Keeping it simple is a great way to stick with your resolutions
Do you tend to make New Year’s resolutions that are too ambitious? Do you find that you’ve forgotten about them before January is even over? If that’s the case, why not try starting small?
Here are 5 examples of “small” resolutions that can potentially lead to big changes if you stick with them. Pick one or two of them, and give them a try! Or choose your own small resolutions and try to stick by them for the whole year!
Resolution #1: Put on your walking shoes
Many people set very high exercise goals for themselves in the near year. They join gyms and purchase new exercise gear, and hit the ground running. That’s great if you can keep it up, but if you can’t, it might be better to start small. Simply add some walking to your daily routine, and make small increases every week, and before you know it, you will have a lot of miles under your feet! Here are some tips for “sneaking in” extra walking:
- Park farther away from your destination and walk.
- Take the stairs whenever you can.
- Take a walk as a stress reliever; listen to your favorite music as you walk.
- Walk with a friend, instead of going to a bar or restaurant.
- In bad weather, walk the perimeter of the mall.
- Consider getting a pedometer so you can track how many steps you take.
Once you have a regular walking routine, you might even feel inspired to add some more challenging exercise. But even if you don’t, walking is still better than sitting on the sofa!
Resolution #2: Get your yearly checkup
When is the last time you went to the doctor? If you are not getting regular checkups, this easy task should be one of your resolutions. A regular physical can screen for serious illnesses like heart disease or high blood pressure, allowing you to get treatment while it’s still early. And women, remember to have a yearly appointment with your gynecologist. Here are some of the tests that you can expect as part of your physical:
- Cholesterol screening
- Blood pressure measurement
- Blood sugar test
- Mole assessment (to check for skin cancer)
- EKG if recommended
- Review of major systems (head, neck, throat, abdomen, nerves, skin, extremities)
Resolution #3: Eat more fish!
Fish—and the omega-3 fatty acids they contain—are a heart-healthy food that nutritionists recommend eating several times a week. While you may not be ready to eat fish 3 times per week, try resolving to add it once a week. Be aware that some fish should not be consumed frequently because they are high in mercury contamination, such as albacore tuna, swordfish, mackerel, orange roughy, halibut, shark, marlin, and fresh tuna. The following fish tend to be safer to eat on a regular basis:
- Lake trout
- Wild and Alaska Salmon
Resolution #4: Substitute 1 healthy eating choice for 1 unhealthy one
It’s unrealistic to think you can fix all of your bad eating habits at once. Rather than going cold turkey, zero in on one habit that you would like to reduce, and find a substitute for it that is also enjoyable. Rather than trying to eliminate your bad habit completely, simply try to decrease it. Replacing just some of your habits with healthier alternatives can make a difference over time.
- Have dried fruit instead of chocolate.
- Eat raw almonds instead of potato chips.
- Drink zero-calorie seltzer water in place of a soda or alcoholic drink.
- Take a walk instead of sitting in front of the TV.
- Call a friend instead of indulging in dessert.
- Go to a movie with a friend instead of going out for a drink.
Resolution #5: Protect yourself from the sun
Just like a seatbelt is an easy way to increase your car safety, sunscreen is an easy way to increase your sun safety. This advice goes for fair-skinned people as well as darker-skinned people. Darker skin does provide some safety from sun damage, but not enough! You should still wear sunscreen. Here are some tips.
- Use a moisturizer with sunscreen for everyday use.
- When choosing sunscreen, 30 SPF is the best bet.
- Use a lot of the sunscreen. Underapplying it is a common mistake!
- Apply the lotion about 30 minutes before you go outside, and re-apply it every 2 hours.
- Don’t forget your lips, ears, and the part of your hair.
- Wear sun-protective hats, clothing, and sunglasses when possible.
Resolution #6: Deep breathing…
Stress is one of those hidden factors that can affect your health negatively. Take time during each day to slow down, take a few deep breaths, and re-focus yourself.
You’ve made it to the end of our Easy New Year’s Resolutions. What do you think? Will any of them work for you? Here’s wishing you a very happy and healthy new year.
This article was brought to you by the Salter School. With four locations in Massachusetts, the Salter School provides career-focused education in the field of healthcare and allied health. Our programs include Professional Medical Assistant, Health Claims Specialist, Massage Therapy, and Pharmacy Technician. If you are thinking about going back to school to pursue a new career, consider the Salter School. This could be your best resolution yet!