Tips and advice to keep your New Year's resolutions

The YMCAs of Québec - January 05 2017

A new year brings new resolutions. Whether or not we make it known, we all have a resolution, big or small, or a desire to change something in the New Year. Although we might have a clear idea about what we want to change, making the change is not always obvious. In fact, a 2014 YMCA survey showed that fewer than a quarter of respondents kept their resolutions.

This year, the Y encourages you to set smaller, more concrete goals that could help you achieve a bigger resolution. “Getting in shape is not a goal—it’s too vague,” says Claudette Rouisse, Director, Programs, Health and Fitness at the YMCAs of Québec. “However, you can break down your resolution into goals that are smaller, easier to measure and, most of all, achievable. For example, start by making physical activity part of your routine three days a week. Once you’ve done that, move onto the next goal: running for thirty minutes, swimming ten laps in a row, eating green vegetables at least four times a week, and so on. What’s important is that you can achieve your goal within a reasonable timeframe and measure your success.”

Here are some tips to help you achieve your goals:

  1. You have to know how to walk before you can run: It’s easier to stay motivated if you break down your resolution into smaller, more realistic goals. For example, instead of quitting soft drinks cold turkey, start by replacing one soda a day with a glass of water. It’s easy to do and will motivate you to keep at it! 
  2. Take one step at a time: Trying to change too many habits at once can be frustrating. Instead of making just one resolution on New Year’s Day, why not make one each month? Focus on one habit to change, like taking the time to eat a real lunch instead of a sandwich at your desk. If you choose your goal wisely, you will be on the right track to realizing it and setting a new one at the end of the month!
  3. Find a partner that has a global view of health: When you want to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, like being more active or eating better, it’s important to find a partner that will keep you motivated. Before joining a sports centre, take the time to visit the facilities and talk to the people there. Your partner should be more than a gym; a community centre that provides health and wellness programs, professionals that support you and opportunities that help you grow as a person would be an ideal partner in achieving your goals. 
  4. Talk about it: It’s easier to keep your resolutions if you talk about it with your friends and family. Their encouragement and support will help you stick to it through tough times.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Y’s team for more advice and support. Because after all, the Y is more than a gym!