When it comes to New Year’s resolutions the point and purpose is to make some type of commitment that will be advantageous to you throughout the coming years. I’ve created an acronym, LERDS, to help you remember the top five life saving/extending resolutions. Begin 2009 by committing to one of these and your life will improve. The more you commit to and achieve the better you’ll feel and the healthier you’ll be.
So what does LERDS mean: Lose weight, exercise, rest, de-stress, and stop smoking. You could have probably guessed the meaning because these are five of the most sought after and not achieved resolutions each year. It’s important to remember when making your resolution that no matter how many times you’ve tried it’s the journey that makes us stronger and eventually leads to the goal, if we don’t give up.
We’ll examine each one of these high priority life changing resolutions and review a couple of things that may help you in achieving your own personal success.
#1 Lose weight
If you are overweight, losing those extra pounds could definitely save your life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity increases the risk for many disease processes including but not limited to cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. If you do not suffer with one of these disease processes yourself, you probably know someone who does. Whether or not you have any first hand knowledge you probably know enough to know you don’t want the become the next disease victim.
So what can you do about it? First go visit your personal physician, then work with him/her to design a moderate life style change process that you can stick to. The American diet with its fast, processed, super sweet and fattening staples is much to overcome, but it can be done.
If you already exercise 3-7 days a week, keep it up. If you don’t and you are overweight, start slow but get moving. You can start simply by walking. Walk any distance, just get moving. You can shoot baskets, swim, ride a bike, etc. Whatever you can do, keep it up for a week then increase it. Do this every week until you are able to exercise at a moderate to heavy pace for 30 – 60 minutes 3-5 days a week. Be sure you throw in some strengthening and cardio as you go along so you can strengthen all parts of your body.
Americans are notorious for not getting enough rest. We burn the candles at both ends, burn the midnight oil, yadda yadda yadda. We call ourselves working harder to get ahead, but really we are only finding ourselves in further debt and more stressed. So get some rest. You will feel better, live longer and healthier and get more accomplished in less time. Set a schedule and stick to it. Do whatever it takes but get your 7 – 9 hours of sleep every night.
There are many forms of de-stressing. No one answer is right for everyone but one thing is for sure there are many methods that work. You can try yoga, meditation, tai chi, or even exercise. Try out several methods and use one or two that work for you. Your life and your heart will be better for it. You will find yourself better able to cope with life’s stressors whether real or imagined. Regardless of its source you will be more equipped to confront and conquer.
#5 Stop smoking
Besides weight loss, this is probably the second highest in the resolution rankings. This is a tough one, but it can be done. There are many methods available to help. Making a commitment and sticking to it is over half the battle. There are many aides available such as gums, patches, pills, hypnosis and some people don’t use anything at all, but they quit and you can too.
I personally know many who have had great success with Wellbutrin and Chantix. Be honest with your physician, but enlist their help on this journey. They will know the symptoms to monitor for such as increased blood pressure, rashes from patches, headaches, etc. There are risks to most if not all of the smoking cessation aides but those risks are far less than the risks involved if you don’t quit.
The #1 requirement for accomplishing whatever your resolutions are is the commitment. This will help you to carry through when the tough times come. Just remember if you start and stop you can always start again. There is no failure except for those who do not try. It sometimes takes many beginnings to reach an end. Just keep your end in sight. Focus on the outcome and get going.