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Making Your New Year's Resolutions Last

Making Your New Year's Resolutions Last

(ARA)- About half of us will make some type of New Year's resolution this year. And sadly, statistics suggest that about a third of those resolutions will be dropped within the first week. Less than a quarter of our New Year's resolutions will be realized before mid-year.
But, some research implies that making a New Year's resolution does increase the chance of actually achieving that goal, so why not give it a shot?
Exercising more, losing weight, and smoking cessation are popular resolutions for many Americans. Since these factors are all significant in preventing chronic illness and disease, focusing in these areas is a great place to start.
Beyond simply setting the goals, there are many ways you can keep your goals alive throughout the entire year and improve your overall well-being.
Many of us don't know where to start when improving our mental and physical health. Wondering if you are overweight, stressed, at risk for heat disease or diabetes? How often do you need a mammogram or certain vaccine at your age? Learning about your current status is the first step to staying healthy in the future. Here's a few tips to help get started:
Do some research to help decide where to focus your efforts. Setting too many goals for your New Year's resolutions can be overwhelming, and a recipe for failure. You can start online at MayoClinic.com, for example, and take one of many available assessment tests. Figure out your Body Mass Index, assess yourself for the flu or depression, and view health screening guidelines for what tests should be conducted for someone in your age group.
Taking action is the inevitable next (and most important) step. Start by scheduling an appointment to talk with your doctor about any physical or mental health concerns you may have. Your doctor should be able to help you assess your health and recommend an appropriate plan of action based on your age and health status. Try to focus on the one or two changes that will have the greatest benefit. Ask your doctor to help you prioritize. Start with the changes that will benefit you in several ways, rather than focusing on many smaller issues separately.
Check if your employer or insurance company offers a wellness program. These programs may come with some type of added incentive, such as a reduction in your health care premiums or some other financial incentive. For example, some employers offer wellness programs such as the Mayo Clinic EmbodyHealth program which provides a wide range of tools and services to help employees stay healthy. Some offer health assessment tools that measure your health and help you identify issues. With access to other services, such as a 24/7 nurse line or personalized health coaching, you'll have the guidance and support you need so you don't fall off the health wagon.
Once you have your New Year's resolutions planned, there are other resources available on MayoClinic.com to help you maintain your health-related resolutions. Check out the exercise videos, healthy recipes, articles, tools, and blogs for easy-to-understand information from trusted professionals. With dedication, the right strategy and some great resources, you'll be well on your way to achieving your goals.

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