SIDNEY — 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 that gave up within the first few months, even weeks, of the New Year.
This year, the Sidney-Shelby County 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,” explained David O’Leary, Operations Director. “Reframe 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.”
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. “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,” O’Leary said.
Even though you may experience some 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.
Below are four tips the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA recommends to help 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 resolution. 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 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 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.
For additional tips or to learn how to get involved with the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA, contact (937) 492-9134 or visit www.sidney-ymca.org.