Keeping Your Heart Healthy Resolutions Going
Suppose you’ve been keeping your heart healthy resolutions, congratulations! You’ve already made it longer than most people who set resolutions.
However, if you want your resolutions to turn into healthy life habits you maintain for a lifetime, you are at a critical stage. As the year progresses, people will likely forget about or abandon their resolutions. Here are some tips to make sure you keep up your resolutions for the entire year.
Set New Goals
Paradoxically, many resolutions become victims of their own success at this point. If you had a health goal like increasing exercise or losing weight, you may have achieved it already. If you did, it’s easy to think of your resolution as something you did. Then you might find that you drop the healthy habits that helped you achieve your goal. Unfortunately, that might cause you to backslide, losing the progress you made.
To keep yourself engaged with your New Year’s resolution, consider increasing your goals. The extra level of challenge will add more excitement to your resolution and help you maintain your progress and potentially achieve even more than you thought you could.
Add Some Variety
Another problem that leads people to abandon resolutions is routine. This can happen with many different types of resolutions. When people make a resolution to adopt a heart-healthy diet, they may add a few recipes to their menu at first, then settle into a routine where they’re eating the same few dishes every week. This decreases your enjoyment of your heart-healthy diet. It makes it more tempting to break your diet and slip back into old unhealthy eating habits. It’s a misconception that a heart-healthy diet has to be boring – there’s a near-infinite variety of delicious foods that are good for your heart. Especially now that we’re approaching gardening season, you can start planning your heart-healthy garden and looking forward to eating some heart-healthy barbecue.
The same thing can happen with exercise. If you get into a steady exercise routine, you can get bored, making you less interested in working out regularly. As a result, you might stop doing your exercises as frequently as you should, eventually dropping your regimen entirely. To make sure you don’t get bored with your routine, change up your workout regularly. This isn’t just better for your engagement; it’s better for your health. A variety of exercise is as important as a variety of foods.
You’ve made it a long way with your resolution. Likely there are few people – possibly none – who know just how much you’ve achieved. It’s unlikely that anyone is going to recognize you for what you’ve done unless you do it yourself.
So take this time to recognize your achievement and reward yourself for keeping your resolution this long. Not only that but set up a reward system going forward, making sure you’ve got plans for rewards that can get you through the first year. It doesn’t have to be precise. You can say, “I’ll set up my next reward when I achieve this goal.”
Track Your Progress
Sometimes you might not be able to see the full progress you’ve made. Weight loss goals, for example, can seem stagnant when you reach a certain point. However, you might be making progress in other ways. Building muscle can balance losing fat sometimes, making it seem like you’re not making progress.
In addition, some progress is just invisible but still important. Lab tests can reveal the progress you’re making but might not be able to see. Blood labs can demonstrate some improvement, like cholesterol levels. Other tests, like a calcium heart score, can show how much you’ve improved the health of your heart directly. Understanding this progress can help you feel inspired with your resolutions.
Recruit a New Team
Accountability is one of the best ways to ensure you’re keeping your resolutions. The only problem is that the rest of your accountability group may have abandoned their resolutions by this point. If that’s the case, it’s time to recruit a new team to help you keep it going.
It’s not unreasonable to think that you might have inspired some people with the progress you’ve already made. If anyone expresses interest in making the progress that you have, invite them to join you and see the progress of their own.
However, if you can’t find someone to participate in your heart-healthy resolutions, you can find ready-made teams with programs like our own Walk with a Doc.
Cardiologists Who Care
If you are looking for heart doctors who can help you achieve and maintain progress toward your personal health goals, you’re looking for South Denver Cardiology. We believe in supporting your efforts to get and stay healthy. We not only offer comprehensive diagnostic tests to monitor your heart, but we also offer support and tools for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
To learn more about how South Denver Cardiology can support your healthy lifestyle, please call 303-744-1065 or email us to request an appointment at our main office or one of our other locations.
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As with any health concerns, your specific treatment program should be discussed thoroughly with your primary care physician as well as any specialists who may need to be consulted – like a cardiologist.Sign Up