This Is How Doctors Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions
Here are the New Year's resolutions of top physicians and how they're changing things up this year to achieve their goals.
Make it convenient
Toral Patel, MD, MS, FAAD, a leading dermatologist in Chicago, says her top New Year’s resolution is to hydrate herself. “I keep a 1-liter bottle of water on my desk at work, and I make sure it’s empty before I leave for the day—any water I drink after that is a bonus,” she says. “So far this has been a great way for me to keep my resolution, and I definitely feel better—and less hungry.” Find out more tricks for keeping your resolutions.
Take it social
After taking a couple years off, Risheet Patel, MD, a family physician located in Indiana, says his goal is to run a half-marathon. “As I get back into training, I plan on sharing my experience on social media to help motivate my patients to achieve their fitness goals as well.”
Make it routine
“As a busy cardiologist, it is easy to get swept away in the vortex of chaos that comes with the occupation,” shares Adam Splaver, MD. “In order for me not to lose my sense of self, my purpose, and reestablish zen, I am adding a practice of mindfulness to my routine. I meditate daily and incorporate a breathing practice into my work. I have felt more grounded, at ease, and fully present in the moment as a result.” Find out more resolutions for a happier year.
Write it down
Colleen D. Cira, PsyD., a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in the Chicago area, says 2018 will be the year of self-care. “I give so much of myself to others that I often come last,” she shares. “My goal has been to commit to The 5-Minute Journal. Taking those few minutes daily to set my intention for the day, think about what I’m grateful for, and celebrate smalls wins, is a game changer. Since I began, I’ve found that my mood has improved, and my days feel more deliberate and purposeful.” Watch out for the silent signs you’re not taking good care of yourself.
Do it together
Seun Sowemimo, MD, FACS, FASMBS, a laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon practicing in New Jersey, says one of his top New Year’s resolutions is to continue a quest to reduce sugar in his family’s diet. He explains, “My resolution is to eat even less sugar this year. Over the past three to four years, since I’ve had children, my wife and I really don’t have sugary drinks or food in our home. That has helped us offset our desire for it. I admit, I’m pretty proud when our daughters tell the restaurant server we only order dessert on our birthdays.” Check out these easy food swaps to reduce your sugar intake.
Set short-term goals
For the month of January, Dina D. Strachan, MD, a dermatologist practicing in New York, resolved to avoid sugar, bread, alcohol, and television. “In the winter, it’s easy to justify being inactive and reaching for comfort food. This resolution motivates me to be more thoughtful about what I eat, and I’m more active as there is one less screen to sit and fixate on.”
To make her digital detox a success, Elizabeth Trattner, AP, keeps her phone in the kitchen at nighttime. “I give myself time to fall asleep and wake up without my phone. I have also tossed out all of my televisions except for one.”
Use a big birthday as motivation
C. Nicole Swiner, MD, a family physician, author, and speaker in North Carolina, is turning 40 later this year. “I definitely want to focus more on health and wellness. I’m practicing weekly yoga for self-care and establishing Meatless Mondays at home for less fatty meat intake.”
Keeping your resolutions doesn’t just happen by accident, says Jesse Kiefer, MD, an anesthesiologist and critical care physician in Pennsylvania. “In previous years, my diet and exercise was very sporadic—good for a few weeks and then worse for a few,” he says. “I am now working on consistency. My wife and I started weekly meal planning, and it’s been setting our week up for success. I’m setting exercise goals for the week depending on my work schedule, and working out on my days off.” No surprise that exercising is on the list of most popular resolutions.
Set small goals
Keep it simple and practical, advises Ashlie Olp, MD, a family doctor practicing in Indiana. She tells Reader’s Digest, “One of my New Year’s resolutions was to eat a vegetable every day at lunch. I can do this now because I actually have a lunch hour so I can sit down and eat, rather than eating on the run in less than five minutes every day.”
Make small changes
Jane Frederick, MD, FACOG, a reproductive endocrinologist practicing in California, hopes to reduce stress in a big way this year. “I make a point every day to find ways to eliminate stress and adopt healthy habits,” she says. This includes exercising regularly, evening walks, meditating, and using essential oils. “I diffuse the oils in my home—it smells like a day spa!”
Be the change
“I often recommend that women trying to conceive or freeze eggs for their future fertility, eat the Mediterranean diet and avoid red meat—and I should practice what I preach,” shares Carolyn Alexander, MD, FACOG, an ob/gyn and reproductive endocrinologist practicing in California. “I have noticed more energy, better skin, and less menstrual cramps. I incorporated fruits and vegetables that are anti-inflammatory and sense a difference. I hope to keep it up and continue encouraging women to do the same.” Find out the resolutions nutritionists are making for a happier, healthier year.