Making New Year’s resolutions is easy. Making new habits stick? Much harder. To offer you support and motivation, we asked our providers to share their healthy resolutions for 2011 as well as a plan for keeping up with them throughout the year.
1. Carrie Bowler, DO
Resolution: To meditate daily.
Motivation: I know meditation is good for me. In addition to the thousands of years of experience of those who have meditated before me and their writings explaining the benefits, we now have plenty of research that has demonstrated that regular meditation can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety, and chronic pain. One such study demonstrated that people who meditated after receiving an influenza vaccine had a higher level of antibodies than those who only received the vaccine but did not meditate.
Her challenge: I am choosing this because I know it is good for me, yet I find it difficult to set aside time every day to devote to meditation. In my busy schedule, the “non-essentials” tend to dip in priority. I am attempting to move daily meditation further up my priority list to somewhere closer to drinking water and brushing my teeth!
How she’ll stick to it: I hope to do this through determination, yoga, and use of guided meditation. I have CDs that I listen to regularly. There are also downloads available on Sounds True.
2. Manisha Patel, MD
Resolution: To do yoga or run daily.
Motivation: I feel better when I am doing it more consistently, but I’ve fallen off the path and am only exercising once or twice per week.
Her challenge: Like everyone, I struggle with my schedule. When choosing between exercise and sleep, sleep always seems to win!
How she’ll stick to it: I’ll find a workout buddy and keep a log of my running.
3. Karis Cho, MD
Resolution: To do a cooking makeover and to explore new healthy ingredients I’m not used to cooking with, such as quinoa, collard greens, swiss chard, kale, squash, etc.
Motivation: I received a box of organic farm fresh fruits and vegetables that I wasn’t familiar with and many of them went bad. Plus, I always want to eat healthier, tastier meals.
Her challenge: It’s difficult finding simple recipes and healthy cooking requires fresh ingredients, which requires more shopping. Grocery shopping in New York City is a challenge because most people don’t have cars and groceries can get heavy.
How she’ll stick to it: I’ve found some great recipes on New York Times Recipes for Health and the Whole Foods website. I’ve picked one day of the week as my primary cooking day, then I’ll freeze portions for the week so I have and instant healthy meal when I get home from work. I’ve started to shop at farmers markets, then supplement minor ingredients at my local grocery store. When I have to do major shopping that requires carrying heavy ingredients or pantry stapes, I’ll buy online from Fresh Direct.
4. Spencer Blackman, MD
Resolution: To work out three times per week.
Motivation: I want to follow the advice that I give to all of my patients and get more exercise.
His challenge: A new baby at home means limited time and a whole new set of responsibilities.
How he’ll stick to it: My brother gave me a copy of “Your Shape,” an exercise training program for the Xbox Kinect. Plus, I know I always feel so energized and fulfilled when I am exercising regularly, so remembering those feelings will help me stick to my resolution.
5. Alex Tan, ND
Resolution: To get to bed before 11 PM, 80% of the time.
Motivation: I feel great when I get eight hours of sleep.
His challenge: There are so many things I’d like to do and catch up on. Often, it feels like there are not enough hours in the day to do everything I want.
How he’ll stick to it: I’m going to do Bio-feedback to help relax (go to www.heartmath.com for an example), I’m going to turn off my computer by 8:30 PM, and I’m going to get the lighted Kindle cover because reading before bed is totally relaxing.
6. Jennie Cossman, PA-C
Resolution: To dance more often.
Motivation: I love to dance, it makes me happy, and I don’t do it often enough! I used to be a dancer and quit because I didn’t have time to do all of my activities.
Her challenge: When life gets busy, it seems as though the first things to fall off of my schedule are the “extras.”
How she’ll stick to it: I’m going to sign up for dance classes with two of my girlfriends, so that we can encourage each other and feel accountable.
7. Daniel Dinenberg, MD
Resolution: To drink at least 80 ounces of water every day while at work.
Motivation: Staying hydrated is really important for your health and drinking water is the easiest thing I can do to improve my health.
His challenge: My days get busy and I forget!
How he’ll stick to it: I am going to bring in a straw-top reusable water bottle and by seeing it on my desk, I will drink more. I’ve noticed that I drink more from the bottles that have straw tops.
8. Rachana Jani, MD
Resolution: To try one new activity each month.
Motivation: I want to keep having new experiences–to keep my body guessing and my mind engaged.
Her challenge: Time constraints make it difficult to incorporate new activities into my schedule.
How she’ll stick to it: Online, friends
9. Robert Wilson, MD
Resolutions: I usually don’t make New Years resolutions, but this year I’m going to treat each day like it’s a fresh start. In that spirit, I’ll try to remember these things:
Don’t forget to breathe.
Don’t fight what is happening.
Just be present.
Whatever I am doing, do the best I can.
Exercise – the more the better.
Motivation: I find that these principles help me feel less anxious about my day/life.
How he’ll stick to them: I notice that I tend to break some or all of these principles throughout the day. I’ll simply keep reminding myself of them and keep trying!