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Happy New Year 2019
January 1, 2019

Expert-approved New Years resolutions

It’s that time of year. The transition from one calendar year to another is considered by many a fresh start. A time to get rid of bad habits and create new, better ones. Many people do this in the form of one or more New Years resolutions.

About half our population makes a New Years resolution and health related resolutions are some of the most common. Did you know that quitting smoking, exercising more and losing weight rank as three of the most popular New Years resolutions?

Less than half of people keep their resolution past July

Only about 40 per cent of people have stuck with their resolution by the time July rolls around. The key to keeping on track is setting a clear goal, writing it down and tracking your progress. You can find some tips on creating “SMART” goals here.

We asked our experts to recommend some healthy resolutions for our community. Scroll down to see what they suggest you strive for this year!

“Resolve to never get behind the wheel of your vehicle impaired.” Dr. Alim Pardhan, Emergency Physician

Dr. Alim Pardhan, a doctor in our emergency departments at Hamilton General Hospital, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, and McMaster Children’s Hospital, doesn’t want anyone to drive while intoxicated. Drinking alcohol, and now consuming cannabis, may be legal, but driving while impaired is not. In his role in the emergency room, he sees far too many injuries that result from impaired driving, and unsafe drinking in general. Watch this quick video on how to stay safe if intoxicated.


“Quitting smoking will take multiple tries, so resolve to keep trying. Talk to your family doctor about medication and ensure you have a strong support system.” Monica Bennett, Health Promotion Specialist

Although quitting smoking is a common New Year’s resolution, it can be a difficult one to keep due to the additive nature of the substance. It will likely take you multiple attempts to quit, but Monica Bennett, a health promotion specialist at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Clinic wants you to keep trying. Find what works for you to curb the cravings, talk to your family doctor, and surround yourself with a network of support, including the Smokers’ Helpline. Monica offers other tips in this video.


“Resolve to follow a self-care routine.” Marie Reynolds, Clinical Manager, Nursing Resource Team

Marie Reynolds, clinical manager of the nursing resource team at Hamilton Health Sciences wants you to take care of yourself this year. Ensuring you have a proper work-life balance promotes a healthy mind and body. If you’d like to try some mindfulness meditation, here’s a quick video.


"Resolve to get your pap test done if you're due for one." Dr. Dustin Costescu, Obstetrician and Gynecologist

Dr. Dustin Costescu, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Hamilton Health Sciences wants women to pay better attention to their reproductive health this year. In addition to committing to regular pap tests, he has two more recommendations.

“Protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections by using condoms each and every time. And talk to your healthcare provider before stopping birth control. If you’re stopping because you want to get pregnant, take folic acid before stopping.”


“Resolve to build and nurture meaningful connections with others, be it with family, friends or work colleagues.” Dr. Paulo Pires, Psychologist

Dr. Paulo Pires, Clinical Director, Child and Youth Mental Health at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre wants you to maintain and strengthen relationships with the people in your life.


 “Commit to seeing the best in others and looking for similarities, especially when common ground seems implausible.” Dr. Natasha Johnson, adolescent medicine specialist

Dr. Natasha Johnson, an adolescent medicine specialist at McMaster Children’s Hospital, has worked hard to develop a framework for gender diversity services within the adolescent medicine clinic. She wants you to consider seeing the best in others regardless of the circumstances.

She also says, “this will set the stage for fruitful conversations and genuine curiosity instead of conflict.”


"Resolve to bring the medications you're taking to all your medical appointments." Dr. Alexandra Papaioannou, Geriatrician

Dr. Alexandra Papaioannou, a geriatric specialist and executive director of the Geriatric Education and Research in Aging Sciences (GERAS) Centre, wants to see patients resolve to bring their medications to all medical appointments so their providers can keep track of what they’re taking safely. This goes a long way to prevent harmful medication errors.


"Regular physical activity is an important part of your heart health, so resolve to use sedentary activities - watching TV or Netflix - only as a reward that follows physical activity." Dr. Richard Whitlock, Cardiac Surgeon

Inactivity has become a major issue in our society. Especially with easy access to entertainment on our devices and the ability to “binge watch” shows through streaming services like Netflix. Therefore, Dr. Richard Whitlock, cardiac surgeon at Hamilton General Hospital suggests using our sedentary activities as a reward for physical activity. Go for a walk, a bike ride, anything that gets you moving. After that, enjoy your favourite TV show. Regular activity does the brain, body, and heart a lot of good!

Are you inspired? We hope you’ll adopt one or more of these resolutions for 2019!

Happy New Year!