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Here are 5 achievable 2023 health-related New Year's resolutions

December 29, 2022
resolution note pad

The new year offers a new chance to kick bad habits, learn new things, and focus on self-improvement.

But deciding on a New Year’s resolution can be tricky.

According to CBS News, fewer people have been making New Year’s resolutions. It’s no wonder considering their reputation for being abandoned midway through January.

So what are some good resolutions that you’ll actually keep in 2023? It comes down to crafting attainable goals that can be accomplished through smaller, more manageable steps.

What are the top ten New Year’s resolutions?

When you’re brainstorming New Year’s resolution ideas, many people fall back on the most popular ones.

Statista, a consumer data provider, found that people have similar goals for year to year.

Here were the top ten New Year’s resolutions for 2022:

  1. Living Healthier
  2. Personal Improvement or happiness
  3. Losing Weight
  4. Career or Job Goals
  5. Financial Goals
  6. Improve Relationship
  7. Travel or moving
  8. Exercising
  9. Stop Smoking
  10. Reduce Drinking

Another popular goal over the last few years has been limiting time sent on social media or quitting altogether.

Statistic: What are your 2022 resolutions? | Statista

How to set and keep goals

At its essence, making a New Year’s Resolution is goal setting.

Many people, especially in business, find the most successful goals are S.M.A.R.T.

S - Specific:

Setting the goal of “Be Healthy” is daunting and too broad.

Pick something specific to work on this year. It could be getting more cardio by mall walking on certain days of the week, focusing on meeting a specific weightlifting goal, or learning how to cook ten healthy meals you can add to the rotation.

M - Measurable:

Once you focus on picking something specific, like getting back into a running routine, narrow it down even more. For example, you could commit to jogging for 20 minutes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

A – Achievable

“Achievable” is defined by you. If you know you can’t make it to the gym seven days a week, don’t make that a goal. Start off with going two days a week and work your way up. That way, you don’t get as discouraged, and you have small victories to celebrate.

R - Realistic:

Make sure you’re not taking on too much, even when setting mental exercise goals. Don’t promise yourself you’ll become a grandmaster at chess. Take a month to learn the rules. Take a month to play mini games. Take a month to play against a computer. You’ll get there.

T - Timely:

Don’t set a never-ending goal. If you don’t have a start and end date, you don’t really have the motivation to get started and stick with it to the end.

What are five New Year’s resolutions?

Need some help coming up with a unique New Year’s resolution?

Here are five specific health-related ideas:

1. Health Screenings

With so many health websites at your fingertips, it can be easy to search your symptoms online and find the worst diagnosis. But nothing beats being proactive and getting officially screened, especially if you have a history of different illnesses or conditions in your family.

  • Get Screened for Type 2 Diabetes: The American Diabetes Association encourages you to take this quick online test to see if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Get Screened for Lung Cancer: If you are an older current or former smoker, talk to your doctor about getting screened for lung cancer. Medicare covers those who are at the highest risk.
  • Get a Colonoscopy: If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, personal history of polyps, or have lifestyle risk factors like obesity or smoking, ask your doctor about scheduling a colonoscopy. It’s a great way for people age 50 or older to prevent colon cancer. It may even save your life!
  • Know your risk: Take 5 minutes to learn your risk for heart attack and stroke, and learn about actions you can take minimize those risks. Check out the American Heart Association’s tool for calculating your risk.
  • Health screenings are usually recommended based on age and other risk factors. Talk to your doctor about what health screenings they recommend for you—including mammograms, blood pressure screenings, and more.

2. Exercise your brain

There’s no known way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but doctors encourage you to keep your brain active.
Pick a couple days a week or a specific time in your day to do crossword puzzles or brain games. You can get your friends and family involved in this resolution by playing games like chess or bridge.

3. Exercise your body

You may not feel comfortable going to the gym just yet.

Through different internet videos and articles, you can create your own at-home workouts.

Dr. Wilson Mertens of the Baystate Regional Cancer Program says even "moderately vigorous" walking 3-5 hours per week (or 30 minutes most days of the week) can lower rates of breast and colorectal cancer. You don’t have to run a marathon every week. Just commit to doing more than what you are right now. 

4. Create a Healthy Home

Get a fresh start in the new year by having a tidy home. This could help reduce asthma triggers and reduce the chances of accidents and injuries.

  • Deep clean your house: Scrubbing down your entire home can seem daunting. Break up the cleaning into smaller chunks. Clean the junk drawer one week (and don’t keep throwing things in there!), and clean out your closet the next.
  • Make cleaning a routine: Write a list of all of the things that need to get done and put them in your calendar as “appointments.” That could mean vacuuming happens every Tuesday after work. You could book yourself a “dusting date” every Thursday morning, making sure to tackle one room a week with a damp cloth.

5. Spending Quality Time

This year, make sure you cherish the ones you love. Show them you care by spending quality time with friends and family.

“The breakfast, lunch, or dinner table is a good place to start when everyone can share their day and you can listen,” Dr. Barry Sarvet, the chair of Behavioral Health, said.

While many people have resumed more in-person activities, some – especially higher risk households – have continued to play it safe and stay home. You may also find yourself living far away from friends and family. Here are some things you can do to stay connected from a distance:

  • Have a movie night: Some streaming services give you the option to sync your screens so you can watch a movie at the same time – while continuing your video chat.
  • Play virtual game: There are some online platforms and chatting apps that let you play games with people virtually. There are even virtual escape rooms!
  • Have a meal “together”: Even though you may not be able to sit down around the table together, you can video chat the ones you love during a meal. You can even show off your culinary creations and swap cooking tips!
  • Attend a virtual concert: Many artists have been putting on virtual musical events during the pandemic. Billboard lists some upcoming events you can stream with your loved ones.
  • Take a virtual trip to a museum: Your together time can be educational too! Some museums are offering free virtual tours, including the National Museum of National History. You can take a walk-through together virtually, and each share your favorite facts you find out!

Go easy on yourself

While it’s good to have some accomplishments under your belt for the new year, remember to give yourself a break.

These are hard times, and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re feeling stressed, make sure you get the help you need. The CDC has a list of warning signs, helpful resources, and healthy coping skills you can use.

What is your 2023 New Year’s resolution?

Share your New Year’s resolution with us on Facebook!

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