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New Year, new you: How to stick with new diet, exercise routines

For some, a new year brings resolutions to adopt new diets or exercise routines, but how do you make those changes part of your everyday life?

According to a survey performed by Statista, the three most common New Year’s resolutions for 2023 among respondents were to exercise more, eat healthier and lose weight. However, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology has found that while approximately 41% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, only about 9% feel they’re successful in keeping them.

It’s hard to make a change to your daily routine. A 2009 study in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it can take 66 days on average to form a single healthy habit. Sean C. Cannady, DO, a family medicine specialist at Maury Regional Medical Group Primary Care in Spring Hill, provided some tips he offers patients to help make diet and exercise resolutions stick.

Make a plan

Whether you’re trying a new diet or exercise routine — or both — making a plan of action can help you stay organized and on track.

Be sure to set specific, realistic goals for yourself. Having smaller, more attainable goals can help you stay motivated and reach bigger milestones down the road.

“Find or make a workout regimen that’s tailored to you, and consult with your doctor about a diet plan that fits your needs,” Dr. Cannady said. “Make a plan of action, and stick to it.”

Remind yourself why you’re making changes

It can take some time to make changes to your routine stick. Leaving yourself little reminders of why you started your journey in the first place can be an easy way to keep yourself engaged and motivated.

Reward yourself

When you’re making these lifestyle changes, you have to be your biggest fan. Be happy and reward yourself when you reach your goals, but make sure the rewards are appropriate. For example, eating an entire cheese pizza because you reach a dietary goal probably isn’t the best idea.

Don’t give up if you get off track

Maybe most importantly, remember that sticking to your new diet or exercise routine doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and if you get off track, it’s never too late to get back to work.

“If you have a day where you can’t work out or you cheat on a diet, that doesn’t mean you can’t get back into your new routine the next day,” Dr. Cannady said. “Any time spent exercising or eating healthy is a good thing. Don’t give up on your new lifestyle.”


Sean C. Cannady, DO, is a family medicine specialist at Maury Regional Medical Group Primary Care in Spring Hill.



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