By the time the acorn drops in downtown Raleigh on New Year’s Eve, thousands of Triangle women have vowed to eat less and exercise more; or reduce their consumption of sugar and increase their intake of fiber; or stop smoking and start meditating.
There’s nothing like dreaming big. But for alterations to be attainable and sustainable, it’s better to start small. So here are Carolina Woman’s 10 take-it-easy-on-yourself resolutions.

1. Get checked.
Be sure you’re seeing a health professional annually and receiving all the recommended screenings.

2. Consider your heart-disease risk.
You’re not going to transform your habits in a flash. So find out where you fall on the most-healthy-to-least-healthy continuum, learn how to reduce your exposure and choose a few areas to work on.

3. Avoid dieting gimmicks.
Whether it’s nibbling a grapefruit a day or eliminating an entire food category, don’t sign up for any plans that imply there’s some magic to slimming down.

4. Stress Less.
Just about every marker of fitness, from blood pressure to blood sugar, improves when you calm down and ease your mind.

5. Enjoy fruits and vegetables.
Rather than worrying about what you shouldn’t be chowing down on, indulge in good-for-you choices.

6. Move more.
Don’t jump into an exhaustive exercise program. Instead, pace yourself. Ramp up your life with common activities -- whether it’s parking farther away from the entrance, walking the dog longer or playing with the kids. Have fun!

7. Catch enough z’s.
Sure, you can do it all. But snooze, too. It’ll give you energy for the next day and boost your overall medical picture as well.

8. Give yourself the gift of time.
Carve out space to take care of yourself by squelching your perfectionist tendencies and enlisting the help of others in taking care of your home, your family and your office.

9. Socialize with people who are upbeat.
Hang out with those whose glass is half-full – or even completely filled up! Studies show that happiness is contagious.

10. Maintain a wellness journal.
By keeping track of what you did, when you did it and how you feel every day, you’ll stay in touch with how far you’ve come and how far you still want to go.