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Healthy New Year

Each January brings new resolve to eat better, exercise more and improve overall well-being. Unfortunately, especially in the case of health-related changes, the motivation doesn’t always stick. Some of the top failures: lose weightget fit and quit smoking

In 2010, the American Psychological Association (APA) conducted a national survey to look at the challenge of meeting health-related goals. Here’s what it found: 

  • Only 16 percent of adults in the U.S. report success with health-related resolutions
  • 33 percent fail due to lack of willpower
  • 24 percent find change to be too difficult
  • 20 percent blame failure on too much stress

  To make resolutions stick, the APA offers these tips:

  • Keep it simple – You may be setting yourself up for failure by attempting more than you can handle at once. Stick to one goal at a time, and give it your full attention. 
  • Keep it real – Focus on progress, not perfection. If you slip up, get back on track. It may help to set smaller goals along the way to a bigger goal to heighten your sense of accomplishment and give you motivation to continue.
  • Ask for help – Rather than going at it alone, share your struggles and progress with friends, family or members of a support group. They can be a great source of encouragement and insight when you need it most.

Here are our top New Year’s health resolutions for 2013: 

1. Be proactive — Prevention is the best medicine, and it’s never too early to get started. Certain screenings such as blood pressure and cholesterol checks are recommended as early as age 20 to counteract issues down the road. Get a good handle on your health with a wellness checkup. 

2. Grab an app — Health apps make health resolutions more manageable and fun. Want to lose weight? Grab a calorie-counting app to set realistic goals and easily track progress over time. Want to boost your workout? Find an app that makes it fun, like Zombies, Run!

3. Be happy — It’s about more than just having a good time. Studies actually link happiness to longer life. So laugh more and stress less.

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