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Health goals for the New Year

Happy New Year! As we go into the 2017 making resolutions (lose weight! exercise!) I encourage everyone to think about specific health goals in the new year. I think resolutions are tricky things - they generally involve a pledge to make a MAJOR habit change, and are frequently destined to fail. Not to say that they aren't great ideas, but that it can be very tough to achieve unrealistic goals, resulting in discouragement and going back to the old, bad habits.

So, set your sights on some achievable goals. Perhaps you have high blood pressure, or high cholesterol: make some positive dietary changes and see if you can get those numbers down. It's likely that you could not only drop those numbers but that you would feel much better too. Perhaps you are frequently tired: set a goal to find out WHY, then address that problem. Or maybe you just hate exercise: work on finding an activity that you will enjoy and that gets you moving, even if it's not a formal "exercise" plan.

To make your goals more achievable: put them on a timeline! Maybe you are in the non-exerciser category. In January, your goal could be to get moving, one way or another, for 30 minutes per week, by doing 10 minutes, 3 days per week - doesn't that sound achievable? Then, in February, bump that up to 40 minutes. In March you'll be up to 50 minutes. Put it on a calendar! And by summer you might find that you're really enjoying your activity instead of dreading it as a chore.

A good diet goal would also be something measurable and achievable. Rather than saying, "I'm gonna lose those last 15lbs if it kills me!" then starving yourself for a month before giving up, find a way to ADD healthy eating habits, rather than subtracting everything you like to eat. For example your goal could be to add purple and green foods to your diet every day. This means you need to eat some berries, beets, figs or purple cabbage daily. And to get your greens in you'll be eating more salads. These foods will likely replace some less healthy foods that you gravitate towards (and would be AMAZING for your digestion, too!).

In short, put the year in perspective and decide where you want to be at the end of 2017, rather than the end of the week or the month. Pick some concrete steps to get you there, and put them on a time line. And then, celebrate your success along the way!

I'd love to help you find and achieve your health goals this year. Make an appointment and let's get you rolling on a healthier you in 2017!

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