It’s the start of 2015 and by now many of us have set resolutions. 45% of the population makes a New Year’s resolution and approximately 8% sticks to the intention. The most common reason for this is related to the busy time during the week between Christmas and New Year. During this time, an idea crosses our mind about what we would like to do for ourselves. Some of us take time to review the past year (successes and opportunities for improvement) and then look forward to what we would like to change in the next year.
Since 21% of total resolutions are related to health, weight loss and exercise, after the confetti has fallen, one should focus on health-related resolutions with deeper intent. In order to instill personal accountability, the following guidelines can help create a personal wellness initiative that will surely produce results:
For six weeks, commit to a diary and write down all meals, snack and beverages daily. Studies show that the mere act of writing these items down equates to healthier choices. In addition, it becomes clear what our habits are when we can look back at journal entries.
Use the same journal to also note what exercise was expended each day. Try to be as specific as possible with statistics such as duration, miles and elevations for certain sports. It is a positive motivator when we start to see the consistencies of exercise, and equally startling when we see missing gaps in this essential part of wellness.
Start this New Year by reading a book focused on health. My choice this year is The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. This book highlights the unique communities in the world where people are living the longest and explains why. Tangible lessons are related as to how one can learn from this. Finding an engaging book focused on health is just another way to follow through on health-related resolutions.
An overriding lesson from The Blue Zones is that people who live in close communities with strong support thrive. Create a community for the New Year to help support your goals. Find a healthy life coach at the gym, country club, or city activity center. Surrounding yourself with others who motivate you in your self-improvement resolutions will ensure greater success.
Studies suggest that 25% of our vitality and length of life is dictated by genes. The other 75% is determined by lifestyle choices, and pivotal times when we set intentions and stick to them. By taking a few more steps to ensure a healthy New Year’s resolution, one will have lasting results that can optimize lifestyle and maximize life expectancy. Setting healthy goals and meeting them is the most serious intention for the New Year and can add years to your life!