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9 Tips for a healthy new year

9 Tips for a Healthy New Year

The new year is a perfect opportunity for looking forward. For some people, it may mean leading a healthier lifestyle, managing stress, eating better, or losing weight. Regardless of what your goals are, our health coaching team has a few of their own tips to help you stay on track:

Don’t make too many goals at once. Pick one or two that are most important to you, and set attainable goals within those areas. As you reach goals, set new ones rather than working on many things at once.
Scott Pastorius, Health and Physical Activity Specialist

Make your goals smart. Having a specific goal in mind that is measurable, attainable, realistic and timely will help you stay on track. Also consider setting small goals that lead to the bigger one over time.
Christian Gabarda, Exercise Physiologist

When at a party or social event, have a game plan. Check out the spread before getting a plate. Know what you want to eat and make sure you enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.
Kasey Danforth, Registered Dietitian

Set up an environment for your success. Consider all of the support tools, resources, and people necessary to be successful. Ask for the things you need and seek support from others when you need it.
Laura Fath, Exercise Physiologist

Start Anytime: You don’t have to start the new behavior on January 1. It’s okay to start your plan a few weeks into the year. Vowing to have a perfect calendar year of the new, unfamiliar behavior may set you up for failure.
Mike Connell, Exercise Physiologist

Be prepared for a setback (or two). Make sure to have a plan to get back on track if you start to slip. Look back to reasons why you started in the first place and it can encourage you to continue to move forward.
Mandy Budzowski, Exercise Physiologist/ Public Health Specialist

Make sure your reasons for change are clear and visible. If your goal is to eat healthy because you have a strong family history of heart disease, write that down and post it somewhere you will see it often. The old adage rings true: out of sight out of mind. So keep your motivation in mind!
–  Laura Yautz, Registered and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist

Make a shopping list before going to the grocery store and be attentive to the food brought into your home. A healthy environment is important for long-term success; if we surround ourselves with nutritious options, those will be what we end up choosing in times of hunger!
–  Elena Barkowitz, Public Health Specialist

Develop an action plan to stay on track and hold yourself accountable. Having a road map to success can prevent you from getting derailed.
Ashley Bramble, Health and Physical Activity Specialist

This year, look at your health as a working progress. Every decision that you make moves you closer to where you want to be. Happy New Year and cheers to it being your HEALTHIEST yet!

What’s your game plan for tackling the new year? Leave comments below to share with others!


Note: UPMC Health Plan members can call a health coach to get on track for the new year  at 1-855-217-8762.