There’s a bit of a thrill in the promise of a new year full of potential. Many of us seize January as the opportunity to start fresh and make resolutions that will help strengthen spirit, mind and body. If you tend to throw out resolutions along with the holiday decorations, realize that it happens to the best of us.  

Starting a new year with promises of sweeping changes to diets and declarations of huge changes to exercise levels can impede long-term success. The Westfield Area YMCA recommends reframing your resolutions by breaking them down into small, simple, sustainable goals then update your goals as you achieve them. Your small successes will lead to big benefits in the long run.

Here are five New Year’s resolutions the Westfield Area YMCA recommends for 2018:        

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1.       Move More: It’s important for adults to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day (60 minutes for children). If you can’t commit to 30 minutes a day try 15 or even 10! Walk instead of driving.  When you do drive, park further away.  Have “screen-free” time with your family and get out for a walk or attend family gym or family swim at the Y! 

2.       Small Plates: Our tendency is to “fill the plate,” which often leads to more food than we actually need. Studies have shown that using smaller plates can be an effective strategy for reducing the amount of food you eat.

3.       Swap Soda: Cutting out soda can do wonders for your body. Resolve to swap one soda a day for a large glass of water. See if you can work up to cutting out soda entirely.

4.       Schedule It: Schedule wellness “appointments” for yourself. We already do it for work, outside activities and family obligations. Commit to “me” time on your calendar.  Register for an exercise class, schedule a health & wellness orientation or swim laps.

5.       Buddy Up: The YMCA is about strengthening our community, and we are stronger together. Buddy up on your resolutions with a friend or find ways to meet new people while discovering a new interest through a class, program or volunteer experience.

Need help getting started? Contact Greg Hatzisavvas, Senior Director Member Wellness & Engagement at 908-301-YMCA (9622) x251 or ghatzisavvas@westfieldynj.org.

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.