New Year 2022: Resolutions that hold; a Mayo Clinic guide to making health your priority
Are you ready with your New Year’s resolutions for better health in 2022? | Photo credit: iStock Images
- It’s the last week of 2021 and most of us who love to make New Year’s resolutions are already writing and tweaking our plans for the year 2022.
- What we need in this third year of the COVID pandemic is a practical plan that can be implemented in these restrictive and vulnerable times.
- Who better than the expert doctors of a world-renowned hospital to tell us what to prioritize and undertake on the health front in 2021?
Resolutions are meant to be broken, the sarcastic adage goes. The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) lists 12 of the most often made and most often broken New Years Resolutions. The list goes like this:
- Lose weight / exercise.
- Stop smoking.
- Learn something new.
- Eat healthier.
- Get out of debt / save money.
- Spend more time with the family. Friends too.
- Watch less TV, spend less time on Facebook.
- To travel. Bring your family. Go with friends.
- Be less stressed.
- Sleep more.
- Drink less.
So ashamed to admit that we failed; at least we tried! :
You know you made them, even if you never put them on paper. Come December and we are already planning in our heads – New Year’s resolutions. As the New Year approaches, many people are familiar with the classic promise, “I’ll start my diet on Monday.” In fact, at the end of December, many people made this pledge 52 times.
New Year’s resolutions are a passing bane. January 1 is the witness of serious attempts on our part. Later as the year goes on most of the time we fail, but the glory is in trying – and there is always next year.
The Mayo Clinic Mantra: Listen to this doctor:
Dr. Gabriel Berendes, MD, is a family physician in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Dr Berendes writes on the Mayo Clinic page: “New Years Resolutions are easy to make, but not that easy to achieve. To turn the resolution into a real solution, you need to spend time preparing and planning. There is no magic button to keep a resolution. The first step to success is developing a structured health plan.
STEP 1: What should your health plan include?
1. O? The roadmap. State the goal / destination you are heading towards
2. State WHY you want to go
3. Estimate WHAT challenges you might encounter along the way
4. HOW you plan to meet the challenges
STEP 2: Create a vision for health
Whenever we make a career or business plan, we imagine / visualize what is achievable. Target visualization helps us visualize what our earnings will be after reaching the goal. Likewise, express your visualization here. Write your thoughts in a short, clear statement: your vision for health. It could be one of the following ways: “I want ______, therefore ________.” and can look like, for example, “I want to lose weight so I have more energy to enjoy life.” or “I want to be in good physical shape so I don’t get out of breath playing with my grandchildren anymore.” or “I want to have a better balance between my work and my personal life, so I have more quality time for myself and my family.”
STEP 3: Set SMART Goals
Word CLEVER here is actually an acronym created here by taking the first alphabet of five quality tests that your goals must qualify on. Dr. Gabriel Berendes’ Mayo Clinic report states that goals help you stay focused after recording your health outlook. Achieving the identified goals produces a feeling of accomplishment and a motivation that is essential to fuel your health journey. the CLEVER the acronym says this about your goals:
- Specific – What am I going to do?
This means that you have to design and research a specific action plan that indicates where to start and how.
- Measurable – How will I monitor my progress?
Instead of saying something nonspecific like “I want better health,” mention specific goals like “I want my blood sugar level to stabilize at 120 in 3 months” or “I want to lose 50 pounds in 3 months.” four months “.
- Feasible – What steps will I take to make this happen?
Be practical, be realistic. Set a realistic goal. You might want to say that you want to take 15,000 steps a day, but if the work schedule is tighter on weekdays and this goal is best met cumulatively on weekends and Sundays, you may decide to walk. 25,000 steps each on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Or if it’s a weight loss program, talk to the instructor about realistic goals. Depending on the program you choose and the average estimated to be achievable, you may need to set a smaller, more achievable goal.
- Relevant – Is it important enough for me to want to do it?
Are you convinced that you have to do it and that you need the goal you are about to achieve? Think positively. The behavior only changes for the positive. Remember that there are programs to help you reach your goal.
- Temporal – When will I do it?
Set a specific target date. Your “first day” does NOT MUST be January 1st. You can choose an appropriate start date as and when you have a plan in place.
How to design and execute a plan to make it happen:
- First, set short-term goals:
You might want to run a marathon right away, but if you haven’t been exercising regularly you often need short-term intermediate goals. At first, expand your efforts gradually, until you finally reach your long term goal.
- Face your temptations:
Remember there will be challenges. It is important to identify potential challenges and consider strategies to address them as part of an effective health plan. You will need to change your environment to help you reach your weight goals. Get rid of foods that won’t help you reach your goal – this should be part of your planning.
- Tell your friends:
A network of family and friends can encourage and support you. Changing your habits for good can affect your circle of friends. Let them know what you are trying to do and enlist their support to help you reach your goal.
- Remember the reward:
Make a list of the reasons why you want to lose weight. Consider keeping a health journal to record your activities and accomplishments, which increases your motivation and accountability. When you lack reasons to change, it’s easy to fall back into your old ways.
- Prepare for a setback:
Be kind to yourself. If you slip and fall off the health train once, dust yourself off, get up and jump right on that rake. Give yourself another chance. Most people get it wrong at some point. Successful people are the ones who get back on track. Take a look at how many days you have left in the calendar year and see what you can accomplish before the end of the year. We encourage you … this should be reason enough to NEVER GIVE UP!
- Engage yourself :
You can’t take lifestyle changes lightly. Make your health a priority. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is an ongoing and dynamic process. Use the New Year as an opportunity to start the journey to a healthier life.
To remember : And when it’s time next year to make new resolutions, look back on how you tried the previous year and share the mantra of success with others. In fact, take another one of your resolutions, it will keep you motivated.
Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or healthcare professional if you have specific questions about a medical problem.