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Setting realistic health goals for 2021

Experts say now is the time to examine your healthy New Year's resolutions
Posted at 8:43 AM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 12:41:21-05

How are your New Year's resolutions coming along? Dr. Amy Khan, executive medical director withRegence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah says now is the time to take a closer look at your overall health and where improvements can be made.

Khan says despite the challenges from 2020 that have followed us into the new year, "We have the power to improve our social, emotional and physical well-being, even in spite of this pandemic."

Now that we're halfway through January, it's a great time to examine those resolutions to make sure you have set realistic goals. She says, "You know, once you decide to make a change, the first task is okay. What are my attainable goals? And then spend time each day practicing them."

Khan says the key to success is to think realistically about ways to improve and to celebrate each success along the way. She also says it's important to not give up if you have a little slip. "We’ve all got to cut ourselves some slack, too, right? It’s progress it’s not perfection," says Khan.

If your goal is to exercise more, Khan suggests choosing an activity that's fun. If you'd like to reduce stress, try meditation. If you're goal is to reduce overindulging in food or alcohol, try taking a 15 minute walk. Setting attainable goals is the key to overall success when it comes to your resolutions.

"First we need to kind of examine what rut we may have gotten into or what’s been challenging. And then think about what are alternatives. Keep exploring ways to improve your health and really achieve those goals," says Khan.

Many resolutions focus on quitting smoking or losing weight, but Khan says our emotional health should also be a priority. "Keep in mind it’s common for us to feel a sense of worry or maybe develop some feelings of anxiousness, and unchecked it’s possible that we could develop more serious mental health or behavioral health concerns, things like depression or substance use issues. So making emotional health a priority this year is really important and it starts with developing a sense of self awareness."

If you have a health question or concern, experts at Regence BlueCross BlueShield want to hear from you! Send your questions and story ideas to