Make Your 2017 Resolutions Stick with Smart, Manageable Health Goals

Javier Soares-Velez, M.D.
Diane Verga, M.D.
Lisa Kassenoff, D.O.
Stacy Doumas, M.D.  
Brett Sealove, M.D.

With 2016 in the books and the luster of a new year rich with prospects gleaming before us, who isn’t aiming high and shooting for the moon?  Still, when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, numerous health studies continue to reaffirm the effectiveness of smaller, more manageable, incremental lifestyle changes, over lofty, blowout goals. To keep you on the healthy track, we’ve compiled advice from Hackensack Meridian Health experts to help you stay resolute for years to come.

Resolution: Get More Exercise
Solution: Buddy up
“Some couples make a mutual decision to improve well-being,” says Javier Soares-Velez, M.D., Bayshore Community Hospital and Riverview Medical Center.  “In other cases, one spouse starts and the other follows his/her healthy example. Either way, having your partner's support can make new positive habits stick. ”

Resolution: Stress Less
Solution: Refocus Your Energy
“Stressful events, especially those that cause you to become very angry, can trigger a heart attack,” says Diane Verga, M.D., Ocean Medical Center. In addition, you might be turning to unhealthy modes of coping with stress, such as drinking, smoking or eating too much, which can also take a toll on your heart health.  Lisa Kassenoff, D.O., Southern Ocean Medical Center, recommends the following healthier ways to manage stress in your life, including mediation, exercise, or simply spending more time with family and friends.

Resolution: Raise a Happier Child
Solution: Be a Team Player
“First and foremost, listen. Talk, engage, have a discussion. Be aware of what’s going on in their life, their relationships, and their problems,” says Stacy Doumas, M.D.  “Nurture your relationship with them. Let them know you’re on their side, that you’re on the same team. Make time for them - that’s so important. Be there to provide support and spend quality time with them."

Resolution: Lose Weight
Solution: Trim Down to Slim Down
“I can’t stress this enough: Portion control. Remember, how much you eat is just as important as what you eat,” says Brett Sealove, M.D., Jersey Shore University Medical Center.  Remember, food is medicine. By controlling your diet, you can control and change the mechanisms of your body for the better."

Still need a little push? Step up to our New Year's quiz and see how you fare!