It is inevitable that as the New Year approaches most morning talk shows, magazine articles and radio shows are urging us to make our New Year’s resolutions. My lists were quite extensive in the past. As I have gotten older and wiser (I think) my lists have gotten shorter and much more realistic. It is a good idea to look back on the previous year and find ways to improve. I worry, however, that most of us set ourselves up for failure. So, here is my advice:

*If weight loss is your goal estimate the possibility of losing one pound a week. Thinking you can lose a tremendous amount of weight over a short period of time is unrealistic. Try for five to ten pounds at a time.

*For exercise, if you have been sedentary, start slow. Walk one block a day and add blocks from there. Get your doctor to help with an exercise program.

*If you are looking to become healthier, find a doctor or provider who can help you come up with a reasonable plan. Going to the vitamin counter of the local health food store without guidance is not a good idea. Natural is not necessarily safe.

*Plan out your health care goals by mapping out the preventive studies that you need and get them scheduled. Eye exams, blood pressure checks, BMI calculations, vaccines, and pap smears and mammograms for women,  prostate checks with digital rectal exams for men, cholesterol profiles and fasting blood sugars are a good start.

*For fun: smile and laugh more, love more, give more of yourself by paying it forward, and eat chocolate on occasion in moderation of course!

The key is to put yourself first on the list. If you do not take care of yourself then you cannot take care of anyone else. Keep your list short, sweet and something that you can follow and achieve in 2015. Happy Healthy New Year!