It’s a time-honoured practice to set New Year’s resolutions –an overhaul to your life that is supposed to bring immediate and visible results. But sometimes making a huge change isn’t the answer. By making some small changes, we can make a big difference and have an easier time sticking to our new habits. We spoke to a number of experts across Sinai Health System and asked for their thoughts about New Year’s resolutions and ways to achieve your goals for 2019.
Goal: Eat healthier
“At this time of year, many people have a goal of eating healthier – but I would encourage people to set goals that are more specific, are achievable and measurable – to think about what healthy eating looks like to them. And before you even start, take some time to observe your current habits and how those make you feel. If you are eating a lot of fast food, does that make you feel good in your body? Do you have the time to plan differently to achieve your goals? Finally, I would suggest to just about anyone who is looking to make some positive changes to their diet to first pay close attention to how you are eating; try being mindful, and avoid distractions while you are eating. A piece of decadent chocolate cake can still be nourishing, but if we are eating it mindlessly, that’s a big waste of delicious cake!” Tara Koyama, Registered Dietitian, Bridgepoint Active Healthcare Family Health Team
Goal: Squeeze in more physical activity
Many people make a new year’s resolution to get more active, but sometimes life gets too busy, or we don’t know how to access the resources to get moving. Research indicates that as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day has an impact on not only your physical health but also your psychological wellbeing. At Sinai Health, there are many ways to help you fit in more physical activity through our own Healthy Workplace Program at Mount Sinai and at Bridgepoint, including our fitness centres with locations at Bridgepoint and at Mount Sinai, the Sinai Circuit, and Become a Sinai Runner program. Studies show that working out with a group of people is significantly more effective than working out alone when it comes to lowering stress – so be sure to check out our new schedule of fitness classes (click here for the Bridgepoint schedule and here for Mount Sinai) to find something that is right for you. You can also check out our tips and tricks to remind you to keep moving. Remember, taking small steps towards your goals by staying focused on maintaining healthy habits now can help you maintain your overall wellbeing in the long term” Farha Bakharia, Healthy Workplace Coordinator
Goal: Go green
“With the start of the new year we often make resolutions and set goals about our health, work, money, and relationships for the year but what about adding some environmental goals? Making small changes can add up over time. Start with reducing waste by switching from plastic water bottles and coffee cups to a reusable bottle and mug. Most coffee places give you a discount if you bring a reusable mug with you too! Reduce food waste by buying only what you need. Bring a litterless lunch in a reusable lunch container and put your food waste like banana peels in the container to compost at home. Save water by taking a shower instead of a bath and limiting your time in the shower. Consider replenishing resources through sustainable transportation such as public transportation, carpooling and active transportation modes like walking, running and cycling. Restore biodiversity by creating a pollinator garden at home by planting native species like milkweed and perennials like red and purple hollyhock and annuals like begonias and geranium. No matter how small your action might seem, it matters. There is no planet B.” Tracey Clatworthy, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator
Goal: Professional development
“If you are looking to include professional development as a new year’s resolution, be sure to make a manageable goal instead of something huge, and possibly unattainable. When it comes to learning and development, remember the 70/20/10 opportunity. 70 per cent of your learning happens on the job – experience-based and practice, 20 per cent near your job – from colleagues, coaches and mentors and 10 per cent off the job – structured sessions and workshops. As you enter into 2019, what is piquing your curiosity? Strengthen your inquisitive mind, reach out to colleagues, ask questions and get feedback. With a curious mind in action, you’ll be amazed how much you can learn from the people around you. For more formal opportunities, Sinai Health will be offering new management development courses at both Bridgepoint and Mount Sinai in 2019. We also encourage everyone to experience the new Service with Heart program for some great transferrable skills in serving each other, our patients and our family caregivers with greater empathy and compassion.” You can sign up for this program on our learning management system. Judy MacDougall, Senior Manager, Organizational Development; Leadership and Learning
No matter what your goals are, there are many resources available at Sinai Health to help. Our Employee Assistance Program – LifeWorks is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with expert help for work, life and everything in between. Check out their January feature “Starting Your Year Off Right” for tips and tools for goal setting, maintaining healthy habits, mindfulness and more.
Here are some additional resources for making 2019 a great year: