Starting and Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Chances are 2017 isn't the first time you've resolved to lose a few pounds. In fact, last year, losing weight topped the charts as the most common New Year's Resolution.

The pattern is familiar: You start your journey to a healthier lifestyle determined that this is the year you are going to make the change. You are dedicated and don't miss a sweat session for the first week. As the days go on, something happens that causes you to fall out of your new habit. Before you know it, your New Year's Resolution has become a distant memory.

If this has happened to you, you're not alone. Only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving —or sticking to— their New Year's Resolution. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

According to Tiffany Wheeler, Wellness Director, at the Frank DeLuca YMCA Family Center, the key is to set yourself up for success. “New exercisers often overwhelm themselves because they are so eager to see results. Instead of focusing on the scale and measurements, focus on overall improvement in physical performance.”

To help with this, Wheeler recommends finding a way to make your new lifestyle enjoyable, and achievable:

Focus on one thing at a time. If you are new to exercise, focus on being consistent with your workouts. This means if your goal is to work out three days per week, focus on that, rather than trying to tackle your diet, too. Often, new exercisers try to change everything at once and then get overwhelmed, triggering old habits. “Don’t stress yourself out and make it fun,” Wheeler says.

Make fitness a family affair. Getting your spouse and kids involved is a great way to not only create healthy habits together but to get the social support you need to achieve your goals. Plus, by including your family, no one feels left out, and you won’t feel guilty for spending time working toward your goals.

Don’t take days off. This doesn’t mean to “work out” every day, rather be consistent with some sort of physical activity. On rest days from your new fitness program, opt to take a walk or play an active game with family or friends. This keeps your body in motion and aids habit change for a healthy lifestyle.

Eat appropriately for what you are doing. A lot of times, people with a weight-loss goal automatically try to cut calories by skipping meals or eating less. Instead, it’s important to remember that working out causes your body to burn more calories, in turn, means that you will need more energy. What you eat, and how much you eat, is closely linked to your performance. “Make sure you’re getting enough calories – and good calories – so that you get the most out of your training,” Wheeler says.

Remember, the first three weeks are the hardest. Studies say that it takes at least 21 days to form a habit, so stick with your goal and don’t give up. Once you’ve formed a habit, you can try something new.

Because the first three to four weeks are so important, Frank DeLuca Y offers specialized programs to help members stay consistent with a new fitness program. Coach Approach, a program created by a behavioral psychologist, is designed to teach people who are new to exercise how to overcome obstacles and re-frame their thinking so that they can be successful. This way, working out becomes a lifestyle change, not a new year's resolution that fades to the back burner.

In addition to Coach Approach, the YMCA's new Technogym equipment comes with the ability for users to create a MyWellness account to log workouts and track progress. Users are also assigned to a Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer so that they can receive virtual coaching for continued success and accountability 24/7.

“The Y really focuses on true health and wellness by offering programs that educate and support our members. Our mission is centered around our members’ success,” Wheeler says.

For information on how to start your journey to a healthy lifestyle in 2017, contact us.