It's no coincidence that we prioritize our health at the start of the new year. We're trying to correct unhealthy patterns from our past so that we can look forward to a longer, healthier life. To that end, the experts at UAB Medical West propose actionable tips and tricks for actually keeping some of the top health resolutions made each new year, including losing weight, being more active, quitting smoking, stopping drinking, and more. Keep reading to make your New Year’s resolutions last in 2023–and beyond!
1. Lose Weight
Perhaps one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year is losing weight. While you may start off strong, if you make too many changes to your lifestyle too quickly, you’re much more likely to fail. Our top tip for losing weight in a healthy, sustainable way in 2023 is making small changes over time—which amount to one big success.
For example, instead of going on a strict juice cleanse for two weeks and hitting the gym every single day, take smaller steps towards a healthier lifestyle. Some minor changes that can significantly impact your weight include lowering your calorie count, introducing more whole foods into your diet, and drinking more water. All these steps can help you lose weight but won’t overwhelm you, making the challenge of losing weight much more manageable.
2. Exercise More
Exercising often comes with the desire to lose weight, but some people want to improve blood circulation, reduce stress, or strengthen their muscles too. Whether you want to lose weight or experience the other benefits of exercise, making a detailed plan can help you maintain the resolution. To attain the best results, we recommend writing down this plan. After all, studies show you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
Whatever exercise you choose, like pilates, weight lifting, walking, or another activity, write down when you plan to exercise and for how long. Since these are New Year's resolutions, you’ll want to formulate goals throughout the year to always have something to reach for. For example, if you’re lifting weights, plan to increase the weight incrementally. Or, if you’re walking, you may want to set future goals about how many miles you’d like to walk. If you write clear, achievable goals with actionable steps, you’ll end 2023 just as good as you started it.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking can cause various health problems, like heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. In 2022, many smokers are choosing to quit because of the dangers of COVID-19 and other health concerns. Quitting smoking can be difficult, especially if you’ve tried to quit before and haven't succeeded. If you want to stop in 2023, try not to think about your past attempts but focus on how you can be victorious this year.
Our top trick for quitting is to find support. You can find support from a friend, loved one, spouse, sibling, support groups, and help lines. If you call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669), you can speak with a certified quit coach, who can provide support and consult. There are many moments when it will be difficult not to reach for a cigarette, and having someone there to encourage you can promote success in those moments. Similarly, there are articles online with testimonials, motivational ideas, and more for those who want to quit smoking.
4. Stop Drinking
Alcohol consumption can quickly damage your health. From depression to liver cancer to anxiety to heart disease, drinking too much can affect your physical, mental, and emotional health. If you’re looking to make a change in 2023, whether you feel you drink too much or just want to avoid the negative impacts of alcohol, it’s very possible with preparation.
To stop drinking, we recommend identifying your triggers and replacing them with other outlets. It can be tempting to quit cold turkey, which may work for some people, but in the long run, you’ll find it much more feasible to stop drinking if you understand what causes you to want to drink.
For example, you may drink alcohol to reduce stress, escape problems, feel happy, or just because it’s what you’ve always done in social situations. Once you identify your triggers, you can substitute a healthy alternative such as exercise, talking with a friend, or another hobby you enjoy. Similarly, if you drink more at parties or events, find a non-alcoholic beverage you can look forward to.
5. Sleep More
Adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Babies, young children, and teenagers often need more than that to support growth and development. On top of feeling well-rested, getting more or better sleep can reduce the chances of sickness, improve your mood, and strengthen your heart.
To sleep better, the team at UAB Medical West suggests improving your sleep environment. Often, people have trouble falling asleep or tossing and turning all night because of the disturbances to their circadian rhythm—the natural sleep and wake cycle of your body. To restore this process, you can improve your bedtime routine.
Some examples of enhancements include journaling before bed, lowering the temperature in your bedroom, eliminating blue light one hour before bed, and tidying up your room. All of these suggestions can reduce stress or promote the production of melatonin—the hormone that makes you sleepy. If you are conscientious about your sleep environment, you’re much more likely to get better sleep.
Stick to Your Resolutions in 2023—and Beyond
If you’re looking to create healthier habits, the beginning of a new year is just the time to do it! While it can be easy to make big, grand goals for 2023, stick to achievable ones and outline a plan for success. With motivation and proper planning, you can accomplish anything!
If you’re looking for medical support or advice, or emergency care, the team at UAB Medical West can help you. With years of experience, our staff is compassionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated to helping you meet your 2023 goals. Don’t hesitate to become the healthiest version of yourself in 2023!
Achieve Your Health and Wellness Goals in 2023
Want to keep your healthy resolutions this year? UAB Medical West promotes healthier living in a community near you, including Hueytown, Hoover, Bessemer, McCalla, Vance, and others. Schedule an appointment and get expert advice for your well-being by calling (205) 481-7000 today or contacting us online.