Dr. Nina Radcliff’s 7 New Year’s Resolutions

Text by Dr. Nina Radcliff & Photos by K. Cecchini

How many of us can look back at 2014 and say that we feel as though we starred in the spaghetti Western “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly?” Though I am no Clint Eastwood, I for one, can. As we take down our Christmas stockings, many of us find ourselves taking stock of ourselves and seeking improvement (or redemption) with our New Year’s Resolutions. Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

Here’s a look at my 7 resolutions.

1. To not have to see these resolutions on my list next year. Did you know that only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions? To improve my chances, I will draw a clear map to help me reach my destination without getting lost. In other words, I will create an easy-to-follow plan and hold myself accountable, quarterly.

2. Love myself. I’ve heard many variations of this sentiment, but if we are not good at loving ourselves, we will have a difficult time loving anyone. We will resent the time and energy we give another person that we aren’t even giving to ourselves. In other words, set the tone and the standard.

3. Put things in perspective. “If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.” Still not convinced? How about “If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.” Signed, sealed and delivered: “If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation vou are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering.”

4. Gratitude journal. I recently started chronicling–every morning and every night–at least three things that I am grateful for. It has been shown that there are a number of health benefits when we have a genuine feeling of gratitude: better sleep and eating, increased energy and lifespan, and decreased overall illness and depression.

5. Get some “ZZZ’s.” Not having a good night’s sleep can make even the best morph into the Incredible Hulk. There is also a Catch 22 with sleep and caffeine consumption; we drink caffeine to keep us alert, but then it keeps us awake at night. In 2015, my goal is to stay Dr. David Banner by removing the sleep wreckers that surround me. Bye bye Lou Ferrigno.

6. Tech cleanse. I admit, I used to be a “tech-a-holic.” My day begins with an eye-opener of checking my email, which wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t check my emails and texts right before going to bed, and throughout the day. I have almost been hit by a car (on more than one occasion) because I was texting while walking across the street. I began recognizing and making changes in 2014, and will continue to unplug and power down in 2015.

7. Protect the skin I’m in. A year back, I had moles that needed to be biopsied. Fortunately, they were negative. But did you know that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States with one in five people developing it over their lifetime! More shockingly, one American dies from skin cancer EVERY HOUR! To that extent, I vow to cover up, spread on sunscreen, not let the weather fool me (ultraviolet lights are present even during the winter months), and get annual skin exams. Hopefully, we can label 2015 as “The Good,” and continue to shed the bad and the ugly. Our chances will improve greatly if we make an active, deliberate effort, along with looking at things through rose-colored glasses and holding ourselves accountable. In addition to remembering to write 2015 instead of 2014 as the date, let’s resolve to be awesome.

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Photograph by K. Cecchini

Notice: This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither Dr. Nina Radcliff or Kimberly Cecchini take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider. Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness.