In fact, a 2014 YMCA survey found that less than a quarter of respondents kept their resolutions throughout the year. 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!
Reframing your goals in a positive way can also help you stick to them. You may want to limit your screen time in 2017, but that can be more manageable if you replace the time with something positive like volunteering or setting special time aside for family. “Rather than thinking about what you’re losing, think about what you’re gaining. This can make a resolution feel more positive, and therefore more achievable,” said Jones.
Even though you may experience some missteps throughout the day—or even the week—that doesn’t mean you have to give up. Change is a process and bad days are part of that—bad habits didn’t appear overnight, so changing them will take time and patience.
Below are four tips the Y recommends to help 2017 New Year’s resolutions stick.
- Start small. Break those 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.
- 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’s resolution. Focus on that one change for the month, and add another (small) change when the new month rolls around.
- Choose an organization 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 place 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 organization that offers more health, more hope and more opportunity.
- 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 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.
About the Y: The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities across the country, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.