Each year nearly 45 percent of the US population commits to a New Year’s resolution, however, only 8 percent actually reap success. The most common resolutions that are made year-after-year are to 1.) Lose weight, 2.) Get organized, 3.) Spend less, save more, 4.) Enjoy life to the fullest, and 5.) Stay fit and healthy. Those ranking lower on the list include learn something new, quit smoking, help others, fall in love, and spend more time with family. From this data, we get four general resolution-type categories — self-improvement with 47 percent, weight-related with 38 percent, money-related at 34 percent, and relationship-related owning 31 percent of all New Year’s resolutions made.
At this point, you’ve probably self-identified and classified yourself into one of the above groups. Regardless of where you’ve fallen on the spectrum in years previous, we’re here to remind you that a new year means fresh starts and new beginnings. This year, we recommend ditching the trivial goals and instead pursuing ones that will produce lasting benefits. To help you in this process, we’ve compiled five health categories that are oftentimes overlooked and what the experts recommend that you do to get back on-track:
- Ear. It is estimated that more than 28 million people in the US have a hearing loss or deafness, according to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Many people ignore early warning signs oftentimes because hearing loss occurs gradually, painlessly and slowly. So kick-off 2017 by contacting your local hearing center to schedule a hearing screening. As you begin to call around to local hearing centers, you’ll find that it’s common for routine hearing screenings to be offered at little to no cost. Some hearing centers will even accept walk-in patients, making hearing screenings even more accessible.
- Eye. It’s recommended that teens and adults up to age 40 have periodic eye exams. Adults over the age of 40 should have regular, annual eye exams. It’s common for people with nearly perfect eye sight to overlook this part of their health. However, just because you don’t have any symptoms doesn’t mean something isn’t wrong. Contact your local ophthalmologist to schedule a baseline eye exam today.
- Skin. Most people are unaware that the skin is the largest organ on the body. If you didn’t know that before, now it probably makes more sense why we included it in our top five. Most national dermatology associations recommend that you visit your dermatologist at least once per year for a thorough skin examination. If you have issues in between appointments, you should contact your dermatologist ASAP to get the area checked-out.
- Oral. The American Dental Association recommends that you schedule a routine teeth cleaning appointment at least once per year. If you have a history of build-up or a periodontal disease, you should visit your dentist more often for preventative reasons.
- Primary Care. Statistics show that the average person in the US visits a doctor four times per year. Some people will visit a doctor when they have a minor throat-ache, while others view doctors as a last resort and prefer to “tough-out” whatever’s got them feeling down. National recommendations suggest that you schedule a routine physical examination appointment once per year.
Now that we’ve given you five easy ways own your health in 2017, it’s now up to you whether you’re going to take the next step and make the official resolution declaration. It’s simple, schedule, keep and attend just five appointments over the next 365 days. Remember, you can find yourself in the statistical majority or minority this time of year. So here’s to an overall healthier 2017! You’ve got this.