It’s a brand new year, with 365 days full of possibility and opportunity. About two-thirds of us approach the new year hopeful for change. We set resolutions and determine that this year will be different. This year we really will hit our goals and make our dreams come true. Overwhelmingly our resolutions revolve around three things: eating healthier, getting more exercise, and saving more money.
There’s nothing wrong with these goals. In fact, the Outback Strong partners are big fans of all three. But we’d like to add a few suggestions as you strategize how to make 2019 the best year ever.
1. Change your perspective
It’s easy to feel discouraged when you look at a number on a scale or someone’s picture-perfect Instagram life. This year, commit to reframing the narrative. Instead of berating yourself for not meeting whatever standard you’ve created for yourself, pause and reflect on what you do have. Maybe your body doesn’t fit the Hollywood mold. It still gets you from point A to point B. Your heart is pumping, your lungs are expanding, and the neurons in your brain are firing. You are more than a sum of your body parts. Changing the way you view yourself can improve your mental health as well as your overall well-being. This year, instead of focusing on a number, think about the things you want to be able to do or the things you could do more of if you took good care of yourself.
2. Embrace the proactive approach
For generations, our attitude toward healthcare was if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We saw a doctor when we had no other option. As the healthcare industry gained steam, more people began seeing doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants regularly — sometimes depending on a provider to keep them well with medication or treatment alone.
We believe it’s important to see a primary care provider at least annually. If you’re generally healthy, this yearly visit is how your doctor gets to know you and your baseline health. It’s a chance for you to ask questions and establish rapport with a provider before a crisis hits. If you’re managing a chronic condition, you may need to see your provider more often to help keep the condition under control.
In addition to seeing a healthcare provider, it’s important to stay up-to-date on health screenings. Make sure to schedule mammograms and prostate exams. Talk to your provider about your colorectal cancer screening options. It’s easy to ignore these tests, but more than 1.7 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States in 2018. Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. The earlier it’s caught, the better your chances of fighting it.
If you’re raising kids, it’s important to make sure they’re being screened regularly to ensure they’re growing up healthy. Take them in for a regular well-child check or adolescent well-care visit. If your child is between 0 and 36 months, talk to your healthcare provider about developmental screenings. These regular exams give doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants a chance to assess your child’s development and catch potential problems as early as possible. Parents who complete a developmental screening visit with a primary care provider at Lake Health Clinic, Warner Mountain Medical Clinic, Lake County Public Health, or La Pine Community Health Center-Christmas Valley will receive a package of diapers for their child. Parents who bring their newborn to 36-month-old children for developmental screenings at the North Lake clinic also will receive a gas card. The clinics recognize it’s not always easy to make time for an appointment, so they offer this incentive (made possible by a grant from Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization) to give back to parents who are helping their children grow up Outback Strong.
3. Commit to yourself
Although important, the healthcare system plays a small role in our overall health. Much more important are the choices we make every day.
This year, commit to you. Eat nutritious food that fuels you. Move that amazing body of yours. Keep a gratitude list. Find your tribe and spend time with them. Find a way to give back. 2019 is your year. Live it Outback Strong.