We are starting another new year and that tends to be accompanied by those resolutions that all of us make and most of us break! I would like to propose a little different approach this year. It involves finding small ways to make a big difference. Most people break their resolutions because they are too hard to fulfill. Here are five suggestions:

Eat healthy

Rather than focusing on weight loss, why not focus on just eating healthy and cutting out the junk. Pick one food that you tend to splurge on. For me it is French fries! Decide not to eat that food unless you are going to have a time that you cheat once a month. Instead, replace the junk food with fruit and vegetables.

Exercise

You don\’t need to resolve to do a marathon this year. But, how about finding one way to incorporate exercise into your life. How about taking the stairs at work and never using the elevator or always parking at least a block away from where you need to go? Better yet, get a dog and walk him daily!

Do your prevention studies

If you haven\’t done it already, set up all those studies that you keep putting off. That would include your physical exam with blood pressure check, pap smear and pelvic exam, mammogram, blood tests for a lipid panel, chemistry panel, thyroid function test, and blood count and don\’t forget to have your vitamin D level checked as well as a urinalysis! If you are over 50 and haven\’t had your colonoscopy yet, this is your year to have it done!

Put together some healthy supplements and take them

There are a few supplements that are essential. Calcium is one of those that most of us can\’t get enough of in our food. Women who have reached menopause should be taking about 1500 mgs of calcium a day. You can find it in a pill or liquid form. Fish oil is another supplement that has been recommended for heart health, brain health and joint health. The recommended amount is anywhere from one to three grams a day. Ground flax seed is important for colon health, joint health and breast health as well! You might want to work up to 2 tablespoons a day and make sure you keep ground flax refrigerated so it doesn\’t go bad. Most women need extra B vitamins. Find one that is easy for you to take. Talk to your doctor about a reasonable regimen.

Put yourself first on the list

Most women take care of everyone else first and they are last on the list. Resolve to change that this year! Find ways to take care of yourself. It may be by just carving time each day to do whatever you want. Get a pedicure or get a massage. Go to the movies with friends. And have a happy, health New Year!

Dr. Robin Miller's career as a physician has been quite varied. She currently serves as the medical director of Triune Integrative Medicine, a highly innovative Integrative Medicine clinic in Medford, Oregon. She is also a medical reporter for KOBI Channel 5, the NBC affiliate in Medford. She has produced the award-winning health series, “Is there a Doctor in the House,” which is shown on the GE-sponsored Patient Channel nationwide. She is a medical columnist for The Daily Courier in Grant's Pass, Oregon, and the host of a teen health podcast. Robin has written the book Kids Ask the Doctor and the book Confessions of the Soul Straight from the Heart.