Sustainable New Year Resolutions

Man reaching into fridge for healthy meal in blue conta

By: Heather Graeve and Corey Lewis, Broadlawns Medical Center Health Coaches

The New Year is an opportunity to recommit to your health and well-being: eat better, exercise on a regular basis, drink more water. Changing your behaviors, no matter how well-intentioned, is hard. And if you’re looking for New Year’s resolution ideas you can stick to, think about looking past the big, obvious ones and pursue ones that may appear smaller, but will have a big impact in the long run. Here are some tips to stay healthy in 2020 with sustainable New Year resolutions.

Get an annual exam
Your health involves more than just what the number is on the scale. The best way to stay up-to-date with your health is to get your annual physical. Your annual exam will screen for any medical issues and assess the risk for future medical problems. It can be valuable to have direction when working towards a healthier lifestyle and your doctor can provide you with some of the support you need.

Exercise a little bit at a time
We work with a lot of patients that haven’t been physically active for years, in some situations ever. With that in mind, we encourage people to aim for smaller, attainable wins. People tend to get very excited about making a change and set high fitness goals for the New Year and fall off after a few months.  This can leave your confidence shot, which is when self-doubt and depression can sneak in. Set a reachable daily goal, like walking 15 minutes per day, and then increase incrementally as you get more comfortable.  There are step-counting apps available to measure how much you walk, and they add up quickly.  When you see achievement daily, you will stick with it. This sets your mind in a positive direction.

Get more sleep
Getting enough sleep is necessary for helping a person maintain optimal health and well-being. When it comes to health, sleep is as important as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. Being more productive, lowering weight gain and heart disease risk are just a few of the benefits. 

Set one goal and stick to it
It can be overwhelming if you set five New Year’s Resolutions and expect yourself to give 100% to all of them. That’s why picking one achievable goal can work better. For example, walk 15 minutes every day for one month. It’s a good idea to figure out the specifics of your goal so you don’t run into any confusion or gray areas. Pick a time of day that you’ll walk each day, such as after work, and know where you’ll be walking, such as at the park near your home. It can also be helpful to have someone to do this goal with you so you can hold each other accountable. Once you see that you can achieve one goal, you’ll feel more confident that you can achieve other goals in the future.

Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day
Drinking half of your body weight (pounds) in ounces of water each day is a great way to make sure that you stay hydrated. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., aim to drink 75 oz. of water each day. Bonus tip: add fresh lemon or cucumber slices to add some flavor!

Pack your lunch for work
It can be tempting to go for the vending machine snacks and drinks, or to go out to eat on your lunch break. Packing a balanced lunch and bringing that from home can help reduce that temptation since you’ll already have healthy, yummy food with you. Can you get all five food groups in your packed lunch? (Fruit, vegetables, meat/protein, grains, and dairy). Example of a balanced lunch: seasoned chicken, cheddar cheese, spinach and tomatoes in a whole wheat tortilla wrap with an apple as a side.

Take the first step to a healthier New Year by scheduling your annual exam at Broadlawns Medical Center. All insurances are accepted. For more information visit