Aspirus Medical Monday: Ways to make those resolutions stick

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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – First you make ’em. Then you break ’em.

Does that sum up your past history with New Year’s resolutions? You’re jazzed in January to get in shape, stop smoking, eat better–to achieve your goal. But by February, your resolution is kaput.

Don’t throw in the towel just yet, advises Anna Mooi, registered dietitian for Aspirus.   

“You’ve got to stack the odds in your favor,” Mooi said. “Start with small changes and work your way up to achieve – and stick to – your 2020 wellness goals.”

Here are some ways to do it:

Be specific. Rather than a fuzzy resolution–for instance, “I’m finally going to get fit”–commit to a clearly defined one. Do you want to be able to finish a 5K? Do a dozen pushups? Walk the hilly streets in your neighborhood without getting winded?

Try smart technology. Smartwatches are popular with exercise because they can track heart rate and take electrocardiograms (EKG). You can print your EKG using your watch to monitor your cardiac function.

Line up support. Pair up with a resolution buddy–somebody with the same or a similar goal. Change is easier if you do not attempt it solo. And spread the news about your resolution. The more friends and family you tell, the more accountable you will feel.

Reward yourself. Did you make it through your first week without smoking? Then spend the money you would have spent on cigarettes on something special for yourself. Are you down 5 pounds? Why not celebrate with a manicure or tickets to a concert?

Bounce back. Do not beat yourself up if you skipped the gym a couple of times or binged on a bunch of snacks one weekend. You slipped up, but so what? Missteps are normal. And one key to successful behavior change is resiliency. Tomorrow really is another day–it’s your chance to get back on track.

Want more information? Tune in to this podcast “Beginning an Exercise Routine” on the Aspirus website for more encouragement and health tips.

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