Healthy Living: Realistic Resolutions 

By- Dr. Joan Marie PellegriniMost of us start thinking about our New Year’s resolution about this time of year. Common resolutions are to lose weight, eat more healthfully, get more organized, etc. The problem with many of these resolutions is that they are too vague and the goals are too lofty. Thus we set ourselves up for disappointment. This year I thought I would compile a list of resolutions that are easy to accomplish.Easy New Year’s resolutions:Advanced directives: On New Year’s day, set a date that you can sit down and address this issue. You will need to decide what you would want done medically if you were unable to make decisions. You will also need to decide who would make decisions for you in that situation. You should address whether you would want to donate organs and tissues if appropriate. You should discuss your decisions and concerns with your doctor at your next doctor’s appointment.Wear a seat belt: If you often forget, New Year’s Day is a good time to put a reminder note on your dashboard.Check smoke alarms: Set aside time on New Year’s Day to do this.Drive more politely: stop when a pedestrian is trying to cross the road. Stop at red lights. Give pedestrians and cyclists plenty of room. If you need a reminder, New Year’s Day would be a good time to put something on your dashboard that would serve as a reminder.Stretch: This cannot be done just on New Year’s Day but it doesn’t require a lot of work. Everyday, either before going to bed or maybe even at work you should do some gentle stretching. Being more limber will help prevent injury and help with chronic back pain.Buy a good pair of shoes: This may require consultation with a shoe sales person who can recommend the right shoe. Poor arch support and lack of appropriate orthotics can contribute to poor posture and back pain.Read my companies safety policies: If you have a job that puts you in danger on occassion, it is always a good idea to brush up on injury prevention.Go through medicine cabinet and throw out old medications: This will help prevent taking the wrong medication or the wrong dose.Update your list of medications: Make sure you have a copy in your wallet in case you need to go to another physician or the Emergency Room. Keep the name and number of your pharmacy on this list also.Check your blood pressure, cholesterol, make appt for checkup: When is the last time you had a health check up?Get vaccines updated for you and your children. This includes the Flu vaccine.Buy and read Unclutter Your Life In One Week: Or, read one motivational book.Go to church this weekend: for some people this can be a stress reliever.Sleep more: Most of us do not get enough sleep. Make sure you get quality sleep. Being well rested leads to bet productivity at work and healthier lives.Be nicer: Studies show that “nice” people are more relaxed and have better performance in their jobs. Being relaxed will help with any health issues also.Eat something healthy each day : I think this is easier than giving up something.Teach children brushing/ flossing: Make is a family routine to have better dental care.Buy a fiber supplement and take it daily: It is easy to remember if it is near your toothbrush or morning coffee. Most of us have inadequate fiber intake. Higher fiber diets help prevent many medical conditions.Take a vitamin supplement: Your physician can help you decide which one is best depending on your other medical conditions. As we head into winter, many of us could benefit from some extra vitamin D.These are just a few ideas. I am sure there are many other good ideas that can be accomplished in just a few days or less.