How to Make New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep

Healthy Living TipsIt’s a bright New Year with a sunny outlook— the perfect time to set  resolutions. Most of us will make a list of ways we promise to change. It will probably include “eat healthy” and “exercise more”, but can we follow through?

This year, try thinking about what it means to be healthy and make little plans.

Think in terms of more organization and small changes. These healthy plans can be easier to maintain. These small successes can lead to a healthier, happier you over time.

Don’t focus so much on losing that XX pounds, or bench-pressing enough to impress your friends. Make a declaration instead: a declaration that you’ll make better health a priority, not an occasional passing thought.

Here are six small changes and healthy living tips that can lead to better health overall.

  1. Schedule your appointments
    Schedule a “wellness” visit with your doctor. Do it early in the year so you can discuss any health concerns with your doctor and make a plan for the year. Find out what preventive care you and your family will need and schedule the appointments right off the bat.

    Ask your doctor about any health check-ups or screening tests you need . It’s important to catch diseases early, when they tend to be easier to treat. Check your insurance plan by calling the number on the back of your Membership ID card. It’s possible your mammogram or colorectal cancer screening will be covered for free or with a copay or deductible.

    Remember: You will get more out of your doctor’s visit if you are honest. Tell your health care provider everything—even things that might be embarrassing. The more your doctor knows about you, the better the care he or she can provide. 

    Don’t forget to review the Blue Cross and Blue Shield wellness guidelines for adults and children

  2. Eat healthier.
    Eating healthy is a worthy goal, but changing your diet dramatically can be difficult. You don’t need to give up red meat and become a vegetarian. Try small changes instead. Add a piece of fresh fruit or some vegetables to each meal. If it’s too hard to skip dessert completely, start by taking a smaller piece of the pie and savoring each bite.

  3. Set the record straight.
    Get your personal health record (PHR) together. You probably visit different doctors and pharmacies throughout the year. Keep a list of all of those doctors and visits. Take it with you to all of your appointments. A PHR can make it easier to update each doctor about tests or medications prescribed by another doctor. Learn more about a PHR from the Mayo Clinic. And take a look at the Food and Drug Administration’s simple form to help manage medication lists. Keeping an easy-to-access, ongoing log of your health care can save you time, money and may even relieve stress. Which, by the way, is good for your health.

    A personal health record can be as detailed or simple as you’d like, but you should include:
    - Names and phone numbers of your health care providers
    - The information on your Blue Cross and Blue Shield card
    - Emergency contact numbers
    - Current medications (include any over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies, vitamins and  supplements in addition to prescription drugs)
    - Allergies
    - Recent surgeries or hospitalization
       
  4. Take a walk.
    “Exercise more” doesn’t have to mean running a marathon. Even a little extra exercise can provide big benefits. Start small. Take a walk around the block. Then work your way up from there. Exercise can improve both your mood  and memory; it can also help you sleep better, another boost for better health.
     
  5. Get social.
    Generally, being around other people can have powerful health benefits. Join a club. Take a class. Volunteer in your community. There are tons of opportunities to get out of the house and spend quality time with others, or consider doing volunteer work from home via your computer.
      
  6. Learn something new.
    It’s never too late to learn. Find a hobby. Learn a new skill. Travel to a new place. Those things are not only fun, they are the exercise that keeps your brain in shape.

    Declare this the year of taking care of you. Make your plan for better health now, and start getting it done. What New Year’s resolutions are you making for better health? What’s your strategy for keeping those resolutions throughout the year?

 

Sources: The Mayo Clinic; Doctors Hospital at Renaissance

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  • I like making resolutions about adding things that make my life richer, not just taking away bad habits.

  • On 1/07/2016, after climbing on the scales, I made the decision to get healthier.  I joined the Franciscan Health Center in Chicago Hts IL  Regular exercise, diet, and gastric bypass surgery were all a part of my life in 2016.  A year later, I am 87 pounds less and feeling much better.  Blood pressure medications have been reduced and I have much more energy today.  I am retiring this year and wanted to be healthy enough to thoroughly enjoy retirement.  My Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage was excellent and helped make my health and lifestyle change possible.  Thank you Blue Cross Blue Shield.