Different fruits and vegetables isolated on white

Starting the year with healthy goals  

Starting the year with healthy goals

Author: Dr. Ethan Blocher-Smith, family medicine physician at IU Health Primary Care on USA Parkway in Fishers

Many people look to a new year as a new beginning, an opportunity to make better choices, adopt new habits, and make their lives healthier. That enthusiasm offers a unique possibility to alter your day-to-day behavior, but without sustained work, results in limited lasting changes or benefits. My goal is to help you see some better success in achieving those goals.

Different fruits and vegetables isolated on white

Consult with a healthcare professional.

If you are not sure about which goals to prioritize to improve your life, please consider having a conversation with your primary care physician. Your physician should know you and can provide an individualized discussion on your goals. Primary care physicians can also help set realistic expectations for what should be easily achievable and what might be more challenging.

Set specific, measurable goals.

Avoid vague resolutions like “get healthier” or “exercise more.” Instead, define clear and specific objectives. This approach will make it easier to track your progress and stay committed. Break your goals into smaller, manageable steps and create a schedule. Most importantly, do not let a single setback break your goal. Many people slip back into old habits and then allow a single mistake to justify abandoning their plan. Instead, hold strong and focus on your goal.

Nutrition and exercise are a top priority.

A key component of a healthy lifestyle is a balanced diet. Start by incorporating more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains into your meals. Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating and pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Another key element is avoiding distracted eating. Physical activity is also vital for maintaining good health. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy and aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Just be sure to gradually increase your activity level to avoid burnout.

goalsRemember, the goal is not to try and magically fix every problem at once. Even if you were to do so, if you stop two weeks later because you cannot sustain it, we have seen no benefit that will last. It is normal to face challenges and setbacks along the way to your goals. Be patient with yourself, and if you do encounter obstacles, don’t give up. Stay safe and have a healthy new year!

To find an IU Health primary care provider near you, visit iuhealth.org/primarycare.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Send me your media kit!

hbspt.forms.create({ portalId: "6486003", formId: "5ee2abaf-81d9-48a9-a10d-de06becaa6db" });