Along with singing “Auld Lang Syne” at the start of the New Year, making resolutions is a tradition for millions of Americans. However, while choosing a resolution can be easy, sticking to it can seem impossible. A 2014 YMCA survey found that less than a quarter of respondents kept their resolutions. Many (71 percent) tried, but stated that they fell short of their goals, while 40 percent confessed that gave up within the first few months, even weeks, of the New Year!
This year, The Family YMCA is encouraging community members to give their New Year’s resolutions a boost by creating smaller, more manageable goals that can lead to success of a larger one. “’Losing weight’ is too broad,” explains Stacey Castille, Y Wellness Director. “Reframe that big resolution into smaller, more manageable ones. Resolve to incorporate fruits and vegetables into at least two meals a day. If you’re eating out three times a week, make a goal to only eat out two times a week.”
Reframing your goals in a positive way can help you stick to them, Castille said. For example, she said, you may want to limit your screen time in 2018, but that can be more manageable if you replace it with something positive like volunteering or setting special time aside for family. “Try not to think about what you’re missing, but rather what you’re gaining. This can make a resolution feel more positive, and therefore more achievable.”
It’s important to not let yourself get discouraged by setbacks, she said. Even though you may experience some missteps throughout the day—or even the week—that doesn’t mean you have to give up.
“Nobody got their bad habits over the course of a week, so you’re not going to change them in a week either!” Castille said, adding that change is a process and bad days are part of that process.
Below are four tips, Castille recommends will help 2018 New Year’s resolutions stick.
Start small. Break those big resolutions into small, achievable goals. Instead of cutting chocolate out of your diet for good, vow to only have it a few times a week. Or trade your two sodas a day for one soda and a glass of water.
Take it one step at a time. Trying to change too many habits at once can easily lead to frustration. Instead of a New Year’s resolution, make a new month resolution. Focus on that one change for the month, and add another (small) change when the new month rolls around.
Choose a facility that focuses on a holistic approach to health. When it comes to adding healthy behaviors, like increasing physical activity, it’s important to find a facility that keeps you motivated. 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.
Talk it out. It’s easier to stick to your resolutions if you have a partner or friend working toward similar goals. Team up with someone to set your 2018 goals and help each other establish a game plan dedicated to achieving them. Set specific check-ins to help each other out of slumps and to cheer each other during the high points.
For those who are struggling with diabetes, The Family YMCA would like to help you make 2018 your healthiest year yet. The Y’s diabetes program consists of 4 classes meeting at noon Thursdays at the Y Express. This session starts Jan. 18 and is available to the public with registration required (scholarships available). Classes are led by Registered Dietitian Sara Pocernik and topics include: Eating on the go, My Plate, and making recipes healthier. For more information or to register, contact the Y at 505.662.3100 or visit laymca.org.
About The Family YMCA
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits, which strengthens communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background, nurturing the potential of children and teens, improving the nation’s health and well-being, and providing opportunities to give back and support the community. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver lasting personal and social change. ymca.net