January 2013 > Wellness Wise
New Year, New You! Get Inspired for a Healthy New Year.
It's a brand New Year and a perfect time to make a fresh start on achieving the goals that are most important to you. Many popular New Year's resolutions focus on improving health and wellness, which is good news because being healthy helps protect us against disease and injury, as well as providing strength and energy to improve our quality of life.
In its article, "Inspiration for a Healthy New Year," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers five specific tips for things you can do to live a healthier New Year. And if some personal inspiration will help get you started, the CDC also offers stories from three different people who changed their own health habits – and their lives.
When it comes to making and keeping New Year’s resolutions, there is both good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news and get it out of the way because it's always better to focus on the good news!
The Bad News: Most people won’t keep their resolutions. By the end of January, a third of those who started the year with a resolution have fallen off and by July more than half will have lost sight of their goals.
The Good News: When you make a plan or resolution, you are more likely to make changes than those who don’t. Also, those who stick to their goals all the way through January have a good chance to make it those changes stick longer, and even throughout the rest of the year.
With all of that in mind, are you wondering what you can do to improve your chances of seeing your resolutions through? Making a specific, realistic plan for each of the goals that are most important to you is an important key to success. Having a focused plan means the changes you make will be more likely to stick. Following the steps below will help set you up for success by making sure your plans are well thought out and realistic.
- Look inward. Set personal goals that truly matter to you. You should be making changes to please yourself — not someone else.
- Think small. Break down large, difficult goals into smaller ones that are easier to keep. For example, if you’ve been inactive but want to get fit, start by vowing to take a brisk, 10-minute walk three days per week.
- Be realistic. Minor slip-ups are part of the process. Let’s say you resolved to eat a piece of fruit every day at lunch, but skipped Monday and Tuesday. Don’t beat yourself up. Just get back on track Wednesday.
- Make it fun. For example: To eat healthier, try one nutritious, new-to-you food each week. To reduce stress, meet a friend for coffee every week.
- Work Together. Setting a goal with a friend or relative gives you extra accountability, and can help you inspire and motivate each other.
- Keep track. Each time you meet a daily goal, circle the date on a calendar. Seeing tangible evidence of your progress is a great motivator.
UT System's "Living Well: Make it a Priority" Worksite Health & Wellness program provides a wealth of resources dedicated to your better health. Find additional helpful information at: www.livingwell.utsystem.edu.