Are You a New Year’s Resolution Newbie, Master or Flunkee?

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Turning the page on the new year is a chance to wipe the slate clean—and to be better versions
of ourselves. And when it comes to what we want to improve, goals that fall in the health and
wellness arena top all other New Year’s resolutions. In fact, three of the top four resolutions in a
2018 YouGov poll were health-related: eat healthier (1), get more exercise (2) and focus on selfcare, e.g., get more sleep (4).

There are three types of people who choose a goal from the health and wellness category as a
New Year’s resolution: the resolution newbie, the resolution master and the resolution flunkee.
Let’s see which category you most identify with—and how focusing on the right strategy can
help you get healthier in the new year.

Resolution Newbie. Maybe this is your first time making a commitment to your health and
wellness. Good for you! Did a recent event like a health scare or loss of a loved one make you
see the light? Or perhaps you want to be more active to enjoy activities with your grandchildren
or to carry your own bag on the golf course. Whatever your goals are, taking that first step is a
big one so you’ll want to be sure that you’re prepared for the challenge. Particularly when
exercising for the first time or returning to an active lifestyle after a long hiatus, it’s important to
have the proper information and tools to be successful. And that means tapping the healthcare
resources available to you: Clinicians like nutritionists and physical therapists can make sure that
your body is prepared to take on new challenges and work with you to a design a program that
will help you achieve your goals.

Resolution Master. Perhaps you fall into a different camp: You vowed to get healthy in 2018
and you achieved it! For 2019, your resolution is to continue the work you’ve begun. After all,
living a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment; it’s not something you do for a while and then
revert back to your former habits. As you prepare to embrace the new year, are there any small
tweaks you can make to advance your goals? Maybe you’re thinking about training for and
running a half marathon, but don’t know where to begin. A physical therapy evaluation is a great
place to start—PTs are trained to assess your movement patterns and identify any limitations or
weaknesses. Based on that information, the PT can design a personalized exercise program to
help you safely and effectively prepare for the grueling half marathon course.

Resolution Flunkee. Let’s say your plan for 2019 is to get in better shape and improve your
overall health (we support that resolution!), but this isn’t your first rodeo. Your 2018 resolution
was pretty similar but it’s one year later, and you’re in the same place you were on New Year’s
Eve 2017. What stood in your way—was it time? Affordable options? Access to healthy choices
and activities? If any of these barriers sound familiar, then along with your resolution, you need
an action plan. Without planning ahead, you’ll find yourself staring down the year 2020 with the
same goal in mind. But let’s not focus only on the negative—what went right last year? Maybe
you made sleep a priority, which in turn helped you to make better food choices at breakfast but
by afternoon, you found yourself choosing to energize with a soda and candy bar when all you
probably needed was an apple and a 15-minute walk. Take some time to think about the
previous year—good and bad—and take with you what you need, and leave the rest behind.
Afterall, you can’t plan where you’re going without understanding where you’ve been.

Which resolution type are you?