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What’s in Your New Year?

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New Year’s Eve has come and gone. So have many of the New Year’s resolutions that many people have made, like not texting while driving, taking better care of your health, being nicer to the dog, spending more time with the kids (grandkids). New Year’s resolutions are notoriously ineffectual in making life changes, especially when it comes to an area that resists change such as personal health and well-being.

Instead of making (and breaking) New Year’s resolutions, consider these principles and imagine some ways that you might make them happen in your life. Don’t make big changes or choose hard-to-do options. Instead, think about the general principle, then imagine how that principle would play out in your life. Write down (helps crystallize thinking) one or two ways you would be willing to try for two weeks. If it works for you, continue to do it, or consider other options to achieve the same goal.

The principles of healthful living are actually quite simple. Working out a practical way to implement them into your life can be fun and interesting. Consider the following and how they might look on you.

  1. Eat a balanced diet from the four basic food groups: whole grains and cereals, fruits and vegetables, the protein group, and the dairy group.
  2. Exercise moderately every day – in the open air, if possible.
  3. Maintain ideal weight for height.
  4. Don’t smoke.
  5. Don’t drink alcohol.
  6. Control blood pressure.
  7. Wear seat belts.
  8. Get adequate sleep.

As you can see, these are just basic, no-frills principles with no specific rules on how to carry them out. Actually, each principle has a variety of ways to be implemented in your life. Each principle can be pursued at multiple levels, depending on whether you are already following a healthful lifestyle or are just beginning to explore healthful living.

Whatever your current status, plan an interesting adventure. Surprise your body with an innovative way to approach each principle. And surprise yourself with how good you feel in just a few months when all your New Year’s resolutions are ancient history?

Author

Max Wayne Hammonds was born Aug 3, 1943, in northeastern Indiana, in the county hospital in Wabash. He attended high school and college in his home town of North Manchester and attended Indiana University Medical School in Indianapolis. Following an internship in South Bend, IN and a year of flight medicine in the Air Force, he took a residency in anesthesiology at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.