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January 2013 / Bronx/​Riverdale Family / Brooklyn Family / Long Island Family / Manhattan Family / Queens Family / Staten Island Family

53 chances to stay true to your New Year’s resolutions

We all have the best of intentions on New Year’s Day. We’re going to exercise more, maybe lose some weight. We plan to work more veggies and wholesome foods into our family’s diet. We promise to finally get that check-up, eye exam, dental cleaning, pap smear, mammogram, or any other health screenings we’ve been putting off. Those of us who are still struggling with tobacco addiction vow this will be the year we finally quit smoking.

A small percentage of us will succeed. But research shows that most people will give up long before the year is over. In fact, many of us won’t make it through the first week, much less the first month.

That’s where the Healthy Monday campaign comes in.

A nonprofit initiative in association with Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Syracuse universities, the campaign aims to gently remind you of your goals and encourage you to recommit each week.

“We think of Monday as the January of the week,” says Cherry Dumaul, the spokesperson for the organization. “That’s the beauty of Monday. It’s very forgiving. We get 52 Mondays a year — and actually, this year we have 53 Mondays. It’s a chance to start fresh every week.”

If you deviate from your goal, you don’t have to throw in the towel. The campaign aims to get you back on track with weekly reminders such as this one: “Incorporating new habits into your daily life takes work, so aim for progress, not perfection! Start with small changes that you can easily fit into your daily routine, and go a little further each week. Swapping a breakfast Danish for whole-grain cereal, having water instead of soft drinks with meals, picking veggies as a side dish, or trying fruit for dessert are all doable actions that will lead to long-term results.”

Individuals can sign up for the tips via e-mail, or get support from the Healthy Monday communities on Facebook (www.facebook.com/HealthyMonday) and Twitter (@healthymonday).

“We hope people take advantage of the program by checking in each week, sharing their progress, and inviting their friends, family, and co-workers to join in,” Dumaul says. “It’s a great way to reach those goals you set for yourself.”

KiKi Bochi, an award-winning journalist, reads hundreds of reports monthly to bring readers the latest insights on family health and child development.

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