Along with singing “Auld Lang Syne” at the start of the New Year, making resolutions is a tradition for millions of Americans. However, while choosing a resolution can be easy, sticking to them is hard. A 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 that gave up within the first few months, even weeks, of the New Year!

While there is no “right way” to keep a resolution, the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, , a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, is encouraging community members to give their New Year’s resolutions a boost by:

  1. Start small. Break those big resolutions into small, achievable goals. “’Getting healthy’ is too broad so reframe that big resolution into smaller, more manageable 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. 
  2. 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 resolution. Focus on that one change for the month and add another (small) change when the new month rolls around.  
  3. Keep the faith. Don’t get discouraged by setbacks. Even though you may experience some missteps throughout the day—or even the week—that doesn’t mean you have to give up. Bad habits aren’t created in a week, so try as you might, you can’t change them in a week either. 
  4. It’s all about attitude. It’s important to think about what you’re gaining from a resolution rather than what you’re missing. This can make a resolution feel more positive, and therefore more achievable. For example, you may want to limit your screen time in 2019, but that can be more manageable if you replace it with something positive like volunteering or setting special time aside for family. 
  5. 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 2019 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.

“Changing behaviors is a tough task even for the most dedicated and motivated people,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the Y. “The new year is a great time to make changes, but it’s important to remember that any change takes time, and the type of resolution you make plays is a huge factor in your success.”

For additional tips or to learn how to get involved with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, visit www.ymcamn.org.

About the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 162 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities. The 29 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 350,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcamn.org.