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Top 10 Posts from 2016 to Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Adventist Health Health and Wellness

The crowds, shopping, feasts...all are behind us. Now we have to face the bank statements, scales and busy calendars.

We can do better. We want to do better! This is why New Year's resolutions were invented, and we bet you've already started thinking about yours.

Partners in Your New Year's Resolutions

We at Adventist Health want to help you actually achieve your goals for 2017. That takes more than just a list of resolutions. We want to support your making and sustaining healthy lifestyle changes.

We took a look at some of our top posts and podcasts from 2016 and put together a list of the ones we think will help you with some of the most popular resolutions we make.

Tips on exercising1. I Will Exercise More – Every gym in the greater Portland-Vancouver metro area will tell you exercise is on the top of many New Year's resolutions. They will probably also all admit that January enthusiasm has a way of fading come February. We have advice for how to add more exercise to each day as well as how you can stay fit even when you work at a desk. Our doctors can even help you understand how to use that fitness tracker you got for Christmas.

2. I Will Get Organized – As if you don't face enough of it normally, just look at the debris field left behind as Christmas guests leave and gifts are opened and scattered. And that's just the physical chaos. Many of us race through each day reacting to deadlines, emergencies and changes to plans, instead of proactively planning how we spend our time and money. Getting organized takes some effort, but you'll be rewarded with more time, space and energy. Learn more from our Let's Get Organized podcast with a professional organizer.

3. I Will Try Something New – A new year begs for a new adventure. For some people, that means making travel plans. For others, it means trying a new sport, hobby or activity. Maybe the 2016 Olympics even inspired you to consider trying some new ways of exercising. With new physical activities, you can take steps to make sure your weekend fun doesn't turn into Monday's pain. And if you're looking for a healthy new hobby, you might try container gardening so you can enjoy your own homegrown veggies.

4. I Will Reduce My Stress – Feeling stressed seems to be a way of life for most Americans. Sadly, though, the stress is killing us-literally. In fact, one of our podcasts features the story of someone who nearly died when stress caused her heart to balloon. In addition to other resolutions on this list that help reduce stress (like getting organized, exercising more and sleeping better), try adding daily meditations to your 2017 habits.

5. I Will Eat More Healthfully – After all the feasting of the holidays, it's easy to think about eating more healthfully. What's hard is making a daily choice that lasts all year. One way to help is to add more plant-based foods to your plate each and every day by taking advantage of the wealth of farmers markets in the Portland area. We've created a guide to plant-based diets to help you choose a path that fits your goals and your lifestyle.

6. I Will Lose Weight – This resolution is on most people's lists. Whether we just want to look a little better in skinny jeans or we need to make a serious change for our health's sake, losing weight isn't easy. For many of us, that's because the prospect is overwhelming. It's still worth it though-keeping your weight in a good range helps everything from your heart to your self-esteem.

7. I Will Help Others – The Christmas season brings giving and volunteering opportunities on every side. From toy drives to serving dinner at homeless shelters, there are many chances to help others. Making this a year-round habit has a number of surprising benefits. Yep, that's right-you actually get by giving.

8. I Will Get More Sleep – If you've had some time off over the Christmas holiday, you may have relished the chance to sleep in or take a nap. That may be because, like many of us, you're running at a sleep deficit most of the time. Building healthy sleep habits will help you get more and better sleep, which pays off in both physical and mental health areas. Download our Better Sleep Guide to get started on getting more zzzzzzz.

Stop smoking9. I Will Stop Smoking – If you or someone you love smokes, you probably are very aware of how hard it can be to go tobacco-free. You likely also know many of the health advantages of quitting, including improved lung and heart health. We have some tips to help you reach your goal. We also had a chat with the Oregon Health Authority, which has put together a powerful resource to help you quit smoking.

10. I Will Practice Daily Gratitude – Thankfulness isn't just for the Thanksgiving holiday. Turns out, a lot of research suggests an attitude of gratitude helps both your mental and physical health. One Adventist Health chaplain describes how a gratitude journal can help you keep a positive outlook throughout the year.