1. Repeat, repeat, repeat: Redrafting your resolution and displaying it at home, in the workplace, in your gym locker, etc., is a great way to remind yourself of the commitment you’ve made. Office bees—get out the Post-It notes!
2. Don’t keep it to yourself: Announce your commitment to friends, family, and colleagues. “Publicly declaring one’s resolution and creating that network of community support is a great way to reach one’s goals,” says Benson. “As with achieving almost any important goal, being able to rely on a strong community is key.”
3. Use social media: Update your friends about your resolution progress using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. “Social media is making it easier and more fun than ever before to track one’s progress and engage others,” explains Benson.
4. Divide and conquer: “Bigger resolutions involving major lifestyle changes can sometimes seem daunting,” explains Benson. “Make those commitments less intimidating by ‘chunking’ them and dividing them up into smaller, more manageable short-term goals.”
5. See your doctor: Discuss any and all health-related resolutions with your doctor. “Some people make well-intentioned but unrealistic and even ill-informed resolutions concerning their weight, workout routines, and health,” says Benson. “Before undertaking a major diet or lifestyle change, be sure to discuss your resolution with your primary care physician.”
6. “Calendarize” your goals: Map resolution milestones on your calendar and try setting monthly goals and incremental changes (e.g., “No Chocolate October,” “Spending Freeze February,” etc.)
7. Invest in a pedometer: A 2007 study from The Journal of the American Medical Associationshowed that people who attach pedometers their belt to measure their daily activity end up moving more—nearly a full extra mile a day! If your resolution involves fitness or weight loss, consider making this small but important investment.
8. Keep a journal: “Recording one’s daily progress is one of the most effective ways of adhering to one’s resolution,” says Benson. “It also makes for inspirational reading after you’ve achieved your goal!”
9. Find a resolution partner: Similar to having a workout buddy, nothing motivates would-be resolution keepers more than working in tandem with a friend, family member, or loved one who shares a similar goal.
10. Join the YMCA of Greater New York!: One’s neighborhood Y branch is a place where New Year’s resolutions meet their match! There is still time to download a free guest pass and visit the Y during our annual winter open house this Sunday, January 29, 2012, from 12-4PM. And all Y branches are offering a $0 joiner’s fee through January 31, 2012, to make the Y even more affordable for NYC families.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, there’s only one place in New York where every activity promotes youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. To learn more about how to get involved and give back at the Y, visit www.ymcanyc.org.