Five Simple Resolutions to Bring in a New, Better Year

Tips on How to Avoid Bad and Ugly Beginnings of the New Year

By Nina Radcliff, MD

How many of us can look back at 2014 and say that we feel as though we starred in the spaghetti Western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?” Though I am no Clint Eastwood, I for one, can. As we take down our Christmas stockings, many of us find ourselves taking stock of ourselves and seeking improvement (or redemption) with our New Year’s Resolutions. Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. Here’s a look at my 5 resolutions.

1. Love myself. I’ve heard many variations of this sentiment, but if we are not good at loving ourselves, we will have a difficult time loving anyone. We will resent the time and energy we give another person that we aren’t even giving to ourselves. In other words, set the tone and the standard.

2. Drink less caffeine. I know I am not alone when it comes to starting the day with, and then going back to, the coffee maker. For 2014, I will aim to be one and done.

3. Get some “ZZZ’s.” Not having a good night’s sleep can make even the best morph into the Incredible Hulk. There is also a Catch 22 with sleep and caffeine consumption; we drink caffeine to keep us alert, but then it keeps us awake at night. In 2014, my goal is to stay Dr. David Banner by removing the sleep wreckers that surround me. Bye bye Lou Ferrigno.

4. Take part in a technology cleanse. I am a tech-a-holic. My day begins with an eye-opener of checking my email, which wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t check my emails and texts right before going to bed, and throughout the day. I have almost been hit by a car (on more than one occasion) because I was texting while walking across the street. In 2014, I will find ways to unplug.

5. Protect the skin I’m in. This past year, I had moles that needed to be biopsied. Fortunately for me they were negative. But did you know that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States with one in five people developing it over their lifetime! More shockingly, one American dies from skin cancer every hour! To that extent, I vow to cover up, spread on sunscreen, not let the weather fool me because even during the winter months ultraviolet lights are present, and get annual skin exams.

It has been said, aging is a gift not everyone gets. Hopefully, we can dub today,

“The Good,” and continue to shed the bad and the ugly. Our chances will improve greatly if we make an active, deliberate effort, along with looking at things through rose-colored glasses and holding ourselves accountable. In addition to remembering to write 2014 instead of 2013 as the date, let’s resolve to be awesome.

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