We’re excited to welcome this new year, and each of us is doing everything we can to ensure that it will bring with it new opportunities, better health and a stronger community.

Two weeks ago, many of us set for ourselves “New Year’s Resolutions” through which we resolved to take deliberate and sustained action to change something in our lives. Whether yours was to start to keep a budget, to spend more time with family or to go for walks three times a week, you’ve made a sincere commitment to making your life better this year than perhaps it was last year, in some way. When it comes to taking deliberate and sustained action like this, the deliberate piece is usually the easy part; we very consciously and whole-heartedly intend to do this thing that we’ve planned. It’s the sustaining that can be the challenge, but we’ve put together some tips here that have helped us stick to our goals, and may help you stick to yours.

Make Time – Make a Plan!

Keep in mind that when making changes in your life, whether sudden or gradual, you may need to rearrange what’s already there. If you want to keep a budget, what are the tools you’ll need to do that and how frequently will you need to use them? What do you need sacrifice or reschedule in order to get to the Matt Dishman Community Center on Tuesday and Thursday evenings? If you want to visit a cousin across town every month, do you need to take into account new bus routes and schedules?

If you’ve set a time-bound goal for yourself, then be sure to also set intermediate achievable objectives. If you are already committed to a walking routine and want to be able towalk brusquely for three miles at a time within the next six months, also say that after the first month you will be able to do this for one mile. . After two months, it will be 1.5 miles, and so on. These mini successes will make the overall goal far more attainable, and far more satisfying.

 

Ask for Support!

Don’t try to do it alone. Your best intentions will easily be overwhelmed by senses of obligation to other responsibilities or people. If you involve some of those people, they’ll help you stay on track! If you’ve always had coffee with a neighbor on Wednesday afternoon, invite her to join you for a jog during the time that you’d normally sip chai together. If you’re trying to cut out certain sugars from your diet, ask for help remembering to keep them off your grocery list from a spouse or partner. Those around you care about you, and will be glad to support you!

 

Keep it Feasible!

If you find that your resolution, set while under the influence of unreasonable expectations and delirious optimism, is unachievable, it’s okay to amend it here and there. Make sure it’s something that you can do! There’s no reason to feel as if you’ve failed at something that simply isn’t possible.

 

Staying Well

In other news, we’re right in the middle of flu season again, and by most estimates, it is likely to last another two months, or so. Here a few tips to keep you and your loved ones healthy this season.

  • Get a flu shot. It’s safe and will help to protect you from this season’s strain of influenza;
    • There will be a free clinic at the Northeast Health Center (5329 Ne M L King Blvd, Portland, OR 97211 –  503.988.5183)tomorrow morning, January 17th, where flu shots will be offered beginning at 9:30am;
    • Stay well-hydrated and well-rested. Keep your immune system strong by taking care of yourself;
    • Stay loaded up on Vitamin C. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and take supplements like Emergen-C, if necessary.

 

Eating Right

Done in 20 minutes, the recipe below is a quick and easy while still being healthy and flavorful.

Mediterranean spices add punch to olive oil mayonnaise and make a quick and succulent slather for broiling fish.

Ingredients

  • 4 6-ounce white fish fillets, such as bass, tilapia, trout or cod
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, divided
  • 1/3 cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Lemon wedges

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler with rack positioned 8-inches from heat;
  2. Sprinkle skinned side of fillets with 1/4 teaspoon salt, then arrange fish on an oiled foil lined shallow baking pan, skinned side down;
  3. Stir together mayonnaise, coriander, cumin, pepper and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and spread on fish fillets;
  4. Broil fish until just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets.

 

Live well!