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Forty and Beyond

the life of a fortysomething

January 13, 2024

Transform Your Life: 6 Simple Resolutions to Keep Beyond the New Year


As the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, people around the world make resolutions, setting ambitious goals for self-improvement. However, studies show that by mid-February, a significant number have already abandoned their resolutions. Dr. Jon Edward B. Jurilla, Section Chief of Psychiatry at Makati Medical Center, suggests a different approach for 2024—small, achievable tweaks to daily routines that lead to long-lasting positive impacts. Here are six simple resolutions recommended by MakatiMed that you can easily integrate into your life.

Sleep Well

Commit to getting 7-9 hours of sleep most nights of the week. Quality sleep plays a crucial role in physical and mental well-being. Dr. Jurilla emphasizes that adequate sleep improves mood, reduces stress, sharpens cognitive abilities, and contributes to maintaining a healthy weight, lowering the risk of diseases like diabetes and heart conditions.

Eat More Veggies

Enhance your diet by consuming 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. This simple adjustment can aid in weight loss, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Dr. Jurilla advises including a variety of colorful produce in your meals, ensuring a diverse range of nutrients.

Get an Annual Health Screening

Prioritize preventive care by scheduling a yearly health checkup with diagnostic exams. Early detection of diseases, even those without noticeable symptoms, allows for timely treatment. This proactive approach can save you from expensive and stressful hospital confinements, ultimately prolonging your life.

Exercise Your Brain

Challenge your mind beyond mindless social media scrolling. Engage in activities like word games, puzzles, reading, or memorizing poetry. Dr. Jurilla highlights the cognitive benefits of regular mental stimulation, such as enhanced memory, prevention of depression, and a reduced risk of dementia.

Practice Mindfulness

In the midst of worries about the future or dwelling on the past, embrace mindfulness. Dr. Jurilla defines it as open, active attention to the present moment, promoting objective observation of thoughts and feelings without judgment. Practicing mindfulness can lead to greater peace, reducing tendencies toward anger, anxiety, and depression.

Chill

Prioritize relaxation, a key component of a healthy lifestyle. Taking time for activities that bring joy and peace—whether it's gardening, dancing, meeting friends, or meditating—recharges your mind and body. Dr. Jurilla emphasizes that being well-rested and relaxed prepares you to face life's challenges with renewed energy and a positive mindset.

Instead of setting grandiose resolutions that often lead to disappointment, consider integrating these simple and sustainable tweaks into your daily routine. By focusing on achievable goals, you can make 2024 a year of positive transformation for both yourself and those around you. Remember, the key is to embrace small changes that lead to lasting well-being and happiness.