Americans care about their health and the annual pledges to do something about it are reflected in our New Year’s resolutions. In fact, three of the top five resolutions for 2024 are related to achieving better health, according to Statista Consumer insights, a company dedicated to collecting data.

Ranking Arizona: Top 10 resorts for 2023

Ranked in order the top five resolutions this year are: Save more money (59%), Exercise more (50%), Eat healthier (47%), Spend more time with family/friends (39%), and Lose weight (21%). And, FYI, the eighth most popular resolution was to reduce stress, also health related.

If you resolved to make 2024 the year to make a positive difference in your health, here are some ways to make it happen, according to Sherri Mankofsky, RDN, CDCES, a registered dietitian and Bariatric Program Manager at Abrazo Scottsdale Campus:

Step 1 – Write it down

The simple act of writing down your goals improves the odds of achieving your goals. A study at Dominican University of California showed that those who wrote down goals accomplished significantly more than those that did not.

Step 2 – Start small

Consider making one change at a time or starting with goals for which you have the highest motivation. Let the good feeling of successful achievement propel you forward to reach the next goal and keep going.

“If your goal is to lose weight, healthy eating is a place to start. This can be tough but can take you a long way toward reaching your goals for health,” said Mankofsky. “Explore ways to add veggies at each meal, like spinach in a smoothie at breakfast or raw vegetables like carrots or cauliflower instead of chips at lunch.”

Saturated fat from meats and dairy can have negative health effects, while unsaturated fat can be good for your heart. It’s not always an either/or, but good to keep in mind as you plan meals. Opting for salmon, trout, tree nuts or avocados can be good choices, she said.

When you think exercise, don’t just think high intensity. While it is good to elevate your heart rate for 30 minutes a day most days, the effect can be achieved several ways: endurance (cardiovascular), strength (weight resistance), balance and stretching (flexibility).

Step 3 – Accountability

The Dominican University study indicated that weekly updates shared with a friend helped participants accomplish their goals. Keeping a food and exercise diary also helps. Something about writing down what you eat and do makes it more accountable to yourself.

“Whatever the New Year brings, please take care of your health and know that we are here for you in every season of life,” said Mankofsky.

For information about the Abrazo Medical and Surgical Weight Loss Program or to find a doctor, visit