3 Simple Goals for Health – Dr. Peter J. Rice
New Year’s Goals
I don’t generally do goals for each year. But just so I’m not left out, my wife usually has three tasks or goals for me to accomplish each year. That’s not a bad arrangement, although it depends on the tasks, the wife and how much you hear of them during the year. I’m not complaining.
Last September, I was proud of myself for completing one of my New Year’s tasks. We had an OLD VW Eurovan that moved with us from Tennessee and just sat in the driveway bringing down home values in the neighborhood. I think it had been task #3, maybe for 2014: get rid of that &@*% van. Although the van only had a book value of $79, it gave me a sense of accomplishment and generosity to donate it to kars4kids.org, the only place I could find that did not require me to find the title.
You may also be reluctant to make New Year’s goals. One of the reasons I don’t care for formal goals or resolutions is that they are usually too big and often unsustainable. Sometimes a big goal is a good idea and a real accomplishment – like stopping smoking –, but more often, New Year’s goals are unrealistic and last only a short time.
I can “pay it forward” by providing some ideas of small goals you might consider to improve your health in 2016.
- Take a multivitamin each day. Daily multivitamins cover you when the food you eat falls short of providing an ideal mixture of nutrients. It’s true that if your diet is always ideal your vitamins may not do you much good, but for most people, your diet is not ideal and vitamins can help. Talk to your doctor first to see what is right for you and your medical conditions.
- Weigh yourself every day and record your weight. Weight is a basic measure of health, and most people struggle to keep their weight under control. When you record your weight each day, it can help you think just enough to encourage your good eating habits. You’ll see your weight go up after a big day of salty eating, and you’ll see it go down slowly as you eat healthier. Good weight control is a long term goal than can only be sustained by changing your mindset about eating.
- Start some exercise that you enjoy. Concentrate on the enjoy rather than the exercise. We expect that if we are feeling fat of achey or depressed, then we will only feel worse if we exercise. Usually the opposite is true. It may very well surprise you how good you feel with a little exercise. And if you pick something you enjoy, you are likely to continue. So start with a short walk, bike ride or whatever; make sure you have fun so you will want to do it again. Obviously talk with your primary care physician before starting to exercise.
There are many other more drastic things you could do for your health. But often the easiest things are left undone while we dream of more impressive things that we never get around to starting.
If you do want to dive in and do more, remember that your pharmacist, nurse and physician are there to help.
Your pharmacist can answer your questions on all sorts of health topics like additional vitamins, or on aids to stop smoking or lose weight. We also like to provide moral support, share your successes and help you get back on track if you falter.
Let’s work together to make 2016 a year in which we enjoy better health!
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