In the spirit of tradition, I made a list of New Year’s resolutions that I hope to achieve in 2018. But contrary to tradition, I did something different this year: I made sure that the items on my list were things that I could and would accomplish. (Did you know that by February, 80% of people who made New Year’s resolutions already failed and abandoned their lists.) So here are my attainable goals for the New Year. If we both print them out, we’re sure to live healthier, happier lives with just a little bit of effort.
1. When given a choice, choose organic
Who doesn’t want to eat better? One simple way to do so is by picking up that bag of organic apples rather than the ones that are 50 cents cheaper. This year I’ve been researching the herbicide Roundup and GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods and it’s scary how much of our produce is tainted. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, digestive issues, fertility problems and more, so strolling through the organic section of the grocery store is an easy way to prevent potential health issues down the road.
2. Try natural remedies before popping a pill
I have a full medicine cabinet for the “just in case” problems in life. After all, when you have a headache or diarrhea, the last thing you want to do is to run to the store to get some meds. However, I never realized the true effect that medications can have on one’s long term health or the complications that can arise from drug interactions. For example, aspirin can adversely interact with a variety of drugs such as blood thinners, antibiotics, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which can lead to serious complications. Eating better, using natural oils and sleeping more can deliver the same results for many ailments without the risks that are associated with medications.
3. Stress less
Stress can cause digestive issues, headaches, heart disease, obesity, worsen diabetes and more. Saying no to busyness and yes to me time can not only help my physical well-being, but can minimize crankiness and depression (which will also help those around me).
4. Make time for medical appointments
If a light goes on in my car dashboard, I take it in to my mechanic within the week to fix what’s wrong. If my body starts acting up, I ignore it and hope that the ailment will miraculously solve itself. I don’t know the last time I had a physical, met with an optometrist or spoke to my OB-GYN. I’ll be re-introducing myself to my healthcare professionals in 2018 because I realize that if cancer, diabetes and other problems are found in their early stages, the treatment has a much higher chance for success.
5. Choose the best option, one choice at a time
Can a resolution be to keep my resolutions? If not, then mine is to take one day at a time and make the best choice I can each time. If I have free time to walk around the block, I will. If I have a headache, I’ll rub peppermint oil on my temples rather than popping an aspirin. If I have a choice between and orange and a slab of chocolate cake, I’ll eat only half of the cake (heck, I’m only human). And when I eat the cake, I’ll show myself grace and will try to exercise more will power next time.