It’s December once again. You know the drill. First comes throwing all rules to the side for Christmas and then comes New Year’s and all of its dreadful resolutions. Perhaps this year, you really will drop the extra fifteen you gained after switching to a desk job. Maybe you really will quit smoking cold turkey as you’ve promised for the last five years. Or most likely, you’ll fail miserably at attaining any resolution.
The question is…why? Why are New Year’s resolutions so difficult to achieve? The answer is rooted in the loftiness of the resolution. Most of us set resolutions with no actual plan to reach them. That’s why the key to a successful resolution isn’t by setting a resolution at all…it’s by setting healthy, attainable goals throughout the year.
For instance, let’s say that you need to lose a significant amount of weight for your health and other reasons. Instead of setting a goal of losing fifty pounds, try creating smaller goals to improve your diet and exercise. Take a hard look at your daily diet and figure out which unhealthy foods need to go. Reducing or eliminating your refined sugar intake and cutting out sugary drinks is one attainable health goal that will naturally result in weight loss. If a lack of exercise or daily activity contributes to your weight problem, set an easy fitness goal like walking a few miles each week. Later, you can increase your goal as your body adjusts to its new fitness level.
People who successfully achieve their yearly goals are typically planners. Even if you’re not someone who considers themselves a planner or organizer, you can pick up a tip or two to help you reach your goals. First, buy a notebook that will act as a goal planner/diary. Writing down your goals not only helps you remember them, but it also makes you more likely to achieve them. A now-famous study by psychology professor, Dr. Gail Matthews, found that participants who wrote down their goals on a daily basis were 42 percent more successful in achieving their goals than those who did not.
Writing down daily goals is especially handy when you’re trying to break a bad habit or create new good habits. Smokers who are quitting slowly instead of cold turkey may benefit from writing down a decreasing goal of smoking only X amount of cigarettes each day until they’re down to smoking less than one cigarette a day. A person who wants to institute a new daily exercise like walking or yoga should write down that goal each day and plan when they will accomplish it. Making your goals a part of your daily schedule helps them become part of your routine. And that’s when you’ve achieved success!
One healthy habit that should be set for everyone is to get in the routine of visiting your healthcare provider for checkups even if you are not sick. Wellness visits are a time for discussing changes in your health with your provider and for undergoing important, life-saving screenings. EliteCare makes it easy and convenient for our patients to receive these much-needed checkups with our walk-in primary care services. Walk-in primary care is available seven days a week. That’s Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 8 am until 3 pm, and on Sundays from 1 pm to 5 pm. Stop by for your wellness visit today!