Doc’s Corner

Make 2018 Your Best Year Ever!

The new year is a wonderful time for new beginnings and healthful resolutions. Although many New Year’s resolution will probably fail, there is merit to setting strategic goals. About half of all Americans make a New Year’s resolution of some kind. Statistics show that more than 70 percent of them will stick to their resolution for about the first two weeks. Unfortunately as the year progresses, many of us tend to lose our focus. More than half the people who make New Year’s resolutions will have given up within six months. Even so, it’s probably worthwhile to make the effort. A recently released study from the University of Scranton, found that people who explicitly made a resolution are 10 times as likely to attain their goals as people who don’t make any resolution to change. The individuals that identified a behavior that they wished to change and made a decision to take action were much more likely to be successful than those that had not made a resolution to change. After six months, 46 percent of the people who had made a resolution to change were still going strong; while only 4 percent of the non-resolvers had changed their behavior. Not surprisingly, losing weight is the most common resolution. That’s followed by 2) getting organized, 3) spending less and saving more, 4) enjoying life to the fullest, 5) staying fit and healthy and, interestingly, 6) learning something new and exciting.
The New Year is a great time to reflect on the past and establish goals for the future. Strategic life-style choices can significantly enhance our success with life at work and home. Our sense of well-being is empowered when out minds and bodies function within “design parameters”. This is a good time to consider making an effort to establish healthy habit patters. These should include getting 7-8 hrs. sleep and establish a routine of going to bed and getting up at approximately the same time most days. Allocate adequate time for nutrition and establish routines as much as possible. A nutritious breakfast that includes protein and fiber with minimal processed sugar that takes 10-15 minutes to eat is likely the most important meal of the day. Learn to read food labels, but since that is a “pain”, avoid processed food that has a lengthy label. The shorter the label, usually the better. Ultimately strive to eat mostly “real food” that lacks a label, such as fruits & vegetables. An easy reminder that can be helpful, “If it comes out of the soil or the sea, it is likely good for me. If it is green or colored, eat all you want. If it is white, don’t take a bite.” Not perfect, but can be helpful.

Most of us participating in Elite Fitness Plus are keenly aware of the critical importance of regular exercise to enhance our health and wellness. The New Year can be the time that we make a renewed commitment to be more consistent in our exercise routine to empower achieving our fitness goals. Be reminded that it is not enough to just eat nutritiously or exercise regularly, but the integration of proper sleep, nutrition, exercise and our spirituality (our life focus) that becomes incorporated into our “life-style” is what empowers the best health and happiness.
As we begin the new year, reflect on the past and set goals for the future. Make some New Year’s resolutions to enhance healthy living and avoid the pitfalls that come from poor, default or reactive decisions. Decide to embrace the merits of delayed gratification. A commitment to a disciplined strategic life-style can potentially make 2018 your best year ever and empower many more good years ahead.

Paul R. Block, MD, FACP, FCCP


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