Kick start your new year: Make resolutions stick in 2017
Published - 01/03/17 - 11:31 AM | 3037 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Making resolutions at the start of a new year is a tradition for millions of Americans. While choosing a resolution is easy, sticking to it can be impossible. A YMCA of the USA survey found that less than a quarter of respondents kept their resolutions. Many (71 percent) tried, but stated 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 YMCA of San Diego County is encouraging community members to give their resolutions a boost by creating smaller, more manageable goals that can lead to the success of a larger one.

“Listing ’get healthy’ as a goal may be too broad for most people,” explains Baron Herdelin-Doherty, President & CEO of the YMCA of San Diego County. “You can reframe that resolution into multiple, more manageable and measurable goals. For example, if you aren’t very active right now, try to incorporate activity into your routine three days a week before telling yourself you’ll work out every single day.”

The YMCA also explains that reframing your goals in a positive way can help you stick to them. For example, you may want to limit your (or your children’s) screen time in 2017, 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,” said Herdelin-Doherty.

Experts at the YMCA of San Diego County also note that it’s important to not let yourself get discouraged by setbacks. Even though you may experience some missteps throughout the day—or even the week—that doesn’t mean you have to give up. “We don’t get our bad habits over the course of a week, so you’re not going to change them in a week either,” explains Herdelin-Doherty. “Change is a process and bad days are part of that process.”

Below are four tips the YMCA of San Diego County recommends to help 2017 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 resolution. Focus on that one change for the month, and add another (small) change when the new month rolls around.

3. 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.

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 2017 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.

If you do decide to join a gym, consider the YMCA and its KickStart program, which is free for members. A wellness coach will help you attain your goals in three one-on-one fitness and nutrition sessions over your first 30 days.

Additionally, if you’re unable to afford membership, the YMCA offers scholarships to those who meet income requirements.

For additional tips or to learn how to get involved with the YMCA of San Diego County, contact 858-292-9622 or visit
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