I love setting New Year’s resolutions every year, but like many of you, once January 15th rolls around, my goal of running “X” amount of miles every day ends until December 31st when I set a new set of resolutions. Renowned physician and on-air health expert, Dr. Jennifer Caudle understands our frustrations, and she was kind enough to join me for an interview recently to dish on how we can set New Year’s resolutions we can actually keep, the secret to setting FUN resolutions, and share tips on how we can stress less and enjoy life more in 2015.
Candace Rose: How can we set New Year’s resolutions that we can actually keep?
Dr. Jennifer Caudle: “I am SO glad we are talking about New Year’s resolutions! This is the perfect time to set new goals and set our sights on new accomplishments!
One of the toughest parts about New Year’s resolutions can be keeping them. How many times have we set goals in the New Year, only to have forgotten about them by February? (Plenty of us!)
The following 3 steps help me stick to New Year’s resolutions:
- Simplify goals into small manageable steps. For example, rather than saying you are going to start going to the gym 3 times a week for at least one hour, it might be helpful to go slow. Start by going to the gym once per week and gradually increase this over 1-2 months
- Set deadlines for when goals/steps should be completed. Give yourself deadlines and write them down! Or tell a friend or loved one so that they can help you stick to your timeline.
- Continually re-assess where you are in the process of achieving your goals so that you stay on target! Keep your goals top of mind, because if you don’t think about your goals, you just might not achieve them.
Candace Rose: What are some fun resolutions that one can set?
Dr. Jennifer Caudle: “I like the idea of making sure we have some “fun” resolutions because this is important too. Think about things you have wanted to taste, try, do or experience. When you think of this, what comes to mind?
Perhaps your resolution is to “treat” yourself once a month- with a new experience or something you enjoy. Maybe your goal is to read more books, enjoy more movies or take a pottery class. Whatever the case, make sure that you have some fun resolutions in the mix and you can’t go wrong!
Candace Rose: How can we stress less in 2015?
Dr. Jennifer Caudle: “My tips for keeping life stress-free are the following:
- Keep those who are good for you, close to you
- Sleep well, eat healthy foods and exercise
- See your doctor ☺
- Avoid comparing yourself to others (this almost always causes stress)
- Be grateful for what you have”
Candace Rose: We all know how important sleep is, how can we get more sleep in the New Year?
Dr. Jennifer Caudle” Sleep is SO important! Making sleep a priority is the first step to getting sleep in the New Year. Here are some tips that will help you get restful sleep:
- Make sure your room is dark. Consider darkening curtains to make sure that early morning sunlight doesn’t interrupt your sleep.
- Avoid eating or exercising too close to bedtime, as this can interrupt sleep.
- Wind down before bedtime to get your mind and body ready to sleep. Try taking a bath, turning off the TV or dimming the lights to let your body know to start preparing for sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.
Candace Rose: What’s a great way to start your morning?
For me, it helps when I wake up and first think about all that I am grateful for. Starting off the day with a moment of silence and gratitude is so important to me. This helps keep me centered and ready to start my day!
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Dr. Jennifer Caudle: “One of my favorite quotes is by Mae West, who said ‘You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.’
This couldn’t be more true and I use this quote as a guide for how I try to live my life.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Dr. Jennifer Caudle is a board-certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. She appears regularly on television as a media expert and appear on CBS Philadelphia News, Fox News, CNN, The Dr. Oz Show, Doctors Radio (Sirius) and others.