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9 Tips for making New Year’s Resolutions stick – New Year New You

by Mary Atkinson, RD. Director of Wellness at Tucson Medical Center

How many of us set resolutions year in and year out that we never stick with?

NewYearResolutionsWe pick something to change that we think is wrong with ourselves, and we expect that this is going to be something we want to do….really?! “I’m going to lose 20 pounds.” “I’m going to start exercising.” “I’m going to get organized.” Did you know that for 75 percent of us, we only stick with our resolutions for a week? One week!

So how do we break this pattern and actually come up with resolutions that are relevant, realistic and rewarding? First, think about what the word resolution means. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, resolution is the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. Maybe rather than coming up with a resolution, perhaps we should first determine what problem needs to be solved and what we are willing to do to fix it.

Tips to make your resolution stick!

1. Are you making a resolution for the right reason.

Maybe we shouldn’t be wanting to lose weight in order to fit into those skinny jeans, but because it will better for our health and quality of life.

2. Be the tortoise rather than the hare – small steps

Small changes in our daily habits is the best way to make lasting change.

3. Be kind and forgiving to yourself

It is important that we are kind to ourselves and forgive ourselves, if we misstep, tomorrow is a new day.

4. Be honest

Be honest with yourself and set resolutions that are meaningful and realistic. Don’t make a resolution just because it’s what you think you should do; resolutions should be things we value.

5. Put it on Paper

Write down your SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based) goal on paper and make a list of reasons why you want to accomplish your goal and place it in an area where you will see it every day.

6. Create a plan

Schedule certain days (or every day) at certain times where you will dedicate your energy to help achieve your goal.

7. Join forces with friends

You are not alone in achieving your goals! Invite friends or family members to join and help you achieve your goals. Make new friends who share the same goal or interests as you. Friends can keep you accountable for achieving your goal while making it fun.

8. Make it fun

You are more likely to maintain these life-enhancing modifications if you are laughing, smiling and having fun while doing it.

9. Switch it up

Keep your activities towards achieving your goal fresh, interesting and stimulating. Read current articles pertaining to your goals and become an advocate or expert on your new goal.

 This earlier post has some practical tools to use in successful goal setting.

For more tips, advice and inspiration this New Year check out our New Year New You campaign and enter the giveaway at the chance for a personalized nutritional assessment, fitness assessment or Fitbit Charger HR wristband!
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New Year’s Resolutions – Mary’s Promise

Mary Kmak has turned her life around and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way.

Happy New Year readers.

Are you ready for a GREAT 2016?

Everyone knows that the #1 New Year’s resolution is losing weight, but how many years have you been saying this? Are you ready to make it happen?

How many of you have high blood pressure? How about high cholesterol? Is your A1C too high? Do your back and legs hurt when you walk or sit down from being overweight?

By losing over one hundred pounds I no longer have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. My A1C is no longer in the pre-diabetic range. The changes in my health happened long before I reached 100 pounds though. I have lost weight the healthy way and I credit the Tucson Medical Center Wellness classes.

By enrolling in these TMC Wellness programs I learned about proper nutrition, beyond calories, fats, protein, portion control and how to address the challenges that stand in my way to health. The TMC Wellness specialists also taught me simple exercises that I have added to my journey. TMC is offering their Life Enhancement Program (LEP) starting January 22nd, and there is now a 12-week individual program, New Me with TMC, where the Registered Dietitians and Exercise Specialists at Tucson Medical Center craft a program that meets your individual needs.

Thank you to those who have followed my weight loss journey and return to health via Facebook and the TMC for Women blog posts so far. Whether you’ve been checking in to see if I will fulfill my PROMISE to my mother and reach goal weight, to find recipes, or because you’re looking for tips and ideas to kick start your own health journey, welcome back! This New Year I’m continuing my journey as a health warrior and I’d love for you to join me.

Make this year the year you turn your health around, I can do it, we all can do it. Make a promise to yourself become a health warrior.

My New Year’s resolution is to reach and maintain goal weight by adding new exercises to my journey and making time for my health journey, and then to start a maintenance program.

The reports from my recent doctor’s visits were great and I can continue my weight loss journey.

“You have escaped surgery once again!” the orthopedic surgeon exclaimed. My spine is stable and shows no signs of any side effects while my endurance continues to get better from my weight loss and exercises. I got the okay to add the stair stepper and treadmill to my exercise program.

My blood work continues to get better while my A1C and cholesterol are good. My blood pressure is normal and it’s ALL because of my weight loss and exercises. Thank you Mary Atkinson and Laurie Ledford for offering us such great wellness programs.

Are you ready to join me and sign up for these classes? I want to encourage all of you to post comments or questions to me this in 2016 I would love to hear from you!

In health,

Mary Kmak
Health Warrior

Find out more about the Life Enhancement Program, Wellness Classes and TMC’s very own non-surgical individualized weight loss program New Me with TMC . Find out more about Mary Kmak’s journey to health here and don’t miss another of Mary’s installment’s on her journey to health or any of our health blog posts by signing up to receive posts via email.  

