By Dr. Kevin Wang
My New Year’s resolution
Another year has passed and with that comes the almost-requisite resolutions that seem to crop up. These range from weight loss, more exercise, quitting a bad habit or just personal growth. I usually try to come up with three to five resolutions. Unfortunately, I have a habit of letting all three or five go by the third month. So what’s my New Year’s resolution this year? Simple – to actually keep them!
The problem is, change is usually involved with these resolutions. I can honestly tell you that I am quite content in my current state. Unfortunately, my current state isn’t exactly the healthiest. My apartment is in shambles since I’ve been doing a few call months, I’ve gained, “a few” pounds here and there (and no, I won’t be quoting a number!), haven’t exactly been exercising as much as I should, haven’t been eating particularly healthy… need I go on?
Instead, I come home from work, glance at the bag of workout clothes at the doorway, roll my eyes, grab a bag of chips and sit in front of my computer either catching up on e-mail, chatting online with friends, catching up on paperwork or reading up on the patients that I saw in the hospital. I’m not doing too well at the moment, am I?
Now if you’ve read this far, you’re probably rolling your eyes thinking about the kind of hypocrite I am telling my patients the importance of eating well and maintaining physical and mental health. Before you start getting a headache from doing that for too long, here’s a compromise – I decided to take my own advice.
Change is something that needs to be done slowly and in manageable chunks. I can’t expect to lose the unmentionable amount of weight I’ve gained overnight nor can I drastically alter my diet without passing out from hunger in the middle of the day. I’m going to change what I eat meal by meal – start with a healthy breakfast and keep that until it becomes a habit. Once that’s done, I’ll switch to lunch, dinner and snacks. I’m going to start by picking up running again but only starting out at three times per week instead of what I used to run. Instead of completely cleaning my apartment when it’s a horrendous mess, I’ll clean a little every day.
The worst thing is, all it boils down to is common sense. I hate it when I make myself look like an idiot. (And for my friends who are reading this, don’t even think about making a comment on that last statement.)
Everything I mentioned above just comes down to how we perceive change. Another great example deals with smokers. I can lecture until I’m blue in the face to my smoking patients but if they have no inclination to quit smoking, nothing’s going to change. My patients need to have the desire to quit smoking. Once that happens, the rest is easy as long as you have the motivation, support and determination.
I guess it comes down to those three things, too – motivation, support and determination to make these changes. You have to want to make these life-altering decisions if you want to live a healthy life. And for those of you who are wondering, these changes don’t just include the physical side. Safer sex practices, outlooks on life, dreams that have yet to be fulfilled are all aspects of our lives that we can work on.
So there you have it, Kevin Wang’s New Year’s Resolutions. Let it be known that another one of these is to find a date. Let’s see how this year goes and who knows, I might even succeed in making one of my resolutions come true!