Will You Try My New Year’s Resolutions?

Many New Year’s resolutions focus on health — typically our own. We commit to exercise programs, eating better, reducing screen time, annual check-ups and screenings, deeper friendships and more consistently attending social clubs and houses of worship. In many ways, January is self-improvement month.

That’s all great. Here’s hoping we all stick to our plans!

With those resolutions made, I’d like to propose a second set of resolutions also focused on health — but the health of others. Health is a team sport. For most people, improving health requires family and friends, the availability — and affordability — of healthy foods, a family physician, the resources of local health systems and much more.

Juanita Castillo is a professional health coach, working in Americares Free Clinics to support patients at risk for diabetes.

With that team approach to health in mind, here are three ways you and I — if you’ll join me — can help others this year:

1. Support family and friends working on their own health-focused resolutions and goals. We each need coaches, trainers, partners. Be one to someone you care about. Do this carefully, of course, so as not to be a nag.

In Mumbai, India, these students are learning about health and hygiene and are encouraged to share what they learn with their families — each one a young and eager health coach!

2. Take a CPR refresher training course. You never know when someone might need you to have those skills. While you are at it, add a mental health first aid course provided by The National Council for for Behavioral Health. These new skills are becoming essential tools to effectively read mental health warning signs among people close to us — and know what to do about it.

3. Support one of the many health-focused charities that work to improve health for other people. These could be national research and advocacy organizations that fight cancer and other diseases. You might choose a local charitable clinic that serves vulnerable people in your own community. Many disaster relief organizations focus on the health and wellbeing of those impacted by manmade and natural disasters (full disclosure: I’m the CEO of one!). And there are many others.

Everyone wants a healthier future. Let’s commit to our own health this year and to helping others achieve good health as well.