Is it time to fine tune your resolutions?

Justin Hamrick Osage County Health Department

Many people make New Year’s resolutions but most resolutions are forgotten or abandoned before February, usually because there were too many resolutions or they were too broad. Osage County Health Department wants to help people choose SMART healthy resolutions for 2019. SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound goals are much more likely to happen.

Therefore, people should trust their instincts on what they most want to resolve to accomplish, and then break it into smaller specific and relevant action steps with time goals for each. Setting these small measurable steps to reach a larger goal gives a person accomplishments to celebrate along the way, making the long-term resolution more achievable.

A few broad healthy resolutions to consider making SMART in 2019 might be:

• Make healthy food choices like eating more fruits vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products, i.e. “Eat five fruits and/or vegetables each day.”

• Move more, sit less, i.e. “Walk 1 mile, three times for three weeks, then add 1/4 mile or 1 extra day for 3 more weeks…” or “Watch only two hours of TV each night” or “Make 1 night screen free each week.”

• Get seven hours of sleep each night. This might mean going to bed earlier and being more active during the day helps with falling asleep at night.

• Drink fruit infused water in place of soda. Try starting with decreasing the number of sodas per day or week and replace those with water.

• Quit tobacco and/or vaping. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free help. Talk to others who have successfully quit and get support. Set a quit date.

• Protect yourself. Wear sunscreen daily even in cold weather — the sun’s UV rays do the damage not the temperature. Wear bike helmets, get your flu shot, wear insect repellent and wash your hands often.

• Get your yearly check-ups, physical, vision, and dental. Also, know your health history. Call for appointment dates and schedule around those with your other plans.

• Learn something new. Enroll in a class that sounds fun or interesting, or ask someone to teach you a new game or activity.

Osage County Health Department staff members are sharing their New Year’s resolutions in hopes to elevate their success in accomplishing them. One employee has resolved eat fast food a maximum of one time each week. Another has stated that they will be exercising on the treadmill for 30 minutes, three times a week. Also, others are planning to improve stress management by taking short meditation breaks, leave their screens once an hour and walk to others’ offices instead of emailing questions or responses. Hopefully this will inspire, encourage, and/or motivate others in Osage County to make healthy SMART 2019 resolutions.

Justin Hamrick is a health educator with the Osage County Health Department.