Can’t keep a resolution? Outside support can help

(BPT) – Holiday celebrations are a traditional way to cap off the year, but once the ball drops it’s time to usher in a new beginning with New Year’s resolutions.

Each year, millions of Americans resolve to get in better shape and become healthier, better versions of themselves. But, unfortunately the vast majority don’t meet their goals. Less than a quarter of 1,000 people surveyed by YMCA of the USA kept their resolution in 2014. An overwhelming 71 percent said they tried but fell short, and 40 percent confessed that they made it through only a couple weeks or months.

However, there’s hope for the coming year. One-third of survey respondents who plan to make a resolution in 2015 believe they’ll stick to it and reach their goals, with more than half believing that encouragement from others will keep them committed. Finding a supportive community can be beneficial in keeping resolutions on track. Organizations like your local Y offer a place to work out as well as opportunities to connect with others and give back to the community, which can help foster more commitment to keeping resolutions.

A positive outlook doesn’t always translate to action unless you set manageable goals and lean on the support of your health and wellness communities. Here are some tips to make a healthy New Year’s resolution stick:

Start small. Set attainable resolutions. For example, if your goal is to exercise more frequently in the new year, don’t schedule seven days a week at the gym. Start with a reasonable three days a week. If you’d like to eat healthier, try replacing desserts with other foods you enjoy, such as fruit or yogurt.

Take it one step at a time. Making a New Year’s resolution doesn’t require you to reassess every little detail of your life. Replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones takes time, so don’t become overwhelmed. Work to change one behavior at a time, and then go from there.

Choose a facility that focuses on a holistic approach to health. When it comes to adding healthy behaviors – like working out – to your lifestyle, finding a facility that keeps you motivated is critical to maintaining your exercise routine. 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.

Establish a little friendly competition. More than half of the Y survey respondents felt a little “healthy competition” when friends encouraged them to be even more committed to keeping their New Year’s resolutions. Share your experiences with support groups – friends, family, fellow workout class members or close colleagues. Talking about your struggles and successes will make your goals more obtainable and less intimidating.

Set New Year’s goals with someone you love. It’s easier to stick to your resolutions if you have a partner working toward similar goals. More than three-fourths of survey respondents indicated that they would set the same resolution for a member of their immediate family. Team up with a family member to set your 2015 goals, and establish a game plan that is dedicated to achieving them.

For more information on goal-setting for the new year, visit www.ymca.net/healthy-living.


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