Rethinking Your Health Resolutions at the YMCA

Along with singing “Auld Lang Syne” at the start of the New Year, making resolutions is a tradition for millions of Americans. Many of us join a gym in resolving to get healthier, but that’s just the first step – if you don’t ever darken the door where you bought that membership, it’s not going to do you much good.

While there is no fool-proof way to keep a resolution, the Heart of the Valley YMCA offers these tips to help everyone rethink their plan for success in 2019:

1. Start small. Break those big resolutions into small, achievable goals.
Why: ’Getting healthy’ is too broad a goal. For example, instead of cutting chocolate out of your diet for good, vow to only have it once or twice 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. Make lifestyle changes in increments.
Why: Trying to change too many habits at once can lead to frustration. Instead of a New Year’s resolution, make a new month resolution. Focus on just one change for the month and add another (small) change when the new month rolls around.


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3. Keep the faith. Don’t get discouraged by setbacks.
Why: Even though you may experience some missteps throughout the day or week, that doesn’t mean you have to give up. Bad habits aren’t created in a week, so be generous to yourself as you commit to creating new, better habits.

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.
Why: This can make a resolution feel more positive. For example, you may want to watch less TV or surf on the Internet less, but you can manage it better by replacing it with something positive like volunteering or setting time aside for family.

5. Talk it out. Find a friend to help with accountability.
Why: 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 over coffee or via text to help each other out of slumps and to cheer each other during the high points.


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“Changing behaviors is a tough task even for the most dedicated and motivated people,” said Terri Keller, Health Initiatives Coordinator for Heart of the Valley YMCA. “The new year is a great time to make lifestyle changes, but it’s important to remember that any change takes time. By creating a success plan that includes a network of supportive people, a healthier change for the better is achievable!”

YMCA Huntsville new year

How the Heart of the Valley YMCA Can Help

The YMCA offers a community of wellness professionals and health seekers to support and encourage positive lifestyle changes. Through January 31, the Heart of the Valley YMCA offers 25% off membership for all of 2019 and $0 join fees. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization, the Y always offers financial assistance for membership and programs to those who qualify.


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Childcare Available for Busy Parents

The Child Watch program is a YMCA member amenity provided without additional charge. Let their staff watch your children while you work out or take part in Y programs! They will have a great time playing under the supervision of caring, experienced staff. At the same time, you will be able to relax, connect with other Y members, and enjoy the healthy activities at your preferred YMCA. Occasional Parent’s Night Out is also offered, as well as summer camps and school break camps with member discounts.

New Membership for Young Adults

Because young adults are often strapped for cash right out of college, the Y has launched the new Young Adult Membership for 19- to 29-year-olds, $35/month with $35 join fee, also subject to the New Year Promotion of 25% off with no join fee!

The YMCA has facilities located in South Huntsville, Downtown Huntsville at Big Spring Park, and in Madison, and local membership is valid nationally at all participating Ys. To join online or for info about Y programs and wellness opportunities, visit ymcahuntsville.org or call your local Y branch.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Anne Swanstrom is Director of Communications for the Heart of the Valley YMCA and a local mom.

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