3 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep in 2018
December 29, 2017
By Joel Bessmer, MD
It’s that time of year again. The time when most Americans will reflect on the past and set healthier goals for the future. Too often, however, the novelty of a “New Year, New You” wears off around mid-February and people fall back into old habits. In my years of practicing medicine and helping my patients become healthier, I’ve learned that small steps towards a long-term goal are the most effective ways to better your health.
- Drink More Water: Conventional wisdom and many textbooks tell us that we should be drinking 8 glasses of water per day. Staying hydrated is integral to keeping your organs functioning and it will also help you to eat less. Keep a bottle of water on your desk, and drink a couple glasses with each meal you eat. If you start your day with a big glass of water, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to continue hydrating through the day.
- Get Enough Sleep: Remember, not all hours of sleep are created equally, and you should be getting more than 6 hours every night. If you think you are getting enough sleep but still wake up feeling groggy, you should talk with your primary care doctor. Some common tricks for a better night sleep are to make sure you are hydrated, and try not to eat a couple hours before your bedtime. If your brain has to focus on digesting food or filtering alcohol out of your system, it will not be able to recovery fully. You’ll be amazed how awake and alert you feel after a few consecutive nights of good sleep.
- Walk More, Sit Less: Take the stairs at instead of the elevator. Schedule a walking meeting with your colleague instead of sitting at Starbucks. Take a quick 15 minute walk outside first thing in the morning – even if it is cold – to start your body and your metabolism off on a positive note for the day. If you need help motivating yourself, set a step goal and monitor it with a step counter or the one that is built into your phone.
Overall, make sure to prioritize your health in 2018. After all, it’s the foundation of everything else that makes you feel good.