"The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go.

Dr. Seuss,  I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

5 Health Resolutions That Never Fail to Fail

I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the years." - Henry Moore

What are your New Year’s resolutions this year? Is it to lose weight, again; promise yourself of more ‘self-care’, again; find a better paying job and a nicer employer again?

Sounds great! A new year, a new beginning. We commit to do things better. It lasts for…well…until today or maybe for 3-4  more weeks. And then it’s back to the good old days and hard to break habits.

The truth is the majority of those who make New Year’s resolutions fails. So, what’s standing in the way? 

Most people vow to make grand (often impossible) and unclear changes instead of a gradual, progressive, reasonable and regular change of habits that are easy to follow and fulfill.

Resolutions, especially those that involve your health are truly about whipping up compelling, bit by bit but long term changes that make it easy for you to move from thinking about it to actually doing it.

Here are 5 health resolutions that are set up for failures and what you can do about them: 

1. Lose 25 pounds. Starry-eyed optimism if I may say so! You’ll unrealistically restrict yourself and you’ll easily fall off the wagon. I’m not saying you shouldn’t resolve to do this but this is a lofty resolution.

What you can do instead is to consciously make healthier choices; substitute water for soda; increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in your meals, and start being more aware of your calorie intake (e.g. consciously looking at the calorie count at the back of each pre-packaged food item you purchase) and resolve to lose 1 pound per week.

2. Go to the gym every day. Easy to promise this to yourself but not too easy to successfully commit into.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), physical activity for at least 2.5 hours a week is required. Starting with a walk or slow jog outdoors is usually a good first step. Ditch the elevator and take the stairs instead. That’s more manageable and achievable, isn’t it? Once you’ve achieved that, gradually increase the hours and activity of your fitness routine and you’ll most likely end up going to the gym every day eventually.

3. Quit junk food. I truly commend you for having this resolution. For so many people, this is unthinkable. Remember though that cutting out indulgences is sure to help you lose weight, but over time you’ll feel deprived and this could ultimately lead to unconscious eating spree!

What you might want to do instead is resolve to make 80% of your calorie intake healthy and reserve 20% for what may otherwise be considered as “joy” food that may not necessarily be healthy but meant to indulge your taste buds.

4. Get more sleep. It’s great if you’ve committed to this. Sleep, along with exercise and diet, are part of the three “pillars of health.” However, this resolution is set up for failure if you don’t specify what needs to be done in order for you to get more sleep.

Why don’t you instead, resolve to get the TV, computer, and gadgets out of your bedroom; create a quiet relaxing environment; buy a quality mattress and bedding, and schedule your sleep. 8 hours of sleep should be good enough. And remember – sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.

5. Make self-care a priority. Good for you! But “self-care” is both big and vague as a term! You’ve set yourself up for failure if you don’t specify the type of “self-care” you want to prioritize and how.

What about resolving to keep up with regular doctor visits and tests to help you live longer, healthier and happier? For example, commit to dental visits twice a year; schedule for annual pap smears; go through a mammogram once a year.

A mammogram is important for early detection of breast cancer simply because if an issue is discovered early, treatment is easier. At Lilly Women's Health, we use advanced technology that makes our breast screenings accurate and more convenient.

“You have breast cancer!” These are words you wouldn’t dream of hearing, yet around 100,000 Nigerian women are reported every year to have the disease. That’s a scary number! According to an article here by the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the number 1 cause of death for women in Nigeria.

I will boldly say this now. If there’s ever one New Year’s resolution you should make this year, it’s to schedule a mammogram for yourself!

You are at risk of premature death! We all are! That’s why it makes perfect sense to do everything in your power to protect yourself because life happens. It’s like driving a vehicle – you might be a responsible driver, but you can’t stop someone else from crashing into you. Accidents do happen!

That’s why you use protective gears such as helmets and seatbelts so that if the unthinkable happens, you suffer less pain and injury and you have more chances of survival. That’s how mammogram works! It's your protective tool against breast cancer!

The truth is, mammogram do save lives! Once cancer spreads beyond the breast, it’s already incurable but if you found a lump or notice a change early, it can still be treated and you’ll (or your loved ones) not only survive but also thrive!

Schedule a mammogram with us at 0700 LILLY HEALTH or 0906 000 5897 or here. Make that your one unbreakable and powerful resolution this year!

The best part is that with our digital mobile mammogram service, breast screening’ comes to you! We bring everything to your chosen site so that you can complete your annual breast screening regardless of where you are in Lagos and how busy you seem to be. Click here to learn more about LWH’s mobile mammo!