By Erica Moe | Get Fit
Most of us make a New Year’s resolution or two, and most of us lose momentum before much time has passed. A 2014 YMCA survey found that less than a quarter of respondents kept their resolutions throughout the year. Many tried (71 percent), but stated that they fell short of their goals. And 40 percent confessed they gave up within the first few months, even weeks, of the new year.
This year, give your resolutions a boost by creating smaller, more manageable goals that can lead to the success of a larger one. A goal like “losing weight,” can be too broad. Try to reframe the big resolution into something achievable — maybe you resolve to incorporate fruits and vegetables into at least two meals a day.
Reframing your goals in a positive way can also help you stick to them. You may want to limit your screen time in 2016, but that can be more manageable if you replace the time with something positive like volunteering or setting special time aside for family. If you can focus on what you’re gaining rather than what you’re losing, a resolution can feel more positive and, therefore, more achievable.
Now, you may experience missteps throughout the day — or even the week. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up. Change is a process and bad days are part of that. Bad habits didn’t appear overnight, so changing them takes time and patience.
The Y has tips to help your 2016 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’s Focus on that one change for the month, and add another (small) change when the new month rolls around.
- Choose an organization 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 place that keeps you motivated. Before committing to a gym membership, take tours 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 2016 goals and help each other establish a game plan. Set specific check-ins to help each other out of slumps and to cheer each other during the high points.
For additional tips or to learn how to get involved with the Mission Valley YMCA, call 619-298-3576 or visit ymca.org/missionvalley.
—Erica Moe is an ACSM certified exercise physiologist who writes on behalf of the Mission Valley YMCA, where she is a fitness director.