Each year, millions of Americans turn the calendar to the New Year and make resolutions, but without breaking these goals down into smaller milestones, it can be easy to lose momentum. In fact, a 2014 YMCA survey found that less than a quarter of respondents kept their resolutions throughout the year. Many (71 percent) tried, but stated that they fell short of their goals, while 40 percent confessed they gave up within the first few months, even weeks, of the New Year.
This year, the Champaign 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 a goal,” said Jennifer Post, Health Enhancement Director. “Re-frame your big resolution into something achievable.” For example, instead of making a resolution to ‘lose weight,’ resolve to incorporate fruits and vegetables into at least two meals a day.”
Re-framing your goals in a positive way can 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 time aside for family. “Rather than thinking about what you’re losing, think about what you’re gaining. This can make a resolution feel more positive and, therefore, more achievable,” said Post.
Though you may experience missteps throughout the day or even the week, 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 will take time and patience.
“The Y is a nice place to be and to develop life-long friendships and create a better way of life,” said Jerry Fetherolf. Jerry and Billie Jo Fetherolf are long-time members who’ve overcome health risks and lost over 100 pounds combined. “We attend classes regularly and try continually to change up our workouts with a variety of Group Ex. classes the Y has to offer. We’ve recently added TRX and Cycling into our workout routine. Being able to change up classes, especially now that they are free for members, keeps us on track and more motivated,” added
Below are four tips the Champaign Family Y recommends to help 2016 New Year’s resolutions stick.
1. 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.
2. 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 resolution. Focus on that one change for the month, and add another (small) change when the new month rolls around.
3. 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 membership, take a tour of local gyms to find the best fit for you. The ideal facility is welcoming, not intimidating, and makes you feel good physically and emotionally.
4. 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 dedicated to achieving them. Set specific check-ins to help each other out of slumps and to cheer each other during the high points.
To help you get started, the Champaign Family YMCA will hold its annual Community Try the Y Week Jan. 2-9. As guests for the week, you’ll have access to many of the Y’s latest fitness programs and amenities. Staff will be on-hand for facility tours and to answer questions.
For additional tips or to learn how to get involved with the Champaign Family Y, call 937-653-YMCA or visit www.champaignfamilyymca.org.
Submitted by the Champaign Family YMCA.