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As each year comes to a close and the promise of a fresh start beckons, many people make New Year’s resolutions. Frequently, these resolutions revolve around health and wellness, with many focused on exercising more, shedding unwanted pounds, adopting new diets, and discarding bad and unhealthy habits. While these intentions are admirable, all too often, they prove to be short-lived, falling by the wayside by the time Valentine’s Day arrives on the calendar.

At Northwest Specialty Hospital, we share your commitment to a healthier life, but we understand the difficulty of keeping your New Year’s health resolutions. This year, NWSH wants to be your partner in achieving a healthier you.

One reason for the failure of many health-related resolutions is simple: they are overly ambitious, demanding drastic lifestyle changes that are difficult to sustain. Instead of setting yourself up for failure in 2024, consider taking a different approach.

 

Focus on Positive Progress

Setting achievable goals is the key to making meaningful progress in your health journey for the year ahead. Rather than aspiring to run a marathon if you’ve never jogged a mile or vowing to eliminate all sugar from your diet overnight, start with a thoughtful assessment of your current health status. Evaluate your diet, fitness level, weight, and other health concerns.

To help you make an honest assessment, get a physical check-up with a primary care doctor at Northwest Specialty Hospital. Your doctor may help you pinpoint what your most challenging health issues are. For example, while you may focus on your weight, your doctor may inform you that controlling your blood pressure is more critical. While these issues may be related, your blood pressure numbers are ultimately more critical to your well-being than the numbers on the scale, so you may have to modify your resolutions. Ensure that whatever goal you set will be based on your overall health, not just a superficial goal like fitting into a new pair of jeans!

Once you identify areas for improvement, it’s time to craft your resolutions. Think small but meaningful. Instead of a drastic overhaul, consider setting modest goals within your reach. For instance, you might plan to exercise more or drink less sugary sodas. You are more likely to achieve these goals if you quantify them, such as resolving to go for a 20-minute walk three times per week, limit yourself to only two sodas per week, or lose 15 pounds over the year. If you can measure your success with real numbers, you are more likely to reach them, and you will undoubtedly know when you have “cheated” or missed a target.

Another aid to achieving your New Year’s resolutions is establishing milestones and deadlines throughout the year. These checkpoints will help you stay on track and monitor your progress. It’s essential to be realistic about your timeline. Change takes time, and rushing can lead to burnout and disappointment; you aren’t likely to lose 10 pounds in one month. Instead, setting modest goals with specific deadlines gives you clear, achievable targets. When you see yourself meeting specific milestones, staying motivated through to the end is easier.

 

Seek Support In Your Goals

One of the most effective strategies for maintaining health resolutions is surrounding yourself with support. Consider enlisting a friend or family member to join you in your journey. Having a workout buddy or someone to share healthy meals with can be motivating and enjoyable. It also ensures that you’re less likely to give up when faced with challenges. If it suits your personality, you can even make it a competition!

Another way to stay on track is to build your resolutions into your schedule by making space in your calendar and setting reminders. When you start something new, it takes a while for your new practice to become a habit. You can keep a tally of your achievements on paper, your phone, or a tablet, and seeing your progress can keep you excited about your efforts over the long haul. Charts and checklists can help you stay accountable and maintain focus, ensuring that your resolutions do not fall by the wayside and get lost among the busy goings-on of your life.

Another motivator is celebrating your achievements along the way. Before you even begin, write out some reward you would like, but make the reward consistent with your resolution. In other words, you cannot celebrate losing five pounds by eating a cheesecake! Buy a new blender for making healthful smoothies, or get a new hairstyle. Work toward your goal knowing that you are earning a reward – and then follow through on giving yourself the prize you earned!

 

Make 2024 Your Best Year Yet With NWSH!

As you strive to make your health resolutions a lasting component of your life in 2024, remember that success is not measured by how quickly you reach your goals or even by hitting all of your targets, but by the persistence and consistency of your efforts and by making progress. Even if you only end up taking a walk two times per week instead of three, you will have succeeded in taking positive steps toward a more healthful lifestyle. By taking small, manageable steps, setting achievable milestones, and enjoying the support of friends or family, you can significantly improve your overall health.

At Northwest Specialty Hospital, we understand how important it is to you to maintain and improve your health, and we want to be your partner in finding ways to enjoy the fruits of a long and healthy life. We invite you to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers to receive personalized advice on what health challenges you should focus on in 2024. Whether it’s discussing your diet, creating a fitness plan, or addressing any specific health concerns, we are here to support you on your journey toward better health.

 

Make 2024 the year you stick to your health resolutions and create a healthier, happier you. 

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