By Dr. Sarah E. Laibstain
New Year’s resolutions: fun to make but sometimes hard to keep. According to a 2018 study, 25% of all Americans said they planned to make a New Year’s Resolution in 2019. Perhaps unsurprisingly though, only 8% of people “accomplish” their resolutions.
The exact reasons that people give up on their resolutions vary, but the most common reason is simple: their resolutions are too bold and require a sudden lifestyle change. As creatures of habit, we often set ourselves up for failure by setting lofty goals. However, the best resolutions are those you can build on and adapt, especially if your goal is to improve your overall health and well-being.
Take this top common resolution: to lose weight. While losing weight and keeping it off is an achievable resolution, it is easy to get impatient and discouraged before you start to see results. Setting smaller milestones that build toward your overall goal can help prevent discouragement and put your progress in perspective.
Another way to make sure you can keep your resolution is to make it more general, rather than hyper-specific. For instance, instead of making a resolution to lose weight, you might consider simply making it “get healthy.” Not only does getting healthy usually result in weight loss, but various steps can help get you there! Whether you choose to exercise three times a week, pack a balanced lunch or a find a balance of multiple options, you may not feel that you are making as much of a sacrifice. Your success is also easier to measure and can be tailored to the unique needs of your body throughout the year.
Another simple way to accomplish well-being goals, is to commit to them for an entire year. Sometimes something as simple as scheduling all your medical appointments can be daunting on top of your already busy schedule. Instead make a plan to set dates for the year by the end of January. This way no matter how busy you get, your health won’t take a backseat. Doing this also takes the stress off your plate for the entire year, and you will feel good knowing that your health is taken care of.
Dr. Sarah E. Laibstain is a general family medicine practitioner at Family Medicine Associates of Texas in Carrollton. She thoroughly enjoys improving the health and lives of individuals ranging from young children to adulthood. For more information, call 972-394-8844, or visit texasmedicine.com.