by Midwest Orthopaedics at RUSH
Chicago, IL, December 28, 2023 — As we anticipate the ringing in of 2024, many of us will commit to healthy resolutions but will end up changing our tune before January is even over. In fact, some have dubbed the second Friday in January as ‘Quitters’ Day.’ Studies show that of the 41% of Americans who make a resolution, only about 9% keep them through the end of the year. Why?
Dr. Julia Bruene, primary care sports medicine physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at RUSH, supports goal setting for health-promoting behaviors which result in improved health outcomes and a longer life.
The four main behaviors Dr. Bruene discusses with her patients are:
Regular exercise (or “pleasurable movement”)
Adequate, restorative sleep.
Taking steps toward stress management
Maintaining personal connections/avoiding isolation
But, just as importantly, she says, it’s all about how you frame your resolution that matters. Dr. Bruene also shares with patients these five tips to boost the likelihood that their intentions will turn into actual, sustainable behavioral change:
Set “Approach goals” and adopt positive behaviors instead of “Avoidance goals” which extinguish negative behaviors. A Swedish study showed that people are more likely to achieve their goals if they adopt a new positive habit (for example, swim twice a week v. cut down on sweets).
Apply the SMART method for behavioral change:
S- Specific goals work better than vague ones.
M- Measurable goals are more likely to be met.
A- Achievable- make sure your goal is actually realistic.
R- Relevant (does it matter to you personally?)
T- Time-bound goals (meaning I will make x amount of progress in a certain period) are more likely to be met.
Slip-ups are OK! A “slip” doesn’t have to be a “slide.” If you fail or stumble, it’s OK to get back on the horse! You can create a new fresh start on February 1.
Find a community/buddy for accountability. This means joining a gym or finding a partner to cook healthy meals or take brisk walks with.
Tell someone your goal to keep you accountable and motivated. Ask them to check in with you.
Having trouble setting healthy goals for yourself? Talk to your doctor about what makes the most sense for you.