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The East Ridge at Cutler Bay Wellness Center sees an increase in those wanting to exercise in the New Year much like any other fitness center across the county. Losing weight and getting fit continues to be one of the most common resolutions people make each year.

Forty-five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, yet only eight percent have long-term success. The University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Society found that despite the low number, people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who do not.

Experts recommend making achievable, quantifiable resolutions for 2016. While losing weight continues to top the list of resolutions each year, it’s much too vague.

Suzana Delgado, East Ridge’s Wellness Center Coordinator recommends a more realistic approach to goal setting such as “lose five pounds in one month by exercising twice per week and drinking one less soda each week”. Residents at the life plan community have the benefit of Delgado even calling them if she hasn’t seen them in the Wellness center for a few days.  She helps residents stay motivated.

Additional tips to achieving success include:

  • To thine own self be true—What have you wanted to change/accomplish? Make your resolution all about what you want; not what you “should” do. Yes, resolving to volunteer every week is quite a commendable goal, but if your heart isn’t truly into making such a commitment, it more than likely will not end well. There are numerous volunteer opportunities throughout the year in which you can partake. Helping others should be done freely, not out of guilt or obligation.  East Ridge residents can volunteer for projects that may only require an afternoon while others find committees seeking their help which meet weekly and monthly.
  • Less is more—Making resolutions can quickly feel overwhelming. “Where do I start?” “Is this something I really want to do?” Keep in mind that it’s far better to make 1-2 solid resolutions than trying to stick to a list of 10-15 goals. Focus your efforts on the ones that truly matter.
  • Failing to plan is planning to fail—How will you keep your resolution? Instead of looking at the bigger picture (i.e. becoming tech-savvy), create a series of smaller steps to reach it (i.e. signing up for a beginner’s computer class at the library). Be sure to track your progress and evaluate your efforts periodically.
  • Way to go!—You’re more likely to continue working on your resolution if you reward yourself for each milestone. Self-praise has been shown to boost motivation and self-esteem. According to “Psychology Today”, short-term reinforcement is key to keeping you on track. And, rewarding yourself as you go is a very important part of behavioral change.
  • Teamwork makes the dream work—Share your resolution with a spouse and/or close friend(s). They’ll be your cheerleaders on days you feel like quitting. Also consider finding a group interested in your resolution. If reading a new book each month was among your list of priorities, seek out a local book club for support and encouragement.

Should you fall off the wagon, forgive yourself, get up and keep trekking along.