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If you have given up on making New Year’s resolutions because you have tried and failed in the past, we encourage you to reconsider for 2020. Making even one or two good New Year’s resolutions can pay off in a major way.

What Is the Most Common New Year Resolution?

Approximately 60% of Americans make at least one New Year resolution. The vast majority of these resolutions involve health and wellness. A survey of 2,000 people found that 71% made a New Year resolution to improve their diet or eat better, 65% resolved to exercise more, 54% set a goal to lose weight, 21% resolved to quit smoking, and 15% set a goal to drink less alcohol. Other common resolutions included spending less and saving more, learning a new skill or hobby, spending more time with family and friends, reading more, and making career changes.

What Are the Benefits of Making New Year’s Resolutions?

Making New Year’s resolutions involving healthy lifestyle habits offers benefits other than just losing a few pounds or trimming a couple of inches from your waist.

• Eating a healthy diet and being physically and socially active stimulates the release of powerful neurotransmitters in the brain that improve mood and cognition.

• Healthy habits reduce your risk of many common chronic physical and mental health conditions, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and certain types of cancer.

• Healthy habits, such as regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and quality sleep, will provide you with more energy, stamina, and muscle strength.

• Healthy New Year’s resolutions can add years to your life. Studies show that even adding one healthy habit to your lifestyle can extend your life expectancy by up to two years while adding multiple healthy habits can increase longevity by a decade or more.

What Are Some Strategies for Sticking to Healthy New Year’s Resolutions?

A resolution is an attempt to eliminate unhealthy habits or behaviors or create new, healthy habits or behaviors. Making good New Year’s resolutions involves more than good intentions. To be truly effective, you must be able to stay with your new habit or behavior long enough for it to become a part of your daily life. The following New Year goal setting strategies can help keep you on track:

• Don’t make a certain resolution because you feel that it is something that you should do. You are more likely to stick with a resolution if it is something that you are really motivated to do or want to change.

• Be realistic about what you can do based on your other time and financial obligations. If you are currently very sedentary, setting a goal of going to the gym five days a week is probably too ambitious. Instead of adopting an all-or-nothing mindset, give yourself permission to start out slow or to have the occasional setback.

• Make your goals as specific as possible. For example, set a specific goal of walking 30 minutes a day rather than to simply exercise more.

• Make an action plan to help you incorporate the behavior into your current routine. For example, you can set a reminder on your calendar app or keep a bag with workout clothes in the car so that you can go to the gym on your way home from work.

• Plan ahead for potential pitfalls, such as nights when family or work obligations make it difficult or impossible to go to the gym or the weather keeps you from going for your evening walk. For these situations, you might want to have at-home workout videos downloaded on your computer or add a workout channel to your TV.

• If you are trying to eliminate an unhealthy habit, such as smoking, you must identify the situations that can trigger the habit so that you can avoid them or replace them with another habit to distract you from the impulse. If you are unsure of your triggers, you can keep a journal of when you engage in the behavior and what you were doing or feeling beforehand.

How Can FastMed Help Me With My New Year Goal Setting?

All of us at FastMed wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year. If you need help creating an action plan to improve your health in the coming year, our FastMed providers can help. With over 100 locations and extended hours, FastMed has made it convenient to get the help you need. Save time by checking in online and completing your e-registration to gain PriorityAccess and skip the waiting room.

About FastMed

FastMed Urgent Care owns and operates over 100 clinics in North Carolina, Arizona and Texas that provide a broad range of acute/episodic and preventive healthcare services 365 days a year. FastMed also provides workers’ compensation and other occupational health services at all its clinics, and family and sports medicine services at select locations. FastMed has successfully treated more than six million patients and is the only independent urgent care operator in North Carolina, Arizona and Texas to be awarded The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for quality, safety and infection control in ambulatory healthcare. For more information about locations, services, hours of operation, insurance and prices, visit www.fastmed.com.

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