night
  • eat more nutritious meals and cut back on take-out foods
  • quit smoking
  • reduce and manage stress
  • control anger

According to national experts, more than 59 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.

While most individuals start with great aspirations, many resolutions are abandoned within a month. For success in reaching your goals in 2011, consider these seven suggestions:

  1. Set realistic goals—identify mini goals to help you gradually achieve your ultimate goal and make sure the timeline for reaching the resolution is practical
  2. Make simple resolutions – select two or three things to work on and celebrate when they are accomplished; then set new resolutions to work on during the rest of the year
  3. Identify resolutions with controllable outcomes – before making a resolution, evaluate if you can control all of the factors involved; set goals for habits and responses you can manage
  4. Be accountable for the resolution results – share your resolutions with friends and family so they can encourage you in reaching your goal; find a friend with similar resolutions and motivate each other toward the successful achievement of your goals
  5. Take advantage of supportive programs – many employers offer wellness programs to encourage employees to pursue healthy lifestyles; take advantage of these opportunities to improve your health
  6. Monitor and celebrate your progress – record each mini goal achieved toward your resolution; ticking off small accomplishments will help keep you motivated to reach the final goal
  7. Be persistent – it takes 21 days of consistent practice for a new habit to take root; don’t give up if you fail one day, just start over again