As we change our calendars from December to January, we can’t help but be thrilled by the promise of a new year — a chance to start fresh and say goodbye to frustrations of the past. It’s the perfect opportunity to make big resolutions that strengthen the spirit, mind and body.

However, many of us throw out our resolutions when we pack up our holiday decorations. It’s not surprising — maintaining a drastic diet and hitting the gym seven days a week is easier said than done, especially after a month-long marathon of office holiday parties and family feasts. Instead, set yourself up for success by reframing resolutions and breaking them down into smaller, easy-to-sustain goals that add up to big benefits in the long run.

As a non-profit organization serving South San Diego, the YMCA knows how trying to better our neighborhoods or making lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on ourselves and our community. Here are five New Year’s resolutions the YMCA recommends for 2018:        

  1. Move More: It’s important for children to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day (30 minutes for adults). Incorporate physical activity into your daily routines and spend more time walking to places instead of driving to improve your health and well-being…and incorporate your children!
  2. Swap a Soda a Day: It may be difficult, but cutting soda can do wonders for your body. If you can’t cut it entirely, resolve to swap one soda a day for a large glass of water instead. Once you’ve been able to swap one out, see if you can cut soda entirely.
  3. Schedule Family-Time: With work, school and activities, family-time may seem like an impossible task, but plan a “screen-free” night for your family with no phones, video games, etc. Instead, use that time to play a board game, play outside or visit with family and friends.
  4. Volunteer Your Time: Giving back and supporting neighbors can benefit everyone involved. Not only is it a personally rewarding experience to help others in need, but it’s also a way to meet new people or discover an interest. Find an opportunity in your community, such as reading to children at the library, distributing food at a local food bank or with an organization like the Y.
  5. Put Extras to Good Use: Do you have extra canned goods or clothes that could benefit others in need? Clean out your pantry, closet or attic and donate extra items to homeless shelters or community outreach programs.

If you do decide to join a gym, consider the YMCA and its KickStart program. A wellness coach will help you attain your goals in three one-on-one fitness and nutrition sessions over your first 30 days and it’s absolutely free with your membership.

Also, if you join in January, you can recieve up $50 off of any program at the Y! It's a great incentive to work with a personal trainer to acheive your fitness goals. 

For additional tips or to join the YMCA, contact (619) 421-9622 or visit