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Maintaining Health & Wellness Resolutions: Expert Tips

New Year, New You: Expert Insights on Maintaining Health and Wellness Resolutions

As the New Year dawns, so does the tradition of setting resolutions, especially those pertaining to health and wellness. The prospect of a fresh start prompts many to strive for improved fitness, better nutrition, and overall wellness. However, achieving and maintaining these resolutions can often be challenging, requiring not just determination but also a well-strategized plan.

Embracing Gradual Change

The high failure rate of New Year’s resolutions is largely due to unrealistic expectations and an impatience for instant results. According to Maya Feller, a New York-based dietitian, and Rebecca Scritchfield, a Washington D.C.-based dietitian and certified exercise physiologist, the key is to view change as a gradual process, not an overnight miracle. They advocate for setting attainable goals, such as increasing vegetable intake, and constructing a solid foundation of healthy habits.

Steering Clear of Quick Fixes

Scritchfield advises against extreme, quick-fix plans which often lead to feelings of shame or deprivation. Instead, she promotes a kinder, more moderate approach that allows for flexibility and adjustment. Resolutions, she says, should be specific, measurable, and most importantly, written down. Sharing these goals with others can also contribute to long-term success by creating a sense of accountability.

Patience, Persistence, and Self-Compassion

Statistics show that while 48% of Americans aim to improve their fitness as a New Year’s resolution, most resolutions last only two to three months. This highlights the importance of patience, persistence, and self-compassion in the resolution-keeping process. Eileen Anderson, director of Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Case Western Reserve University, advocates for an incremental approach to habit change, breaking big goals into smaller, manageable steps. She also underscores the profound influence that world events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can have on the resolutions people choose to make.

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