Let’s make our 2022 New Year’s resolutions realistic and achievable!

Your friendly Express Scripts Canada Pharmacist shares strategies for successfully sticking to your New Year’s health resolutions.

It’s nearly that time of year: Christmas, New Years and all of the indulging that typically goes along with the Holiday Season.

Inevitably, following a week of holiday dinners, desserts and libations, many of us start thinking about New Year’s resolutions — particularly those concerning our health and fitness goals. And with the impact of COVID-19 and the reality that many of us are more stationary than we’ve ever been before, it’s important to bring health and wellness into our everyday lives. But instead of starting the new year off with unattainable targets or making promises we won’t likely keep, here are a few ways to set yourself up for success and a healthy 2022.

Set smaller, more achievable goals
Your resolutions don’t have to be big to make a positive impact. By committing to smaller goals, you’ll have a better chance of achieving them, such as eating vegetables every day, doing 30 minutes of daily activity and getting at least seven hours of sleep every night. Tailor your goals to your health needs—in this case, eating more fresh foods, being more active and being better rested.

Make it measurable
The only way to know if you’re achieving your goals is to track them. It doesn’t have to be rigorous; a mental checklist can be highly effective. Just ask yourself, “Did, I eat my veggies today?” Similarly, when you awake in the morning, jot down how many hours you slept. If you want to drink more water each day, try putting an elastic band on a water bottle or glass each time you empty it to visually track how many glasses you’ve had. For activity goals, keep a journal, log what you did and for how long, or use a Fitbit or similar fitness app.

Make a plan
In order to realize our goals, we have to plan to accomplish them. That means planning to shop for vegetables to support your daily consumption. When it comes to exercise, sign up for a class. Similarly, making a regular walking date with a friend can help you both stay accountable to your plan. If you routinely manage a busy schedule, try making physical activity the first thing you do each day. Even small amounts of exercise make a difference. If exercising on the go is a more practical solution, commit to taking the stairs instead of the escalator whenever that’s an option; walk instead of driving when possible, and park further away from building entrances to get extra steps in. Small moves and adjustments in your daily life really add up!  

Stay up to date on vaccinations and health screenings
Book an annual physical exam to check for conditions like high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, hearing or vision loss, and skin cancer. It’s also important for women to screen for breast and cervical cancers; prostate cancer for men; and colorectal cancers for everyone, depending on age and family history. When consulting with your doctor, be sure to ask about updating your vaccinations, including the flu shot.

Don’t forget about your mental health

Taking care of your emotional health and well-being is more important than ever. As we work to manage our lives, cope with the effects of the pandemic and stay healthy, we can’t forget to take care of our mental health too.

Whether you are coping with stress and anxiety, feelings of isolation, or struggling to meet every day obligations, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out and take advantage of the resources available to you. That means connecting with community partners, friends, family, and other trusted sources like your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist. We are always happy to help you navigate this moment and every moment into the future. 

Take your medications as prescribed
Whether you’re resolving a temporary ailment, or managing a chronic disease, it’s essential to take your medications as prescribed. If you aren’t seeing the intended benefits or have other concerns, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away.

At Express Scripts Canada Pharmacy, our pharmacists are available 24/7 to answer your general questions about health and suggest ways to optimize your medication regime to help you achieve the best health outcomes.

Above all, stay positive! Wishing you all the best for the New Year.