4 Health Resolutions for 2018
By Jesse Lewis, PT, DPT
Yes, it’s that time of year again. When you have already read 7 blogs on what health resolutions you should make for 2018. It’s overwhelming, and it’s hard to decide what resolutions to make this year. And then once you pick your resolution, how do you stick with it for the whole year? Instead of offering up ideas like “Run your fastest 10K” or “Lose 10 pounds”, I wanted to offer 4 health resolutions that will help keep you healthy throughout the year. They are also ways that will help you keep your other resolutions and goals you have set.
Be 10% Better
One of the biggest reasons that health goals and resolutions fail is because we set our goals too high. If it’s a long-term goal or a goal that seems too hard to get to, it’s much easier to get frustrated after a month or two. Instead, make smaller goals that can build on each other. So instead of completely changing your lifestyle or your goal, make small changes every month. Want to eat healthier? Start with 1 or 2 meals per week that you put all your effort into making healthy. Want to exercise more? Add 10 minutes to the workouts you already are doing or add 1 day per week.
Do Something You Enjoy
You will have much more success sticking with a health goal or a resolution if you are doing something you enjoy. If you look at your goal every week with horror, it gets harder and harder to stay motivated. So instead of picking a workout or exercise that you don’t enjoy, but “guarantees” weight loss, get involved in something that you like. If you are a social butterfly, join a group exercise class or group exercise gym. If you are strapped for time and barely have time to leave the house, you could find an exercise DVD or YouTube workout. If your goal is to eat more vegetables, pick 1 or 2 that you won’t have to hold your nose when you eat them.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
It’s much easier to stop health problems before they begin, rather than when they become a big problem. Get a regular checkup with your doctor. See your dentist for your 6-month checkup. Ask a physical therapist for an evaluation of strength and flexibility to stop injuries before they start. See a nutritionist to assess if there are any holes in your diet. You don’t have to do all of those next week, but they are all great ways to stop health issues before they start.
Don’t Let a Setback Ruin Your Year
Everyone has setbacks. Maybe you had a week of bad eating because of a few parties or entertaining out of town guests. Maybe you missed a week at the gym because work was crazy. It’s OK. It happens. One week of bad eating or no exercise isn’t going to ruin your fitness or health goal for the year. Just don’t let that one week get you down or frustrated. It only becomes a problem when you let that one week turn into two, three, a month. Ease back into it next week and you’ll never know the difference in a month.