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Your Healthy Family: Taking the stress out of accomplishing your resolutions

Posted at 7:46 AM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 07:46:31-05

There can be a lot of stress associated with sticking to our New Year's resolutions. Doctors say there are ways to make your goals seem less daunting.

The new year doesn't have to mean huge changes. You can just start with the basics.

"January 17th is the average day that the American breaks their resolution, so make small steps. Make small changes that are sustainable," Dr. Stephen Kopecky, a Cardiologist with Mayo Clinic, said.

He said to pick a day of the week to focus on a healthy habit so it's not overwhelming.

"What's important? What you eat. Next is how much activity you have. Physical activity. Next, is your sleep. That's one of the forgotten risk factors," Dr. Kopecky said.

For example, on Monday, set a goal of being active. Then on Tuesday, focus on eating more fruits and veggies. On Wednesday, try cutting back on alcohol or soda. On Thursday, focus on getting better sleep.

If you're already feeling the pressure, Dr. Roxanne Sukol with Cleveland Clinic said you don't have to start all of your resolutions at once.

"This is a hard time of year to set goals and keep to them. It might be easier in a few weeks when, when the excitement has passed," she said.

She also said with any change you decide to make, ask yourself if you can keep it up for the next six months.

"If the answer to your question when you ask it is, 'I don't think I could do for even a couple of days,' then it's not worth trying because the experience of failure," Dr. Sukol said.

She said to make your goals seem less stressful, involve your friends and family. Let them know what you're trying to do to better yourself so they can be part of the process.

"Involving your relationships in the things that you do can be very helpful for some people," she said.

The main takeaway is that is a great time to reprioritize you and your health.

"I think at it's essence, it's a way of being kind to ourselves," Dr. Sukol said.