Skip to main content Skip to footer

New Year's Evolutions

Kick off 2023 with a forward-thinking mindset and a plan to encourage and support healthy changes.

As the calendar turns to the New Year, we move into reset-and-refresh mode and it’s customary to resolve to make positive changes. On a personal level, New Year’s Resolutions usually focus on individual improvement whether its healthier eating, exercising more, or stopping a behavior like smoking. And from a business perspective, we might make a commitment to meet milestones related to growth and profitability, improved service scores, or the introduction of new products and services. 

At Health Action Council, we recognize that after the last few years of uncertainty, we’re now entering a time when we can identify market dynamics with more clarity and be more forward-thinking in how we evolve. After innovating and adapting, we are rolling into this new year with a proactive mindset. We can be more intentional about meeting the needs of our employee populations so, as a team, we can make healthy changes that improve how we all live and work. 

But there’s much more to fulfilling New Year’s Resolutions than just saying you’ll do something differently. Think about what the gym looks like by mid-February after those who promised themselves, they’d work out abandon the plan. 

We know sticking to resolutions isn’t easy. 

In fact, by January 19, the fitness app Strava reports that most people will give up on their New Year’s Resolutions, based on a study of over 800 million user logged-in activities. And a study by the University of Scranton that tracked self-change attempts of 200 New Year’s resolvers during a two-year period and found that 77% kept their pledges for one week, 55% for the first month and only 19% for two years. 

What separates the successful group from those who try and bail? 

Social support plays a big role in helping people stay on track. Of those who did stick with their resolutions, their “slips” were because of lack of personal control, excessive stress, and negative emotion. Research also shows that approach-oriented goals are more successful than avoidance goals. For instance, those who decide they will start a walking program are more likely to follow through than people who say they will avoid sugar altogether or stop eating fast food. 

Back proactive and productive change. How can employers support and encourage their teams to evolve in ways that will positively impact them personally and contribute to the success of an organization? 

First, the support must come from the top, and leaders who set the example show their teams that healthy changes are a priority. For example, you can encourage walking meetings rather than sitting in a conference room or suggest that employees take a 10- or 15-minute break to stretch, move, or get some fresh air. 

Employers can change meeting menus from donuts to healthier options or provide a lunch-and-learn on what a healthy pantry at home looks like. Other encouraging education programs could include healthy grocery shopping, such as staying on the perimeter of the store where whole foods are stocked. During events, ask people to bring healthy items or share healthy recipes they enjoy or hold a cooking course highlighting easy-to-cook nutritious recipes. As loneliness also has a direct impact on health and productivity, consider introducing a work buddy system, book club, or hosting a virtual game night.

Wellness goes beyond what we eat and includes finances, so why not consider offering a “financial fitness” series with tips on how to achieve and maintain it? Raising awareness is the first step in getting people involved in their financial journeys. January is Financial Wellness Month and a great time to teach your staff how to effectively manage their finances.

Simple things like keeping a healthy workspace free of clutter can give employees more peace of mind. Or practice guided meditation or quiet time so employees can reset and feel prepared to handle the rest of the day’s challenges. 

In the spirit of sticking to healthy change, maybe we should instead call our resolutions New Year’s Evolutions

Now, are you looking for a way to jumpstart a proactive, healthy 2023? We invite you to join us at the IN-VALUE-ABLE Conference & Expo virtual day on January 26 and the in-person event on February 8th and 9th. Gather inspiration from other leaders who are forward thinking and promoting better health within their teams and organizations.

About Health Action Council 
Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing mid-and large-size employers that enhance human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services, and collaboration. It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents, and retirees. Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders – health plans, physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry – to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community.

Patty Starr bio image

About the author

Patty Starr

Patty Starr is president and CEO of Health Action Council and is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the organization--build stronger, healthier communities where business can thrive. 

Ready to take control of your employee healthcare & benefits costs?

We use cookies and similar technologies on our Website to ensure you the best browsing experience. Read about how we use cookies and how you can control them in our Privacy Statement. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies. Go to Privacy