Lasting Resolutions


By Dr. Vincent Apicella D.O

Tis the season for New Year's resolutions and life changing goals. Unfortunately, by springtime the majority of those resolutions and goals have turned into frustrated ventures and wasted time. It takes at least 100 days to turn habits into routines and routines into lifestyles. So, what is the difference between a short-lived attempt at change and something that sustains long term? 

In my experience it is that most people don’t think of the strategy needed to make sure their goals become a reality. 

I would like to share 3 important rules to lasting change to assure this year’s resolutions last a lifetime. 

	1.	Understand your WHY. Don’t just set a goal, really understand why you want to make this change. The purpose behind your goal is what helps you to follow through. You must clearly identify the WHY behind what you want to do. 

2. Create SMART goals. That means be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based. An example of a SMART goal is going on a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day for one month. Once you accomplish your goal, reassess and make another.

3. Consistency is key. It takes consistency to create lasting change. Keeping your personal commitments is the foundation of consistency and the secret sauce of self-confidence.
Once you understand these rules to lasting change you are ready to focus on your new resolution or goal. 

Here are 5 things you might want to start with. Keep it simple and focus on one at a time. 

	1.	Eat more plants. You don’t have to become vegan to improve your nutrition. Simply intaking more green veggies than your current amount is a great start to healthier nutrition. Putting more focus on adding nutrients to your diet rather than focusing on what you have to take away often leads to longer lasting results. 

2. Move more. It doesn’t take much physical activity to lower your risk of chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Start slow and build up to at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

3. Get better sleep. If you are not sleeping 7-9 hours, you should see your health professional to find out why. Don’t just reach for a pill or supplement, find the root cause of your sleep disturbance to get long term results.
 	4.	Manage your stress. Stress is something you can’t always get rid of but being mindful of ways to mitigate the effects are important to lowering your risk of poor health. 
	5.	Remove toxins from your life. Carbonated drinks, processed foods to harmful habits and toxic relationships, sometimes removing something is the fastest way to gaining a happier, healthier life.

I wish you the best in 2023 as you strive to create lasting change. Creating a healthy lifestyle is an intentional journey not a fad or hobby. Always remember, on this journey failure is necessary and pain is temporary but quitting lasts forever.