By Carrie Camin
Assistant Vice President, Wellness
Methodist Health System
Have you ever read an article and found yourself nodding your head the whole time you are reading it? That happened to me recently. I came across an article entitled “Five New Year’s Resolutions That Will Change Your Life,” by Shane Robinson. The article appeared in the Jan. 10, 2015 issue of Forbes Magazine. While I’m not a regular reader of Forbes, I’m certainly glad my path crossed with Robinson’s via this article.
Here are Robinson’s life-changing resolutions:
- Smile more
- Maintain or start a health and fitness regimen
- Schedule personal time
- Don’t commit to things you can’t do
- Use your calendar.
Reading this list started me thinking about how these align with our culture at Methodist and the many of the wellness programs we offer our workforce and community.
Smile more. A smile can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered. At Methodist Health System’s new employee orientation, we talk about our culture and always smiling greeting one another, patients and visitors. In the world of wellness, we maximize the value of a smile when people are in need of stress relievers. We encourage folks to take a walk and bask in and reciprocate smiles with our fellow employees. It’s amazing what a mood elevator it is and how a smile can be so contagious.
Maintain or start a health and fitness regimen. The benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise are well documented. Here are some quick tips that might help you fast-track and achieve your health and fitness plans in 2016.
- Set achievable and time-bound goals. Put them on your calendar and follow –up to assess your progress and success. Make goals around you and behaviors you can sustain. If you hate running, don’t set a goal of running three times a week. Like to dance? Boogie to your favorite tunes for 30 minutes three times a week.
- Work on one goal at a time. Don’t try to tackle too much at once. If improving your diet and exercise regimens are on your list of goals for 2016, make your exercise routine part of your weekly schedule before embarking on better nutrition.
- Get your zzzs. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep makes you crave sugar and caffeine, often found in sodas and high-calorie and high-sugar coffee drinks. Sleep allows your body to recover and regenerate.
- Mix it up. Add variety to your exercise routine. Make good use of your time with interval training. Pick a comfortable pace for your walk or run. Add push-ups or squats every two minutes. Try adding 30 second bouts of activity every few minutes.
- Keep moving. Take the stairs. Go the long way. Start tracking your steps. Give yourself the gift of a device that will keep you on your feet. Free trackers available as apps on your smart phone can be very useful.
- Find new ways to reward yourself. Replay and celebrate your victories. Just finished a brisk walk and feel great? Capture that feeling for replay later. Relive that feeling when you need motivation or affirmation. Bask in your success instead of treating yourself with that brownie, burger, or latte.
- Socialize through activities. Instead of dinner and a movie, go bowling, support a charity, help your friend clean out her closet, go to the park, or take your dog for a walk.
- Get in a good laugh. Try to find a way to laugh every day. Laughter really is the best medicine.
- Shake it off. Bad traffic? Sarcastic co-worker? Don’t stress out. You can only control you. Carrying the negative with you only weighs you down. This would be a good time for a hardy laugh!
- If you have not already, get your annual physical. Connect with your personal physician and get the appropriate preventive exams for your age and gender. If you don’t have a personal physician, find one and begin a long-term relationship.
Schedule personal time. Try to keep work and personal time separate. Of course, sometimes work priorities come first. But, if you take time for personal needs, you’ll be surprised how it will energize your work. If you can, take mini-breaks in your day to hydrate, share a joke, take a lap around the office. Schedule time to work out. Make plans with friends and family and keep them — you’ll be amazed how taking time for yourself will actually improve your efficiency at work.
Don’t commit to things you can’t do. Over committing and under delivering is a sure formula for stress and self-imposed failure. Remember, what you can’t get done today will be there tomorrow.
Use your calendar. Posting events and tasks on your calendar will help you manage your time and keep you accountable to yourself. Health findings in 2015 remind us that lights on the screens of tablets can actually interrupt your sleep pattern, so try putting your phone or tablet away one or two hours before your go to sleep. Set the alarm on your phone or tablet that tells it is time to power down. Put this on your calendar and stick to it.
2016 promises to be an exciting year full of promise and fulfillment, especially if you take these life-changing resolutions to heart!
If you’ve resolved to improve your life and your career in 2016, consider Methodist Health System. Visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSytem.org.
© Methodist Health System