Realistic New Year’s resolutions can be kept all year long if you plan ahead

Blanca Sciara, a Kaiser Permanente clinical health educator in Fresno said the number one recommendation in setting resolutions is for people to plan ahead and to be realistic with their goal.
Blanca Sciara, a Kaiser Permanente clinical health educator in Fresno said the number one recommendation in setting resolutions is for people to plan ahead and to be realistic with their goal.

With the start of every new year, the majority of people might feel inclined to making a New Year’s resolutions list.

But by the time the month of January comes to an end, the majority them might have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions whether it was to be healthier, eating better or just being more physical active which includes joining a gym.

“We have every intention of making New Year resolutions because we know we need to make changes,” said Blanca Sciara, a Kaiser Permanente clinical health educator in Fresno. “But often time people don’t keep them because (those resolutions) are not attainable, they are not realistic.”

However, staying healthy in 2019 don’t have to be a battle if those new resolutions can be kept realistic.

And if those who have already given up of their own resolutions go back to their list and make some realistic changes, Sciara said the chances to keep their resolutions and attain their goals increases dramatically.

Sciara provided some tips people can use on how to stick to their resolutions and be healthier in 2019.

“The important thing is to be realistic with the goals that one wants to make,” she said. “It’s a mater of planning ahead and starting slow. That’s important.”

For example if a person wants to lose weight, Sciara said, that person has to decide how they are going to lose weight. “It’s not just a matter of I want to lose 50 pound,” she said. “We have to start slowly.”

Sciara said when she see members, they always start with what they are going to do to be realistic and what changes they want to make.

“I never tell them how much weight to lose,” she said, adding “even if they lose half a pound to one pound per week, they are on the right track.”

“It’s a matter of how I am going to do this,” she added.

One way to do things is planning meals ahead of time, she said.

“We are busy, we have families, we have children. Our priorities are to take care of our families,” Sciara said. “Planning ahead of time really helps. Making one or two meals on the weekend were we don’t feel stress having to go home, what I am going to cook for dinner. There is stress right there.”

Also setting a goal that is specific.

“We have to be specific with the goals we set,” Sciara said, adding that eating healthy and exercise go hand in hand. “Even to begin an exercise program, we don’t start by doing an hour of exercise starting tomorrow.”

Sciara said she encourage people to start by choosing three days a week ahead of time for exercise and start with 20 minutes each day and to keep that routine for two weeks.

“So every two weeks you are adding another day and another five minutes,” Sciara said. “Never having to go more than five days a week.”

Sciara said and to start being physical active, people are not require to join a gym or have a membership already or even a treadmill at home.

“But we have two walking legs,” she said, adding that even when the weather gets too cold or too hot and people don’t want to go out of their house, they can exercise in place at home.

“Again, it’s starting somewhere,” she said of New Year’s resolutions. “Being realistic, monitoring our progress. How I am doing? I am on track? and what I am going to do that is different.”

Sciara said some people might already have tried some things that didn’t work for them but that is not a reason to give up.

“New year’s resolutions can be eating healthier, exercising, developing good sleeping habits, even drinking water,” she said. “That is a good change to start with. A lot of people are not drinking enough water.”

Sciara said for example if your resolution is to drink more water, you could start with two cups a day and then add another cup a day to the point a person can have eighth glasses of water a day.

Sciara said people tend to drink more water then whey carrying a water bottle with a straw whether they are walking, or are at home, or at work.

Weather is exercising or drinking more water, Sciara said setting alarms can help people attain those goals. “Setting alarms, setting reminder to help us remind ourselves what we need to do,” Sciara said, adding that the number one recommendation in setting resolutions is “to plan ahead and to be realistic with our goal.”

“And (resolutions) can start anywhere, doesn’t have to be January,” Sciara added. “It could be anytime, but you have to set the date.”

Sciara said it is important to remind themselves of the benefit to their health of whatever program they start to make it a success, to not stop and to not feel discourage as well as to have perseverance and getting support they need. “If I mess up, it’s ok. I just have to get back on the horse and continue with the program,” Sciara said. “No beating ourselves up as far as not sticking with the program. It just to continue with the program and no give up. We have to persevere.”

María G. Ortiz-Briones: 559-441-6782, @TuValleTuSalud