Your Doctor Can Help You Reach Your Health Goals In 2023
Does the start of a New Year often inspire you to turn over a new leaf? Do you make a New Year’s resolution(s) every December or vow to re-dedicate yourself to a failed resolution(s) from the previous year? You are not alone. Research shows more than 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, yet only eight percent are usually successful in keeping them.
The concept of making New Year’s resolutions has been around for thousands of years, though the tradition has certainly evolved over time. Despite their religious roots, New Year’s resolutions now primarily focus on self-improvement. Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions nowadays include losing weight, eating better, exercising more, drinking less alcohol, and managing stress.
If you want to make positive and lasting lifestyle changes that will help you achieve a health-related New Year’s resolution, the first step you should take is to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician (PCP). According to St. Clair Health physician Jessica Goddard Lucot, DO, your PCP can be your number one advocate in ensuring your best and healthiest self.
“It can be very overwhelming to determine what to eat, what type of exercise is best, or what supplements to take,” explains Dr. Lucot, who practices with St. Clair Medical Group Family Medicine. “Having a knowledgeable point person like your PCP to discuss health concerns and goals with is extremely beneficial.”
A PCP can act as a coach and hold you accountable to make necessary changes that will support your individual health needs and goals. In fact, Dr. Lucot often helps her patients set health goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Instead of making an ambiguous New Year’s resolution like eating healthier, Dr. Lucot suggests creating SMART goals such as:
- Incorporating one to two servings of fruits and vegetables per meal to increase your minimum daily servings to five.
- Planning out meals in advance and stick to your ingredient list when visiting the grocery store each week for three months.
- Creating a daily food log so you can look deeper at your food choices, become more mindful when eating, and determine where to make swaps.
In addition to helping you formulate SMART goals, your PCP can provide guidance on how to better reach these goals as they are qualified in a wide range of care. Plus, your PCP can refer you to appropriate specialists as part of a safe and comprehensive plan to reach your goals. They understand that what works for one person might not work for another, so your PCP can tailor a plan that will meet your individual needs and support you as you work toward your health goals.
“As a PCP, I get to provide encouragement to patients who are working on a health goal. It’s my favorite part of being a family medicine physician,” Dr. Lucot emphasizes. “Setting a new health goal can be daunting, but seeing a PCP regularly can help you stick to and accomplish health goals. I encourage you to find a PCP you connect with to help you become your healthiest self.”
The beginning of the New Year is always a good time to start anew, but you can choose to make a fresh start at any time—and your PCP will be available at any time to help you out. If you haven’t done so already, contact your PCP to schedule an annual wellness check for 2023 where you can discuss your health goals and also complete recommended screening tests to ensure you are in good health.
If you do not have a PCP but would like support from a medical professional as you work toward a New Year’s resolution, Dr. Lucot and her physician colleagues at St. Clair Medical Group Family Medicine are currently accepting new patients. The group provides comprehensive primary care services to patients of all ages at Village Square Outpatient Center and Peters Township Outpatient Center.
Jessica Goddard Lucot, DO
Jessica Goddard Lucot, DO, is passionate about helping patients live their healthiest and happiest lives. She earned her medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Lucot is board-certified in Family Medicine and focuses on lifestyle medicine. She practices with St. Clair Medical Group.
To request an appointment with Dr. Lucot, please call 412.942.8570 or visit physicians.stclair.org/scmg-family-medicine/.