Happy New Year, Portland

Continue your path to a healthy lifestyle

The cookies, pies, hams and other treats of the holiday season are merely a distant memory, but the traditional indulgence window between November and January may have provided just enough motivation to get your health back on track. For the new year, providers at The Portland Clinic want to help make sure all our neighbors set realistic and reachable goals when thinking about their resolutions.

According to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of people give up on their resolutions by February. Promising yourself a broad resolution or not creating a system of measurable, short-term goals may put you on the fast track to failure. It is important to understand what steps are necessary to achieve your goals and keep a steady pace, rather than burn out when you don’t see results in the first two weeks.

When setting a New Year’s resolution, the most important question to ask yourself is, “is this realistic?” Odds are, you’ll keep your healthy lifestyle on track if your ambitions are attainable. The Portland Clinic has plenty of resources for healthy lifestyle planning, including dietitians, physical therapists, psychologists and general practice physicians to help guide you to success. When deciding on a resolution, consider the following guidelines:

When setting a goal for ideal strength, weight or flexibility, the final results only appear after you put in dedicated work and achieve small gains on the way. Establish a monthly goal that will gradually work toward your ideal accomplishment. Measure where you are currently and understand you’ll make small waves during the process. Keeping a detailed journal of measurements and tactics will help you keep your resolution. Setting small goals, such as losing five pounds per month rather than a target weight at the end of the year, is much more attainable, especially if your schedule is disrupted.

Healthy eating is a key factor in weight management. Discuss a plan with your dietitian to increase essential nutrients, while cutting out empty calories, such as sugar, simple carbs or unnecessary fats. Developing strong, healthy eating habits will prove more effective than jumping on the latest fad diet. Plan your meals and increase your home cooking skills to ensure you know exactly what you are consuming. Of course, the occasional treat, in moderation, will still be welcome with your new lifestyle.

If you’re planning to use your gym membership to its full potential, speak with your doctor and/or physical therapist to make certain you’re healthy enough for an increase in physical activity. Personal trainers can help create a program that fits your abilities and goals for the year, while ensuring you keep proper form and appropriate increases in activity.

To reduce stress in the new year, remember that many mental health problems are associated with daily stress, transitions in life or other circumstances, including depression or unhealthy habits. Be aware of common warning signs of depression and other stress-related ailments that may affect your resolutions. Understand what’s causing your stress, rather than trying to jump right into a general “stress-free” outlook on life.

Here at The Portland Clinic, we wish all our patients, staff and neighbors a happy, healthy and productive year. Stay positive and remember to keep your ambitions high and goals in check to stay on track to a healthier lifestyle.