Every year we think about making New Year’s resolutions. Lots of us make them. Few of us stick to them. Why? We tend to set the bar too high. We get discouraged too quickly. Most resolutions center on getting healthier. Maybe you want to reduce stress and taking up meditation may help. But if you set a goal to meditate for 45 minutes every day in order to reduce stress, and you get stressed out because you can’t find the time to meditate for 45 minutes a day, then the goal will be hard to reach. The key is to make resolutions you can keep, ones that are achievable.
Usually a combination of too much stress, inability to manage weight, a lack of fitness, and chronic pain is what really ails us. Stress and weight management go hand in hand. When your body is stressed it stores fat cells. You gain weight. People use food as a way to cope with stress. Again, you gain weight. Reducing stress can actually help with managing your weight. Increasing your level of fitness can also help with weight management, reduce stress levels, and in some cases help alleviate chronic pain. Let’s take a look at 4 resolutions you can stick to and get on the road to a happier, healthier you.
Resolve to unplug for 5 minutes every day. When was the last time you stopped and totally focused on the here and now? Begin by setting aside a time where you can lay down without any distractions. A guided relaxation CD or some classical music works wonders. Close your eyes, relax your body and focus on your breath. If you’re using a CD try to stay focused on the inviting voice of the guided relaxation or the soothing sound of the classical music.
Get fit. Resolve to walk a mile 3 times a week. Gym memberships and attendance increase substantially around the New Year. A few months later things settle down. This year try and make a fitness resolution you are likely to keep. Instead of signing up at the gym and working out like mad during the first 6 weeks of the year, consider adding 1 achievable fitness goal. Try walking a mile 3 times a week. It takes about 20 minutes. Before you know it your body feels good after the walks. That’s the motivation to keep walking.
Get rid of Chronic Pain. Resolve to reduce pain by investing 5 minutes in yourself. A lot of chronic pain presents itself at the doctor’s office. A series of visits to physical therapy is usually ordered. The therapist demonstrates and prescribes a handful of exercises to help deal with pain. After about 8 visits you’re on your own. Most folks don’t stick with it. The key is to find a couple of exercises for the ailment that work and resolve to do them. A physical therapist or qualified Yoga instructor may be able to recommend a few moves you can complete in as little as 5 minutes a day.
Manage your Weight. Resolve to remove 1 unhealthy thing from your diet. Start with regular soda. It’s one of the most damaging things you can consume. It destroys muscle, decays your teeth, makes you fat and is linked to dozens of other health issues. If you’ve already kicked the soda habit consider eliminating butter or whole milk or cheese products from your diet. They’re loaded with saturated fat.
There you have it. 4 resolutions you can stick to.
- Resolve to unplug and relax for 5 minutes a day to reduce stress
- Resolve to go for a 1 mile walk 3 times per week to up your fitness level
- Resolve to do some stretching or strengthening exercise to deal with chronic pain
- Resolve to cut out soda or foods high in saturated fat
The key is to set achievable goals you can stick to. Who knows, maybe you’ll look back a year from now and pat yourself on the back. You’ll feel better than you have in a long time. You’ll have a sense of accomplishment knowing that you stuck to your New Year’s resolutions.