When we see the calendar turn from one year to the next, or even the arrival of a more personal event like a birthday or life change, we tend to get introspective. As the last day of the calendar was recently checked off, we moved into 2023 with the usual amount of reflection and anticipation. We often use specific milestones like this to evaluate if we have used our time to the best of our ability or create future goals for self-improvement.
While the rolling over of a calendar year or hitting a big birthday can seem especially momentous, it is really just the passing of another 24 hours. This one-day-at-a-time, incremental progression is our reality. It is also how we should be approaching some of our wellness goals. Often, we get tripped up by setting goals that are unrealistic or too initially ambitious, which can set us up for defeat. It is the small wins, the small achievements, that ultimately win the race. I think of the parable of the tortoise and the hare. It wasn't the quick, frantic bursts of energy that won the race, but rather the slow, methodical trot that crossed the finish line first.
Health issues such as elevated blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and obesity usually do not occur overnight, nor are they improved overnight. Lucky for us, there are some small tweaks to our daily routines which can nudge us in the right direction. Most often we don’t need to make stark changes to our diet or wellness routine to make an impact. We may just need to evaluate our daily, weekly or even monthly habits.
For me, I have “let myself go” comparatively meaning I don’t run every week and I cannot remember the last time I took the time for a yoga session. The choices I will be making differently (or at least trying to!) are related to going for a few more walks, drinking more water and maybe reading something other than a healthcare journal. These choices may seem slight but after repetition they are more likely to lead me to greater long-term success.
I encourage you to talk with your healthcare provider or even stop by AL!VE to chat with our caregivers there who make it their mission to support the community on our wellness journey.
I wish you all a great New Year filled with health and wellness. May we achieve big strides, one step at a time.
Eaton Proud. Sparrow Strong. Mitten Made.
Helen Johnson, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, FACHE
Sparrow Eaton Hospital President