It's that time of the year again! It’s time to start thinking about your New Year's resolutions. I'm sure you all start out the year with great intentions of quitting smoking, exercising more regularly, eating better, etc. We all start out January 1st gung-ho and ready to conquer the world, and we plan to exceed all of our goals! It’s great to be determined, but are we setting ourselves up to fail though? I think if we set reasonable expectations for ourselves and don’t push our limits, keeping New Year's resolutions and creating healthier lifestyles can be achieved.
To help you be successful in your efforts, here are a few examples of achievable New Year's resolutions:
This one has never been more important! Do it for you. Don't do it for anyone else. Do it because you want to feel better! There are so many tools available to help kick this terrible habit, and if you're a tough guy/gal, you can even consider quitting cold turkey. Most people can't do this though, and they need assistance.
To help you out, here are some tactics to put into action:
- Find someone to quit smoking with you, as a support system is crucial, especially during the first few weeks.
- Talk to your doctor about medicine, such as Zyban or Chantix, that can help you quit. You could also try the nicotine patch, gum, or spray.
- Avoid triggers that make you want to smoke, and when you do get a craving, replace the habit with a healthy alternative. I can tell you from experience that I would clean every time I felt the urge to smoke. My house, car, and work space had never been cleaner!
- Celebrate small victories! Start with day one; if you can make it through the entire day, treat yourself to something small. When you hit the one-week mark, celebrate with something a little bigger. Keep going this route to give yourself an incentive to keep it up even when it’s tough.
- Another thing that may help is to figure out how much you were spending each week on cigarettes. Put that money in a jar where you can see it. I say this because you will be SHOCKED at how fast this money will add up. At the end of the year, treat yourself to something special with this money!
We all do it. On January 2nd we sign up for the gym membership, go for a few weeks, and then stop. Why do you stop? Are you too busy or lazy? Stop letting everything get in your way. Find a time that works best and stick to it. For me, getting up early in the morning and getting it done and out of the way works! For you, it may be doing it at lunchtime or in the evening when you get home from work. Whatever time of the day works best for you, do it!
Psst….have you ever tried a treadmill or bike that you can use while working! You can create fun challenges at work to see who can walk the most steps, who can ride the “farthest” distance on the bike, or who can lose the most inches and/or pounds.
It’s easy to eat right for the first few weeks after making your resolution, but it takes real commitment to make true and lasting change to your dietary habits. You can do it though! Here are some great places you can start to make improvements:
- Give up the soda! If that's not a reality or something that you want to give up, at least try cutting back.
- Start packing your own lunches. Begin by doing this a few times a week instead of eating out. Your wallet will also thank you!
- Look at healthier alternatives. Instead of fried chicken, do baked chicken. Eat leaner cuts of red meat, and try eating more fish.
- You can never have enough vegetables! Veggies are also easy snack items that do not cause a mess while sitting at your desk. Grab a bag of baby carrots and celery sticks! These are also good alternatives to smoking, as they will help curb that hand-to-mouth fixation that we get with smoking.
These are just a few suggestions of achievable resolutions for this coming year! I hope that you all have a happy start to the new year, and whatever resolutions you set in place for yourself, make sure that they are realistic and that you can keep up with them. Write them down, and tell someone who will help keep you on track and accountable. The last thing you want to feel is that you have failed and were not able to meet your goal.
Here's to a happy and healthy 2017!