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How to keep your New Years resolutions

By ADAM DODSON | The Selma Times-Journal

With New Year’s Day and the start of 2018 right around the corner, people will begin making their resolutions for self-improvement.

These goals often include eating healthier and getting in shape. Local recreational centers and gyms often see a spike in memberships around the start of the new year.

According to fitness instructors around Selma, however, many of these resolutions fail to make significant progress.

One university psychology study looked into the effectiveness of New Year’s resolutions on individuals’ lives.

What they found was a low success rate, with only 8 percent following through with their resolution to make a meaningful difference.

Yet 45 percent of people in the study claim they do make resolutions, which shows that people do make the effort but often fall short.

Mia Suggs, a cycling fitness instructor at the YMCA, offered some insight into why people lose sight of their resolutions.

“I tell people not to make resolutions, but to make goals instead,” Suggs said. “People do not realize that fitness is a lifestyle change and requires progress in small increments. You can’t lose 100 pounds all at once.”

Not only do some people make resolutions that seem overwhelming, but individuals eager to get back in shape often do not understand the rigor of the workouts they signed up for.

Tommy Weber, an AFAA-certified personal trainer for Selma Crossfit, has seen members of the community sign up for his Crossfit training only to take it lightly.

With Crossfit, an individual is put through a full-body workout, and skipping multiple days would put a member on the brink of exhaustion when they returned.

To Weber, the decision to live a healthier lifestyle all starts with commitment. He always understands the importance of rewards and results in order to help his clients stay motivated.

Like Suggs, Weber believes that smaller goals that are easier to achieve sparks motivation more than large resolutions do.

“It is easy to make excuses, especially with people who live busy lives.” said Weber. “But there is no way to outwork a bad diet, so it all starts there.”

Fitness centers such as the YMCA, Selma Crossfit and In Shape Fitness are all expecting a mass influx of people in their gyms once the holidays are over, with many believing the new year is a fresh start for them.

Suggs describes the scene at the YMCA as “booming” after New Years. Classes are strewn across their schedules with eager new participants hoping to reach their personal goals.

Getting them to stay motivated after the first week or two proves to be a tough task.

In order to adequately motivate members to return, sometimes instructors have to be creative and assertive.

David Johnson, owner and trainer at In Shape Fitness, says that he reaches out to members who are no-shows and also attempts to personalize each workout to best fit the individual.

“We offer different classes that reflect the different things people want to do. We attempt to provide a variety of options that are constantly evolving in order to keep people motivated,” Johnson said. “A lot of individuals get intimidated because of a lack of knowledge of how to work out properly.”