Resolutions: What changes are in store for ‘24?

Published 3:54 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The New Year – 2024. Where has the time gone? It seems if only yesterday we were ushering in 2023.

The arrival of a new year has always been a time to reflect back into the past and look toward the future. It’s a time to ponder changes we want or at least think we want to make.

Listed below are some of the most common resolutions made nearly every year.

Weight Loss: With all 50 states reporting an obesity rate of over 20 percent (17 states have an obesity rates in excess of 35 percent), it’s not surprising that “taming the tummy” makes one of the top resolutions every year. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Food just simply tastes too good, but if you eat in moderation, you can help tilt the scale back in your favor.

Many social factors are also associated with an increased risk of obesity. According to www.healthline.com, economic stability, social support, access to healthcare, education, safe housing, and transportation can all contribute. They may have a significant impact on overall well-being and quality of life.

For example, living or working in economically disadvantaged areas or communities can mean having limited access to affordable ways to stay fit. Moreover, living in an area with limited access to affordable and nutritious foods — also known as a “food desert” — can increase the risk of obesity by up to 30 percent.

Quit Smoking: This resolution always seems to make it to the top of New Year’s resolutions. More help than ever before is available to help users of tobacco products kick the habit. There are tons of over the counter nicotine replacement therapy products are available, to include chewing gum and flavored lozenges especially designed to help you stop smoking. I used such therapy to end my one pack a day habit back in February of 2020. It proved as the best decision I’ve ever made in my life, other than proposing marriage to the former Deborah Vann.

Your doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, dentist or other healthcare provider are also key resources for quitting. They can help you discover what medication will work best for you and put you in contact with local resources and your local quitline.

Healthcare providers can help you craft your own quit plan, offer methods to prevent slip-ups, or walk through the pros and cons of nixing nicotine. Doctors or healthcare providers often stick with you throughout your quit journey by scheduling follow up visits or phone calls. Remember, healthcare professionals are not there to judge—they’re there to help you in any way you need to achieve a smokefree life.

Get Fit: This actually kinda goes along with #1. Millions of dollars are spent each year buying the latest fad in getting fit fast. Stationary bikes, treadmills, and the like are only a few of the items available to make you a happier and thinner you. You can even invest in an Apple Watch Sport or a Fitbit Blaze to keep track of your daily exercise routines as well as tracking your heart rate during a workout.

Get Out Of Debt: There’s no doubt that money, or the lack of it, causes STRESS. Have you ever noticed all the get out debts books, schemes, computer soft ware, etc? Heck, the only people getting out of debt are the people hawking this junk on TV. But I guess if you want to lose some weight fast, debt solvers can help with that as they’ll certainly lighten your wallet!!

Quit Drinking Alcohol: For full disclosure, I enjoy a beer or two every now and then. However, there are people out there who do have drinking problems, and for them the New Year can be an incentive to try and quit, get help, or at least taper off.

Get Organized: This resolution can be to get your personal life in order, your home organized so you can find that skill saw you tucked away last year, or organize the your office space so you can actually find the stapler that recently went missing in action under the mountain of paper on your desk.

Spend more time with the family: I personally think this is one of the more important resolutions one can make (and keep). Too often we find ourselves spending too much time at work, doing hobbies, or simply just doing what we want to do. Recent polls by the General Nutrition Centers shows that more than 50 percent of Americans vow to spend and appreciate their family and friends more. One should never, ever, take your family and friends for granted.

Volunteer in the community more: Volunteering can take many different avenues. It can vary from joining civic clubs, volunteering at the local hospital, helping out at the library, mentoring a child, and more. If one can’t find the time, maybe you could donate unused household items, such as furniture, or clothes to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or to the newly reorganized Fuller Center in Murfreesboro (previously known as the Habitat for Humanity ReStore).

Learn new ideas: Learning is something we never quit doing. One should take the opportunity to do this every day. There are tons of courses offered by our local community college. Try these ideas. Learn a new language, take a computer course, take an art class, or just simply read a new book.

Take time to relax more: Learn to balance your mind, body and soul. With the hectic and stressful lives we lead we need to enjoy life more. I’m sure you’ve heard the old expression that life is too short. Well it is. It’s important for a happier, healthier you to relax and “smell the roses.”

Here’s wishing you the happiest and the most prosperous New Year ever!

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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