Each year, Americans strive to be better in the next year by creating personal resolutions. While the thought is nice, most individuals fall short of their resolutions within the first months, weeks or even days of beginning them. According to the University of Scranton, 45 percent of Americans decide to make a New Year’s Resolution but only 8 percent of them achieve their resolutions. While we don’t expect everyone to succeed, an 8 percent success rate is shockingly low. The length of time resolutions were maintained in 2015 is as follows:
- Two weeks: 75 percent
- Past two weeks: 71 percent
- Past one month: 64 percent
- Past six months: 46 percent
Here are some resolutions we are trying to achieve and some we should be incorporating into our new year.
Top 5 Resolutions from Americans in 2015
1. Lose Weight
With no surprise, losing weight is almost always at the top of Americans' New Year’s Resolution list. The fact that weight loss is number one shows how difficult it is for people to lose unwanted weight. Success takes dedication and most importantly to note, time. As Americans, we want instant results, but weight loss isn't something that happens overnight. Create a plan, have someone hold you accountable and expect several bumps along the way.
2. Getting Organized
Organization is sought after for most individuals but mastered by few. Start with something small, like your work desk and move on from there. Attempting to organize your entire home in a day is too much to handle. Take it step by step and make a daily effort to put things away. When you fall off the bandwagon, jump back on before it’s too late to avoid an out of control spiral back to a cluttered life.
3. Spend Less, Save More
Saving money is something everyone can be better at doing. Each person's personal saving goals are very different, but altogether the same. We want the security of having enough money for emergencies and our lives after our careers come to an end. Meeting with a financial planner can help you know where to invest your money and how much to save. A professional will make all the difference when it comes to obtaining your financial goals.
4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
Another “no surprise” resolution is to enjoy our lives to the fullest. It may sound like an easy task, but it’s often ignored. We spend so much time reaching for things we don't have that we forget to enjoy what is right in front of us. As they say, “stop to smell the roses” every once in awhile. Try making the most of every day and consider writing in a journal to reflect on positive aspects of your day or week.
5. Staying Fit and Healthy
Number five is an excellent overall resolution to make! We all want to enjoy our lives well into our senior years and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help us to do just that. Starting healthy habits at a young age helps our bodies as we age in multiple ways. One example would be getting enough calcium in our diets at an early age. On average, the highest bone density we obtain occurs when we are 25 years of age. The higher we are at this point, the better for our future!
Top Healthy Resolutions You Should be Making
None of the previous decisions are "bad", but we do have several suggestions to help benefit your overall health in the New Year!
1. Quit smoking
Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of Americans. What is important to know is that lung cancer is the most preventable kind of cancer. Smoking cigarettes is the number one cause of lung cancer. Individuals that quit smoking will significantly decrease their chances of lung cancer. The best advice to succeeding in this resolution is never to start smoking in the first place. If you need help creating a plan to quit smoking, reach out to your care team at UnityPoint Clinic for help.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Getting the adequate amount of sleep is essential to help with your mental and physical health. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, our recommended sleep varies throughout our lifetime. Infants should be sleeping 16-18 hours a day. while adults are recommended to sleep 7-8 hours a day. Each “magic number” can vary considerably. One way to find yours is to create a sleep journal to see how your body reacts to different amounts of sleep each day. If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, talk with your primary care provider to determine if your symptoms may be associated with a sleeping disorder.
The benefits of regular exercise don’t go without notice. While weight loss is an obvious benefit from exercise, it is hardly the only one. Your heart is a direct benefactor of regular exercise. It helps to prevent high blood pressure by boosting high-density lipoprotein known as “good” cholesterol. This helps prevent stroke, diabetes and certain kinds of cancer. Better sleep is another benefit of regular exercise. Avoid exercise too close to bedtime to prevent having too much energy in the evening.
4. Schedule Annual Exams
If you have been postponing your annual exams for no good reason, it’s time to make a change. You owe it to yourself to do anything you can to prevent potentially life-threatening disease and illness. For example, prostate cancer is the most treatable form of cancer in men when found in its earliest stages. Because symptoms don’t usually show until the cancer is in its latest stages, an annual exam is the only way to detect it before it is too late.
Resolutions can be challenging for anyone to accomplish. Prepare yourself with the help from experts at UnityPoint Clinic. They are available to assist in the achievement of your healthy resolutions in 2016! Call or contact us today to get started on the right track!