30 Dec How to Reframe Your New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy, Successful 2017
Don’t set yourself up for failure by making goals that not even an Olympian could attain.
By Elaine Cox, M.D. | Contributor Dec. 28, 2016, at 9:56 a.m.
As the year ends, we start looking forward to making resolutions that improve our human condition in 2017. The most common New Year’s resolution is, of course, the ubiquitous “get healthy and stay fit,” which generally includes the dreaded diet.
There have been many fads to accomplish this superhuman feat over the last several decades including the all-tuna diet, multiple fat-burning drugs of questionable efficacy and the big favorite of stapling the ear lobe to curb any and all detrimental behaviors.
Although 60 percent of us make resolutions upon ringing in the New Year, only about 8 percent are successful. Perhaps it’s time to reframe our resolutions so that we have a fighting chance of seeing them through.
Firstly, the definition of “get fit and stay healthy “should not equate to pounds lost or marathons run. Interim improvements are extremely valid and more likely to lead to long-term success than an epic failure out of the gate.
To start, define what “getting healthy” means to you. Do you have the stamina to do the activities you enjoy with family and friends? Are you satisfied that you feel good about how you present to others? Keeping healthy and fit should feed your self-esteem, not lower it. Set reasonable goals. If you have not been a runner in the past, running four miles a day is not likely to happen. Rather, start with a goal like walking or exercising 20 percent more per month than you do right now. Be honest about your baseline and then set targets for each month until you feel great.
We know more about nutrition now than we ever have before. Look up the information and make a list of recommended foods and incorporate them daily. Start small, develop a taste and then make intentional increases monthly until the end of 2017. Chart your improvements so all the world, including you, can see success.
Focus on feeling better – not turning back time. If you are a smoker, stop. Whether it is cigarettes or vaping or anything related, the risk benefit-ratio is definitely to the negative. One in 15 cigarette smokers will die of cancer. Lung cancer kills more people annually than the other top three cancers combined. Vaping has been shown to deposit toxic chemicals directly into the lungs. For your own health and for your loved ones, make this a priority in the coming year.
Secondly, be a caregiver to yourself. In the U.S., about 43.5 million of us provide unpaid care to someone else every year. It is honorable; it is the right thing to do. But how many of us provide the self-care needed to sustain these efforts?
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