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Setting a Resolution for a Healthier, Happier 2023

March 03, 2023

It’s a fact: Most resolutions that we set each year are long gone by the time February arrives on the calendar. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Set a resolution that will actually help you become a healthier version of yourself.

If you think about all the New Year’s resolutions you’ve ever set, it’s likely that many of them were pie-in-the-sky dreams. Right?

When you set resolutions that are big goals, it’s all too easy to set those goals aside when you misstep. The trick to actually achieving a resolution is to set a goal that’s realistic.

The last few years have certainly wreaked havoc on our health in general—creating chaos in our physical, mental, and emotional health. Let’s resolve together to become happier and healthier in 2023. 

The Trick to Setting Better Resolutions
OK, so we want to achieve better health in 2023. “Better health” will look a little different for every individual person. After all, we’re all unique, with distinct needs and wants.

To set yourself up for success in the new year, pause and consider where your health could be improved and what small, bitesize changes could get you there. Those bitesize changes are your resolutions.

It’s much better to set a resolution that’s easy to achieve than to set one that’s impossible to reach. If you successfully incorporate a healthy habit into your routine fairly quickly, there’s no rule that says you can’t add another resolution (or two or three) as 2023 unfolds!

How do these small resolutions fit within your overall health goals? Consider this example: If you’re looking to lose weight, don’t make that your resolution. Instead, set a resolution or two that helps you meet that ultimate goal. 

Using that scenario, you might have a resolution to drink fewer sugary beverages and instead to drink more water. You can attach a number to that goal—maybe you have a water bottle you’d like to fill up and drink down three times each day.

“Once you’ve fulfilled a resolution and created a healthy habit, then add another one,” says Allison Rasnic, nurse practitioner at WTMG Primary Care at Thomsen Farms in Jackson. “When you find success along your path instead of failure due to unrealistic, big-picture resolutions, you are much more likely to keep going.”

10 Resolutions Ideas for Better Health in 2023
Looking for inspiration for how you can improve your health and well-being? We have a few suggestions! 

  1. Find a physical activity you enjoy. You will never stick with an exercise routine if you hate the type of exercise you’re doing! Some of us are not destined to become runners, no matter what. But there are so many different types of activities that will get you moving that it’s likely there’s at least one you can do regularly and actually enjoy. Experiment until you find the ones you love.
  2. Learn to say “no.” To fend off stress and burnout, it’s important to create boundaries in your life, whether it’s your personal life or your professional life. Don’t feel like you need to say yes to every request you receive, because that’s the recipe for an overwhelmed schedule and a less-than-healthy human.
  3. Eat more meals at home. It’s definitely more convenient to pick up takeout or go out to a restaurant for meals. But by and large, it’s much healthier to prepare meals at home. That’s because you choose the ingredients and can properly manage your portion sizes. 
  4. Cut back on your screen time. You might think of screen time restrictions as something for kids. But adults can benefit, too! Having your attention constantly zapped by a digital screen (and social media and negative news and so on) is harmful for your health in many ways. While some time with devices is essential, watch how you’re using screens and look for alternatives when you can.
  5. Say “no” to dieting. If you’re trying to lose weight, you may think dieting is part of the solution. Throw the word diet out of the equation, though. Instead, consider areas where you can fuel your body in a healthier way and make changes accordingly. Hit the reset button and think of it as a lifestyle change, rather than a diet, which has a negative connotation and can be fleeting.
  6. Bring more whole foods home. Instead of filling your grocery cart with packaged and processed foods, lean toward whole foods whenever possible. These items are the healthiest, since they don’t contain additives and are packed with nutrients. Include lots of fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fish in your meals. 
  7. Talk nicely to yourself. You would never talk to your best friend the way that you talk to yourself. That’s true for most of us! Watch how you talk to yourself and how you think about yourself, your body, and your worth. Regularly paying yourself compliments is important.
  8. Get your medical appointments on the books. Take time now to schedule all your necessary appointments for next year—your annual checkup with a primary care provider, a visit with your OB/GYN or a urologist, a skin check with the dermatologist, and all the necessary screenings, like a mammogram or colonoscopy. Taking care of yourself starts with making sure you have the preventive services you need to keep a careful eye on your health.
  9. Be more mindful and intentional. Meditation isn’t your thing? That’s OK! While some people can easily slip into a meditation habit, others can’t imagine ever clearing their mind. Instead, look for times in your day where you can be sole-mindedly focused on one thing. That may be your self-care time, as you take a hot bath or get in a workout. Or it can be as simple as focusing on your breathing as you commute to work.
  10. Add rest and sleep to your schedule. You will be a happier, healthier version of yourself if you prioritize getting enough quality sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health. Rest is also important. If you catch yourself questioning why you aren’t being productive during a weekend or day off, remember that rest is essential—and you deserve that rest.