The new year is quickly approaching and this is the time many people start thinking about making their New Year’s resolutions. In fact one out of three of all Americans make a New Year’s resolution to improve themselves and many of those include health goals. But according to a study done in 2002, only about 46% of them stick to those resolutions within 6 months and even just a week after making them only 75% are still on task to meet their goals. Even if you are in that group that hasn’t been able to see your health goals through to the end, it doesn’t mean you are destined to fail and shouldn’t make a New Year’s resolution this year. Instead make a resolution to change the way you approach your New Year’s resolution with some of the following tips.
Popular New Year’s Resolutions
Slimming Down – Losing weight is probably one of the most made New Year’s resolutions and is definitely a good one since being overweight can lead to a multitude of chronic diseases such as heart disease, increased LDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, respiratory problems, and some types of cancer. The key to weight loss health goals is to concentrate on making goals that change how and what you eat instead of going on a crash diet or starving yourself for a period of time. Making small changes to your eating habits and developing an exercise routine will help you be more successful at achieving your goal.
Reducing Stress – If you are under constant stress you are at risk for weight gain, heart disease, poor sleep, poor immune system function, inflammation, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, and depression. According to Beth Israel Medical Center, in New York City integrative medicine specialist, Roberta Lee, MD, working too many hours, not enough time spent with family and friends, not getting enough sleep or exercise, and unhealthy eating are some of the ways we increase our stress levels. This is a complex goal, so don’t try to completely change your entire stress level overnight. Instead pick a New Year’s resolution that concentrates on eliminating one thing from your life at a time that causes you stress.
Stop Smoking – This is one of the health goals that can really help you get healthy, but one of the hardest. Many people who have been able to stop smoking will tell you that it took many times of trying before they were able to kick the habit. The key is to not give up just because you have tried and were not successful. There are a multitude of ways to help people stop smoking so keep going until you find one that works for you. Whether it be hypnosis, patches, behavior modification techniques, quitting cold turkey, joining a support group or any of the other support programs that exist, don’t quit on quitting. The next thing you try just might be the way that will work for you.
Limit Alcohol – If you fall into the category of alcoholism, then this is definitely a great New Year’s resolution and just like for stopping smoking is not an easy one. This is another of the health goals that you just have to keep on trying different methods until you find what works for you. If you are not alcoholic, but are a heavy drinker, then you still may make a resolution to cut back on your alcohol intake. A little wine has been shown to actually have some health benefits from the antioxidant resveratrol that it contains, but drinking in excess can damage your brain’s neurotransmitters and cause loss of memory, depression, or in some cases seizures. Weight gain from drinking a lot of alcohol is also a concern as well as damage to your liver, increased risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
Increase Z’s – Not getting adequate amounts of good quality sleep can affect your mood and cognitive functioning, but it also can increase your risk for being overweight, type 2 diabetes, heart disease or attack, high blood pressure, and stroke. If you have trouble staying asleep or going to sleep, set making changes to your sleeping environment or your bedtime routine as a goal. If you just aren’t making time in your busy schedule to get enough sleep then concentrate your goal on that area.
Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution
These are just some of the more popular health goals that people use for New Year’s resolutions, but certainly not a complete list. Your resolution can be anything that you can think of that will improve your life. Whatever you resolve this year, resolve to be successful with your health goals and just because you haven’t been successful in the past, don’t give up on your goals. Instead make some changes in the way you set your health goals so that you will be successful. First of all take some time to really think about what you want to achieve and set a goal that is realistic for you. Many people get carried away in the excitement of beginning a new year and set too many goals, goals that are too complicated, or that are unrealistic for them. That only leads to failure. Think about how to word your goal and keep it simple. Make it something that you believe you can actually do fairly easily. That may mean breaking your main goal up into several smaller goals. There are no rules. You get to make them up as you go. So there’s nothing that says you can’t do your health goals in small steps one at a time. For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, decide one eating habit that you can change and start there. It may be that you stop drinking a soda in the afternoon or that after lunch each day you go for a walk or that you only eat a half slice of cake for dessert. Start with what you can be successful at and go from there. Setting a goal that is too big or unrealistic will get you nowhere because once you find yourself not meeting the goal, you are more likely to give up completely.
How Is Your Goal Measuring Up?
Another tip for succeeding in meeting your New Year’s resolution is to make a goal that has some type of measurement of success and then reward that success. In the example of weight loss, work into the goal a realistic number of pounds you will lose, an unhealthy food that you are working towards with small steps to eliminate from your diet, or a healthy food that you are striving towards adding to your diet a certain number of times a week. As you have success at each small step along the way towards your goal, reward yourself for the success. Of course, make the reward something that doesn’t go against your goal. You don’t want to reward yourself with a huge piece of chocolate cake if you are trying to lose weight. Instead give yourself a spa day or buy a special outfit in the new size you are striving to attain. Seeing that outfit in your closet just might help add to your motivation too.
Keep It Real
Once you have broken your goal down into small steps that will increase your likelihood of success, made sure it is a realistic goal for you to achieve, set a measurement to gauge your success by, and have a reward to keep up your motivation level; write down your goal on paper. This step takes your goal out of just being “something in your head” to being something real that you can see and touch on the paper. You might want to post the written version of your goal in several places as a reminder to stick with it. You can also increase your success level by keeping track of your progress in a journal. Write down each small step you are taking, a plan for accomplishing each step, and the reward you give yourself. Writing down details of what you did throughout the day can also help you find trouble spots that are working against success.
This may sound like a lot of extra work, but if you are really serious about your New Year’s resolution, then finding a way to keep the excitement level about it going and making it a priority in your life will help you succeed. If you find yourself getting discouraged and getting off track with your health goals or not having time to devote to doing all these steps, stop and look for one thing that you can immediately do to work towards your goal. For example, say you are at work, feeling stressed and tempted to reach for a candy bar. Instead have a healthy snack such as these delicious bars with bluegreen algae, sprouted grains, greens, and almonds ready to substitute. Or decide to do some running in place to get your blood pumping and energy levels up. Just making the decision to do something right then in the moment to contribute to your goal instead of choosing something detrimental to your goal can help you get back on a success track. For many of your health goals, giving your body the extra nutrition it needs while you are making your changes will help you avoid unhealthy food choices that can lead to food cravings, stress, and unhealthy lifestyles choices in dealing with stress. This is when whole food supplements like this program of algae based supplements may be helpful. It will give your body a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and phytonutrients from a blend of marine and freshwater algae, tonic mushrooms, and sprouted grasses and grains, some of the most nourishing foods on the planet; combined with probiotics and digestive enzymes. A body that is getting the nutrition it needs and the digestive support to get the most nutrition possible from the foods you eat will perform better and help you be in a better position to accomplish your health goals.
I hope you have a prosperous and healthy new year and that you can find some ideas here to help you achieve your health goals and be successful at your New Year’s resolution this year. Just remember to keep at it, keep it simple, and go for it!
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