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New Year Goals written on notebookIt’s that time of the year when many of us resolve to improve our lives. Unfortunately, these promises are often hard to keep because we set the bar too high. Instead of pledging to wipe out all of those unhealthy habits in 2021, try aiming for achievable goals that can make life better now and for years to come.

Eating more whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish may significantly reduce heart disease risk factors, trim your body weight and lower blood sugar levels to decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes.  Adding these foods to your diet can be done slowly and consistently. For example, you can try a new fruit or vegetable each day.

Speaking of eating, you should get busy in the kitchen and cook more meals at home. Studies have shown that people who eat at least 5 home-cooked meals per week were less likely to be overweight. Start by making one meal each day at home and then add to it gradually until most of your meals are homemade.

Standing up more often and moving when you do can reduce many negative health effects of sitting. If you have a sedentary job, try getting up and walking for 5 minutes every hour or go for a 15-minute walk at lunch.

You can pay it forward to yourself with regularly scheduled health screenings that can spot potential problems before they turn into something more serious. Along with a visit to your primary care provider, you also need an annual women’s healthcare checkup with a gynecologist or nurse practitioner like those at Northline Women’s Health Center who serve Brownstown, Southgate and all of Downriver.

Many of us depend on our phones and computers for work and entertainment but spending too much time on electronic devices has been linked to depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Replace some of that phone scrolling, TV watching and computer gaming with reading, taking a walk or developing a new hobby.

Finally, try to spend less time thinking about the future. Being in the present and more mindful of it may help you feel more content in your everyday life. Start with 10 minutes a day of quiet time when you notice what’s around you without any analysis or judgement. Listening intently to others is also a way to be more present. You can also try meditation using one of the many smartphone apps that offer simple exercises to improve mindfulness.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax