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Dear Dr. Robyn


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Dear Dr. Robyn, 

Our family is hoping to “turn over a new leaf” when it comes to our health this year. Health-food, no more juice/soda-pop, more sleep, less screen-time...big changes for all of us. Change is hard though. The thing is, I don’t want it to be like one of those New Year’s resolutions that are here today and gone tomorrow. How can we make sure health is a big part of 2023? 

--Elena and Sam, Minnesota 

Dear Elena & Sam, 

I applaud you and your family for making healthy choices in 2023! And perhaps that’s a good way of looking at it-- healthy choices over big changes. Big changes can feel daunting and difficult-- but healthy choices feel more doable and in our control. Let’s think through it. 

What healthy choices can you make around... 

 

(1) Food: Dieting and restricting are often a failing proposition. So let’s talk about healthy choices you can make that are sustainable. Perhaps if you pair your lunches with chips each day, you might choose to pair it every other day with an apple or cut carrots for a vitamin-boost. If you serve dinner with pasta each night, try an interesting salad some nights to mix it up a bit. 

 

(2) Drinks/water: For example, instead of just saying “no more sweet drinks,” perhaps making healthy choices about what you drink might help. Since you like juice and soda-pop, you might pour a quarter glass of juice and fill the rest with carbonated water. Or you might start the day off with two glasses or water so you have them under your belt right away! 

 

(3) Screen-time: So much of our lives is on screens- from work to social connections to entertainment. For a healthy twist, choose specific shows to prioritize instead of scrolling mindlessly or go for a walk with a friend over watching influencer videos. Make a rule of ”no screens at the table” so there’s time to connect with family over a good meal. That’s great for mental and physical health! 

 

(4) Sleep: Prepare for a great night’s sleep by getting into a new routine. Choose to take a relaxing bath or shower at night or pick out a great book to read in bed. Make the choice of shutting down screens in the bedroom or having “do not disturb” on your phone during specific hours. 

 

These choices have to be easy, planned and sustainable to work beyond January. Think small so big things can happen! 

Here’s to your success!


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