At midnight on Jan. 1, many of us were shouting Happy New Year, and singing the traditional New Year's Eve song, Auld Lang Syne. It's also a time when people started thinking about the year ahead and making resolutions, making lists of things they don't want to do, and how they will deprive themselves of the things they like and enjoy. Why not make some resolutions this year that will add to the quality, health, and happiness of your life?
Here are more suggestions for 2014 resolutions:
- Everything in moderation
Now, we all know that donuts and French fries are not good for us, but what is the likelihood of giving them up altogether? If you set the standards too high, you will wind up failing, feel badly about yourself and be less likely to stick to it. Instead, why not allow yourself a portion of those foods once or twice a week. Set a day, like Friday, for one treat. When you know you are going to have that treat on Friday, you will be more motivated to stick with the healthy foods throughout the rest of the week.
Fruits and vegetables are important, they give us the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. Why not support local farmers, and in turn, end up with better tasting products, since local products get from the farm to the shelf quicker? Try visiting your local farm stand or farmer's market (a little harder to find in the winter) or your local food co-op, likely open all-year-long. If you are computer savvy, check out LocalHarvest.org for more information on local produce.
If you don't really like to exercise, or if you are not already involved in daily movement, resolving to spend three hours in the gym probably will not go well. Try setting SMART goals - specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and timely. For example: "I'm going to walk at the mall, 30 minutes a day, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next two months." Or, "I'm going to take a senior water aerobics class at the Y for 8 weeks, starting next week." Also, gyms and exercise classes are fun but don't forget to think outside the box! Try hiking, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing. Don't forget about walking at the mall or a local school, museums, and while site seeing.
Try something new
People stick with what they know and commonly say, "if it isn't broke, don't fix it." Why not spice things up a bit. Try having a "meatless Monday" or that new (healthy) recipe you saw recently in a magazine. Start one of those hobbies you have always thought about. Get involved in the community by volunteering at your local hospital, soup kitchen, animal shelter, or theater program. Take a vacation to a place you have always wanted to go but have never been.
Have an attitude of gratitude all year long
Send hand written letters and cards to those you love, letting them know just how much they mean to you. Maybe even send a care package "just because" to let people know you are thinking about them. It is so nice to receive letters in the mail with warm thoughts and messages from loved ones, isn't it? Start the "gratitude jar" tradition. Use any glass jar you have on hand, and decorate it any way you like. Each time you are grateful for something, write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar. Review the slips with family and friends on December 31st, reminiscing about those events will allow you to enjoy them again.
Lastly, remember to celebrate your efforts towards keeping your resolutions, and have a happy and healthy 2014.
For more information, contact HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, see our website at www.nlh.org, or visit our wellness center at 213 Harrison Street Ext. in Johnstown, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. We're your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.