A Successful New Year!

Tips and Tricks to Make your Resolution and Reality

Published Sunday, January 1, 2017

Each year, millions of Americans resolve to get in better shape and become healthier versions of themselves.

According to a recent YMCA survey of more than 1,000 adults, less than a quarter of respondents kept their resolution in 2014. An overwhelming 71 percent said they tried but fell short, and 40 percent confessed that they made it through only a couple of weeks or months.

However, there's hope and help for those looking to keep their resolutions this year. One-third of survey respondents who planned to make a resolutions in 2015 believed they would stick to it and reach their goals, with more than half believing that encouragement from others will keep them committed.

"Finding a supportive community like the Y can be beneficial in keeping resolutions on track because our organization is so much more than a nonprofit gym," said Sue Sanders, CEO of the YMCA of South Alabama. "It's a community of supportive neighbors that offers more health, more hope, and more opportunity for the New Year and years to come."

 

Tips to stay on track

A positive outlook doesn't always translate to action without setting manageable goals and leaning on the support of health and wellness communities. Here are five tips the YMCA of South Alabama recommends to help make a healthy New Year's resolution stick:

1. Start small. Set attainable resolutions. For example, if your goal is to exercise more frequently in the New Year, don't schedule seven days a week at the gym. Start with a reasonable three days a week. If you'd like to eat healthier, try replacing desserts with other foods you enjoy, such as fruit or yogurt.

2. Take it one step at a time. Making a New Year's resolution doesn't require you to reassess every little detail of your life. Replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones takes time, so don't become overwhelmed. Work to change one behavior at a time, and then go from there.

3. Choose a facility that focuses on a holistic approach to health. When it comes to adding healthy behaviors -- like working out -- to your lifestyle, finding a facility that keeps you motivated is critical to maintaining your exercise routine. Before committing to a membership, take a tour of local gyms to find the best fit for you. Your facility should not be just a gym, but a community organization that offers more health, more hope, and more opportunity.

4. Establish a little friendly competition. More than half of the Y survey respondents felt a little "healthy competition" with friends encouraged them to be even more committed to keeping their New Year's resolutions. Share your experiences with support groups - friends, family, fellow workout class members, or close colleagues. Talking about your struggles and successes will make your goals more obtainable and less intimidating.

5. Set New Year's goals with someone you love. It's easier to stick to your resolutions if you have a partner working toward similar goals. More than three-fourths of survey respondents indicated that they would set the same resolution for a member of their immediate family. It's never too late to team up with a family member to set goals for 2015, and establish a game plan that is dedicated to achieving them.