Realistic Goals for the New YearIt’s that time of the year when we fondly reflect on the past and make plans for the upcoming year. Some of us may decide to make New Year’s resolutions for 2015, while others will try to avoid that yearly tradition.

According to studies, at the beginning of each New Year, roughly one in three Americans resolve to improve themselves in some way. Unfortunately, a much smaller percentage of people actually follow through on those resolutions. While approximately 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, only 46% are still on target six months later, one study found.

It’s not easy to keep up the excitement and motivation that the New Year rings in, so a lot of people slip because they get too busy, they forget, or other things become more important.

Instead of stressing out over New Year’s resolutions this year or coming up with goals that are unrealistic, let’s discuss some healthy goals for 2015:

  • Stay in touch with family members and friends – it’s good for your health to stay connected with your loved ones. Make time in your schedule each week or month to call, visit, and spend time with the people who you care about the most. Also take some time this year to reach out to old friends you’ve lost touch with over the years.
  • Save money – save money this year by making some lifestyle changes. Ride your bike or walk to work. Instead of going to the movies on Saturday, take a walk around a lake or go on a hike with friends. Recycle cans and other trash items. Cut back on gym fees by working out at home with a friend or family member.
  • Cut your stress – Some stress is okay and won’t kill you. Actually short spells of stress can give you an energy boost. But if stress is chronic, it can increase your risk of insomnia, depression, obesity, heart disease, and other illnesses. How do you cut down on your stress? Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress. Taking long walks, riding your bike, playing tennis or basketball, and dancing are all very enjoyable ways to release your day-to-day pressures. Also, eat healthier (fruits and veggies), get plenty of rest, take more vacations, spend extra time with your loved ones, realize that you can’t do everything and it’s okay that you’re not perfect.
  • Help others – lending a helping hand to others is very good for your health, especially your mental health. Take time this year to reach out to those in your community who need assistance. Volunteer at church, join a charitable organization, serve food at a homeless shelter, help a veteran, read to seniors at an assisted living home, or even if it’s something simple like opening a door for someone or helping an elderly lady cross the street.
  • Travel – some people may not be able to afford to fly to far off places, but maybe you can afford to visit an old friend in a neighboring town. Go sightseeing in your own state or a state close by yours. Or go to a beach, river, or lake and spend the day swimming and picnicking with friends. Taking time away from your home, work, and the grind of life can help you feel better and rejuvenate your spirit.

These are just a few realistic goals you can make for the New Year. We hope that whatever you decide to do that you are successful, healthy, and happy.

Some of our team members at Aspire Hospital want to share their New Year’s goals for 2015:

Jerry Nash (CEO) – Wants to write a book about his father and the life lessons he taught him.

Angela Walker (Human Resources) – Reduce stress.

Kim Harley (Medical Records Team Leader) – Healthier, more financially stable and to be less stressed out.

Sherry Ramsey (Business Officer Manager) – Quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, and finish the book she’s writing.

Randi Waisanen (Administrative Assistant) – To be more pleasant to everyone.

Amanda Bridges (Administrative Assistant) – Get healthier and budget money.

John Heemann (CIO) – Spend more time in service at church.

Nathan Slatter (Operations Manager) – Read more.

Kostas Gkostsoulias (Consultant) – To go away on a vacation soon!

Happy New Year from all of us at Aspire Hospital!