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The One Resolution You Should Get a Jumpstart On Right Now

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After all the indulgence of the holiday season, it's no surprise that everyone strives to get back on track once the New Year hits. In fact, more than 40 percent of people pledged to live a healthier lifestyle in 2016, and almost as many (39.6 percent) vowed to lose weight, according to a survey by GoBankingRates.

But, actually, if you're hoping to prioritize health in the new year, you should get started on it now. That’s because November and December are often the months with the lowest volume of appointments booked on Zocdoc (a digital health platform that helps patients book doctor's appointments). That means if you wait until January (when you're high on your New Year's health kick), you'll be looking at a much longer waiting period before you're able to get an appointment. Zocdoc usually sees a 120 percent increase in appointment bookings on the first work day after the New Year, according to user data from Zocdoc for the last two years. (And you thought it was already hard to get a gyno appointment!)

So stop procrastinating and book those appointments now. Getting in before the end of the year means you're less likely to have to schedule a visit months in advance, and you won't have to wait foreverrrrrr in the waiting room. (And there's even better news: If you're not experiencing any health problems and you're under 40 years old, some doctor's say you might not even need to get an annual physical.)

Why does this matter to your resolutions? Whether your goal is to just be a healthier human overall, or to drop a specific number of pounds or inches, getting your body checked out is the first step—and you don't want your resolutions to get stalled because you can't get a doctor's appointment until March.

"Before kicking off your health-related New Year's resolutions and making any changes to your daily routine, it's important to see your doctor to ensure you know where your health stands," says Keri Peterson, M.D., an NYC-based specialist in internal medicine. "Your doctor can confirm that your plan is right for you and suggest any additional lifestyle changes that may help you accomplish your goals."

So before it's too late, call and schedule your annual appointments (and use these tips to make the most of your time while at the doctor's office). And, since you're technically already ahead of schedule on your resolution, you can totally eat an extra Christmas cookie or two or three—you earned it.

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