As the first month of 2015 winds down, ask yourself: Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions to stay healthy and fit? Busy medical students might find it hard to dedicate time to wellness, but by committing to your own health, you also are committing to the health of your community and patients.

The start of the new year is typically a time for reflection and goal-setting—if you’re not swamped with studying, tests and other stressors students face. Sustainable wellness is possible, even if you’re busy, with these tips selected by the AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) during the section’s annual #WeekofWellness campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Make exercise a daily habit. This article suggests considering all the practical obstacles that stand between you and exercise and how to eliminate them. For example, prep your gym bag the night before so you don’t have the excuse of not having time in the morning.
  • Psych yourself up. Principles of psychological motivation can help you maximize your potential for change—and as a medical student, you rely on science. Try out strategies to maintain behavioral change and be better prepared to sustain your own healthy habits.
  • Get some help from outside sources. If you need some external motivation, you’re not alone. Whether your goals are health-related or lifestyle-oriented, there’s something out there to help you stay on track. Find a website that can help you stick to your resolutions.
  • Don’t let budget be a factor. Even if you don’t have any money, you can still maintain a healthy lifestyle. Use heart healthy recipes in your own kitchen as a substitution for your take-out pizza.  If you can’t afford a gym membership, do some easy at-home exercises.

Remember, as a future physician, it’s important to practice what you preach.

“We see one especially important patient every day: It’s the face in the mirror,” AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, wrote in a Viewpoints blog post on physician wellness. “We have to take care of this patient so that we can be at our best to take care of all our other patients.”

Tell us: In six words or less, what are your best tips to leading a healthy lifestyle and keeping yourself well? Share in a comment below or on the AMA-MSS Facebook or Twitter using #6WordWellness.

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