Make New Year’s Resolutions That Last

Feb 7, 2022


Your healthiest year ever

Adventist Health providers share how to put your wellness first all year long.

Make improvements that last

It’s easy to set lofty goals at the start of the year and lose steam after a month. The Adventist Health Lifestyle Medicine Institute’s Susan Gamble, MD, an internal medicine physician, and Peggy Thomas, an acute care nurse practitioner, share their tips for achievable goals that will keep you healthy year-round.

Pick one thing you know you can do. “If your goal is losing weight or staying active, there are hundreds of things you can do, and that can feel overwhelming,” Dr. Gamble says. “I tell people to pick one realistic thing they can do to work toward their goal.” Maybe cutting out sugar isn’t sustainable for you, but taking a walk after dinner every night is. “Changes don’t have to be life-altering to make an improvement,” she adds.

Focus on overall health. New Year’s resolutions often center on weight loss and exercise, but your total well-being is important. “For instance, we know that mental health is a vital part of your overall health that is sometimes underappreciated,” Thomas says. “Setting goals to care for yourself should include goals that also focus on your mental well-being.”

Seek expert advice. Your primary care provider is your ideal partner in making healthy changes. “Tell your provider your goals, and they can help you brainstorm options that fit with your lifestyle,” Dr. Gamble recommends.

5 resolutions that are easy to keep

1. Focus on wholesome eating. Skip the fad diet and eat well-balanced meals featuring whole ingredients. Commit to making more meals from scratch rather than buying processed foods or eating out.

2. Move naturally. Find ways to incorporate movement into your life as much as possible. Take a walk in the park, work in your garden or ride your bike — these are great options that often don’t even feel like exercise.

3. Stay up on screenings. Visit your primary care provider and catch up on screenings and exams you may have missed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Be creative. Boost your mental health by tapping into artistic outlets such as creative writing, painting or crafting.

5. Get more sleep. Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. It can improve your brain function and your overall mental health.