Want to get a sneak insight to a Nutritional or Fitness assessment or even win a Fitbit Charge HR wristband? Check out our New Year New You Giveaway. giveaway, tucson, new year, new you


An Action Plan for Health – New Year New You

Step one of a successful resolution?

Put it in writing!

Make out an Action Plan.

What are your New Year resolutions? Write them down, share them with friends and family who are great cheerleaders. (Along with making realistic and achievable goals -see tomorrow’s post on making resolutions that stick), going public and finding others to cheer you along as they pursue their resolutions is right up there as a component in achieving success.

Don’t worry if you don’t start January 1, set another start date. The Russians celebrate the Old New Year January 14th, the Chinese New Year is February 8th, or perhaps set a date special to you?

What should you include in your Action Plan?

Include your long-term goals, how you will measure your success in those areas, what your goal for this month is, and what actions you will take this week to achieve this short term goal.

Below are the  basic components of the action plan:

1. Long-term goals
Establish your short-term and long-term goals so that they have a tangible reward as well as the loftier health goals and write those on the top of your action plan.
 While we’re often motivated to make resolutions because of a recent medical diagnosis, like high cholesterol, the actual goals often tap into emotional and spiritual health. Consider barriers to achieving your wellness goals.

2. Make an appointment with your health and keep it.

If your plan states that you’re going to go to the gym or take the dog for a walk don’t cancel that appointment for another function because it seems less important. You have an appointment with your health, and that IS important.

The action plan asks you to identify when and how much of something you plan to do. Are you more likely to get up in the morning and walk? If you put off the exercise until the evening will it never happen?

3. Be specific about how much time and energy will go into meeting your weekly goal.

A concrete example – you set a goal to eat a more balanced diet, but then don’t actual turn that intention into action. Be very detailed in the action plan. Write into the plan a dedicated time to plan meals and snacks, to shop for fresh produce and to prepare the produce in one sitting so that you can use it for those planned healthy meals.

I think about the fruit salad in a little lemon juice my own mother always seems to have in the fridge ready to go, or my friend Trish who keeps salad fixings chopped and cleaned ready in separate clear storage containers to be tossed together at a moment’s notice for a healthy meal.

Addressing what will appeal or work for the individual is key. If those fresh veggies and fruits already prepared and ready to eat are they less likely to end up rotting in the veggie draw and then making their way to the compost?

4. Be realistic and flexible about your action plan. Allow wiggle room to be successful.

A crucial part of the action plan is reflecting on the steps you plan to take and being realistic about whether you’re going to attain that. If you know that week after week you say you’re going to track what and how much you eat, after all you know this is a successful strategy for many, yet week after week you fail- reassess!

What is your confidence level that you could track for one day out of seven on a scale of one to 10?


Good. How about two days?

An eight or nine.

What about three days of tracking?

Once your confidence level dips below a seven rethink your goals.

The emphasis is on being successful and that success breeds success. If you can be successful for three days this week maybe next week or the week after your confidence will be higher so that you can accomplish four days of tracking.

A sample action plan:

My long-term goal:  Improve my cardiovascular health
Why? To be there and be healthy for my children and see them become adults

Measurements of success

ex. Climb five flights of stairs without getting out of breath, reduce cholesterol:
1. Reduce total cholesterol level (I have one measurement from about a year ago. Time to schedule a doctor’s appointment)

2. Improve time at the Saguaro East 5K walk

3. Get stronger and more flexible. Perform squats with good form and perform basic sun salutation with ease.

4. Lose 10 pounds

Goal for the Month:

Address overeating challenge & up physical activity (After reflection I realize part of my weight gain over the past few years is due to a change in eating habits, growing portion sizes, late night snacking, and finishing my children’s food AND a reduction in physical activity)

Steps I can take to accomplish my monthly goal:

1. Address late night snacking by addressing thirst with water and tea rather than food
2. Increase number of steps by going on family walk in the evening (Family New Year’s Resolution)
3. Reduce going back for seconds by slowing down eating, increasing water intake

Week 1

This week I will: when feeling tempted after my evening meal to snack, I will drink a cup of herbal tea and/or water and if still feeling like a snack, have a piece of fruit.

Because: I will feel less guilt about my late night snacking and it’ll probably help with late night heartburn

What: Satisfy thirst with liquid not food

How often & how much: At least 5 evenings/week

When: evening

Confidence level:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10       (confidence level less than 7? Rethink!)

All month we’re providing tips, advice, recipes and inspiration to help you meet your New Year resolutions with the New Year, New You campaign.

Join our New Year New You Giveaway and you might receive even more!

Prizes include A Fitbit Charge HR Wristband, or a nutritional assessment to get you on the path to clean eating, or maybe a exercise assessment to get you on track for success, all with our expert professionals.

Check here for more information.
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