Monday, January 12, 2015

Forget New Year's. Monday is key to helping caregivers keep New Year’s resolutions

Our friends Cherry Dumaul and Vanessa Protass at CaregiverMonday offer some great advice for the new year.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology showed that 120 million Americans make New Year’s resolutions, with health-related goals like losing weight, exercising and quitting smoking topping the list. Unfortunately, only 8% of all resolutions are actually kept and many don’t even make it to Groundhog Day.

That’s where Monday comes in. Monday acts like a mini-New Year’s that comes around every seven days, 52 times a year. It’s a day caregivers can use each week to reboot or refresh their health intentions to help them stay on track with their resolutions. Each Monday, they can take a small, manageable step to build up to their bigger health goal over time. Or, if they happen to slip up over the weekend like many people do, they can always use Monday to give themselves a fresh start and recommit to their goals.

People are already tapping into the power of Monday: A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by researchers from Johns Hopkins and San Diego State University showed that Google searches on health topics consistently surge every Monday, with 30 percent more searches for health information occurring on Mondays as compared to other days. The same pattern was confirmed by other research showing that Monday is a day people use for a “fresh start” for their health regimens, as well as in a study by Brian Wansink that showed dieters who got back on track on Mondays were more likely to keep the weight off over time.

Morgan Johnson, director of programs and research at The Monday Campaigns, the nonprofit organization behind Caregiver Monday and co-author of the Google paper, said that this collective “surge” in healthy thinking on Monday can be used to provide social support for people seeking to improve their health. “Millions of people around the world are starting the week with healthy intentions – if we can connect those people at school, work and communities we can make a “Monday Health Reboot” the cultural norm.”

To help caregivers keep their resolutions past Groundhog Day, The Monday Campaigns is offering free weekly health tips, along with resources for people with specific health goals in mind such as quitting smoking, getting more exercise, and promoting good nutrition habits with kids. For more information visit our website at www.caregivermonday.org and join our communities on Facebook and Twitter.

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