Making resolutions is a tradition for millions of Americans. However, while choosing a resolution is easy, sticking to it can be impossible. A 2014 YMCA survey found that less than a quarter of respondents kept their resolutions. 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 Santa Barbara 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. Below are eight tips the Santa Barbara Family YMCA recommends to help 2017 New Year’s resolutions stick.
- Start small and be realistic. “Getting healthy” is not a goal – it’s too broad. Break 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. Making resolutions that you can keep and are practical will be more manageable and rewarding
- Be positive. Reframing your goals in a positive can help you stick to them. For example, if you want to limit screen time, replace it with something positive like volunteering or setting special time aside for family. Don’t think about what you are missing, but rather what you are gaining.
- 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 Focus on that one change for the month, and add another (small) change when the new month rolls around.
- 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 that offers more health, more hope and more opportunity.
- Ask for support. Let your family and friends know about your resolution and ask them to support you in keeping your goals. Real friends won’t try to tempt you to give up and they can help keep you accountable. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to accept help from those who care about you.
- Buddy up. 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.
- Track progress and reward yourself. Keeping track of small accomplishments will help keep you motivated. Celebrate those successes by treating yourself to something that doesn’t contradict your resolution. For example, reward yourself with new work out attire or by going on a day trip with a friend.
- Learn from the process. There are no quick fixes in making major lifestyle changes. Correcting long-ingrained bad habits takes time. Don’t get discouraged by setbacks. If you slip up on a resolution, accept it as part of the learning process and start fresh each day. Missteps do not mean you have to give up.
For additional tips or to learn how to become a member at the Santa Barbara Family YMCA, contact (805) 687-7727 or visit www.ciymca.org/SantaBarbara. Join in January and your first month dues are just $20.17! Join during the Community Open House January 7 and we’ll waive the joining fee too!
About the Channel Islands YMCA
Established in 1887, the Channel Islands YMCA is a charitable organization of seven YMCA branches serving Santa Barbara and Ventura counties including: Camarillo Family YMCA, Lompoc Family YMCA, Montecito Family YMCA, Santa Barbara Family YMCA, Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA in Santa Ynez, Ventura Family YMCA, and Youth and Family Services YMCA which operates Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Shelter, the St. George Family Youth Center and My Home.
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Channel Islands YMCA serves over 46,000 individuals and provides over $1.3 million in financial assistance to families in need for child care, YMCA memberships, away and day camps, youth sports, and teen after-school programs. Santa Barbara Family YMCA (805) 687-7727 or visit www.ciymca.org/SantaBarbara