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  • Michael Sparks, MD

New Year. New You. Let's Talk New Year's Resolutions.

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

As we ring in the new year, we often set up lofty resolutions: Lose a bunch of weight, eat better, exercise more, travel more, or stop smoking. All great goals, but without a clear plan it can be difficult to achieve your goals. Did you know that by February as many as 80% of resolutions are usually abandoned? Let's review some basics about maximizing your success!

First, let's review the stages of change.

  1. Pre-contemplation: You deny the existence of a problem. Others may be concerned.

  2. Contemplation: You think about the pros and cons of making a change.

  3. Preparation: You start to take steps to make a change.

  4. Action: You change your behavior.

  5. Maintenance: You learn how to stick with your change long-term

At the start of the new year, many of us are only at the contemplation or preparation stage even though we try to jump straight into action.

So, how do we get to the action stage but more importantly the maintenance stage?!

  1. Plan- Write it out. How are you going to get there? What are the obstacles? What is going to help? How are you going to reward yourself along the way or at the final goal?

  2. Start small- Start with smaller, more achievable goals. Checking off incremental goals on the way to a large goal will be rewarding and help you to stay focused.

  3. Set up your support system- Who will help keep you accountable along the way? Who can you turn to if things aren't going as well as you would like?

  4. Understand there will be setbacks- It is okay. Really. You will almost certainly not be 100% successful to your end goal on the first try. But understanding and recognizing this will help you to push the reset button and get refocused and back at it again.

  5. Celebrate success- Even small steps to a healthier you will still be beneficial. Enjoy your success but don't let it undermine your end goal. Be cautious with using food as a reward along the way!

Is your goal to finally achieve that 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity we keep going on and on about? Start with a goal of just 5 minutes a day. That 5 minutes will quickly become 10 which will quickly become 15 and eventually 30 and before long, you will have achieved the goal!

What is your goal? How can we help you achieve it? Let us know! If you are a current patient, just text Dr. Sparks and he'll get you started on becoming the healthier version of you!


Not a current patient?

SparksMD Family Medicine is Sanford’s direct primary care clinic. We shield our patients (and employers) from the broken healthcare system. We provide highly affordable and transparent pricing that allows for unlimited, same-day extended-length visits with minimal waiting, no surprise bills, and your doctor’s cell phone number for texting, phone calls, and virtual visits! Memberships are just $70 or $90 a month for adults (age-based) and $30 for children. Think of it as subscribing to your doctor like Netflix. Learn more or join us now.


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