New Year Wellness Resolutions: Tips and Tricks

Jan 2, 2023

Erin Bashaw, DNP, MSN, RN, Director of Multi-Specialty Nursing and Weight Loss Surgery for Doctors Hospital of Manteca, recently answered questions for 209 Magazine and provided some tips and tricks for making New Year resolutions.

Q: Getting healthy is a common New Year's resolution, but it's much easier said than done. How do you recommend those looking to get fit in the New Year start working towards that goal?

A: Set small achievable goals and do one goal a week. Each week add a new goal. If your goal for the New Year is to eat healthier, start by eliminating one food or drink item that you know you should avoid. For example, soda can be loaded with sugar and hard on the digestive system. Start by eliminating soda and instead drink water. If you are missing the bubbles in soda, try sparkling waters. When we start with small goals and we achieve them, we are much more likely to stick with our plan. Another great example to eat healthier is to food prep at least two meals a week. When you plan your meals, you are less likely to eat unhealthier choices.

Q: What things should people avoid when making a fitness plan?

A: I love this one! Every year people tell themselves they are going to join the gym and workout every day. Gyms can be expensive and let’s face it – crowded in the New Year. Instead use some space in your house or in your neighborhood to do a quick internet workout. There are literally thousands of easy do it at home ten minutes or less workouts for all intensity levels. I do squats in my kitchen waiting for my coffee to brew and 8lb weights in my closet when I am figuring out what to wear. I used to use 5lb weights but they got too easy. See success – goal achieved. I also track how far I walk every day on my smartphone. My goal is 10,000 steps a day. Again it comes down to setting small achievable goals AND doing what works best for you in the time you have to exercise. I have a co-worker who uses a foot pedal bike under her desk while she works. If you have not hit the gym all year, start with putting on some good shoes and going for a walk. Set small goals and the big rewards will come later.

Q: Are there ways for people to keep their motivation as the months go on?

A: The best way to stay motivated is to feel successful. You want to set yourself up for success so that you continue to feel motivated. How many times have you told yourself you are going to lose weight? You lose a few pounds but then gain it back and feel discouraged and may even give up. Setting small goals is the best way to achieve them and move forward feeling empowered. Start with a goal of 5 pounds in one month. It does not seem like much but 5 pounds a month for four months is 20 pounds. You can keep the momentum going if you feel good about your personal accomplishments and feel the physical benefits. The loss of just a few pounds can make people feel so much better physically and emotionally.

Q: Are there resources available for those looking to get healthier?

A: In this day and age – information is right at your fingertips. Any internet search about healthy living will yield thousands of results. What is most important is knowing yourself and your limits. If you do not like the gym, do not sign up for one thinking that this will be the “thing” that helps you feel healthier. If you do not like certain foods, do not force yourself to eat them just because they are labeled healthy. Remember the year of kale everything? I tried it and I did not like it – as a chip, in a salad or any way kale way prepared. Funny, right! If you have tried diet and exercise and continue to struggle with your weight and it impacts your health, weight loss surgery might be a great tool to achieve a healthier new you in the New Year. Be sure to talk with your physician to see what options might be right for you.

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