Tips and Tricks to Fulfilling Your New Year’s Resolutions

Achieve your New Year’s resolutions: Seven need-to-know tips and tricks Five Rivers MetroParks can help you achieve your 2017 wellness goals.

From developing healthier habits to organizing a family budget, many people set goals for the coming year in hopes of staying healthy, productive and happy. Though many may have the best intentions, most will have given up on their resolutions just a month after the New Year. Statistic Brain states that resolution-adopters only have an 8 percent success rate in achieving their goals. Such factors as tight budgets, unrealistic goals and time management impact a person’s ability to achieve their resolutions, according to Shape Magazine. But with a little planning, you can stay on track. Five Rivers MetroParks’ outdoor connections team shared their tips and tricks that will help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions. You also can tackle your New Year’s resolutions head-on by attending Get Out & Discover – Resolution Style on Saturday, Jan. 7, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Cox Arboretum MetroPark. This free, all-ages program will provide you with all the tools you need to turn your resolutions into a reality.

1) Don’t go it alone: Whether you want to lose weight or stick to a budget, having someone take the resolution journey with you will help you stay on track. Grab a friend, partner or family member and challenge each other to meet your respective goals. Finding a resolution buddy will not only make you accountable, it will also help you stay motivated. MetroParks Tip: Can’t meet with your resolution buddy regularly? Go digital! Check in with them via email, or download a free app to record your progress. Free fitness, budgeting and health apps are available for mobile devices on multiple operating systems. Or attend a MetroParks program to meet new friends, such as Adult Nature Walks, held most Tuesdays from 9 to 11 a.m.

2) Stay local and like-minded: There are many local clubs and organizations that can help you achieve your resolutions. From the Miami Valley Fly Fishers to Dayton Hikers to the Dayton Cycling Club, there are local groups for almost every outdoor hobby. Not only will you have a chance to socialize with like-minded hobbyists, you also can learn new things and hone your skills. MetroParks Tip: Want to get the entire family involved? Register for one of MetroParks’ outdoor recreation programs and make new friends, build your skills and embark on your own adventure!

3) Find something new to love: It’s easy for that gym routine to become monotonous, so try to find a workout that doubles as a hobby. Additionally, finding a free elliptical at the gym might be a challenge, as crowds of new customers fill fitness facilities every January. In fact, 12.1 percent of new U.S. gym memberships are sold in the New Year, according to Newsweek. Take a break from the crowds and learn a new outdoor skill you can practice in your Five Rivers MetroParks by attending these programs: • Discover Backpacking – Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 • Discover Biking – Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 • Discover Camping – Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 • Discover Paddling – Wednesday, Mar. 1, 2017 • Discover Fishing – Tuesday, Mar. 7, 2017 Learn about these activities, local places to play and resources such as clubs and retailers during these classroom-based programs perfect for beginners.

4) Set realistic goals: According to Shape Magazine, one of the biggest mistakes people make when developing a resolution is setting unattainable goals. Though it might not be realistic for a backpacking beginner to get in shape by traveling the entire 1,140-mile Buckeye Trail in just a few months, it is reasonable to embark on small-scale adventures to meet realistic milestones. “Set a mileage goal for your favorite activity,” said Lucy Sanchez, Five Rivers MetroParks outdoor recreation event coordinator. “Make it a big goal for the year, but break it down into smaller weekly goals to make it more feasible.”

5) Find your fit: According to TIME, two of the most popular resolutions in 2016 were “living a healthier lifestyle” and “losing weight.” These goals are not only attainable, the tools you need are right in your backyard! Did you know that when you are in Montgomery County, you’re never more than 15 minutes away from a Five Rivers MetroParks facility? With 18 parks and plenty of hiking, paved and water trails to enjoy, there are myriad opportunities to get fit and experience the beauty of the outdoors. Small changes to your daily routine, such as taking an afternoon walk in your favorite park during your lunchbreak or swapping 30 minutes of screen time for yoga, can help you achieve your 2017 fitness goals. MetroParks Tip: Swing by the 2nd Street Market to grab fresh, local food that is wholesome and delicious. Local growers provide a variety of nutrient-rich produce that you can incorporate into a healthy diet.

6) Get Out & Live: TIME also noted that the most popular resolution in 2016 was to “enjoy life to the fullest.” Spending time with family and embarking on new adventures are excellent ways to live a fulfilling life. If you don’t know where to start, consider attending The Adventure Speaker Series to hear inspirational stories about outdoor adventurers and their travels. Plan a family biking, camping or backpacking trip in the New Year. Not only will planning an outdoor family adventure give you the opportunity to see new things, it also will give your family a chance to enjoy quality time together.

7) Spend less, opt for the outdoors: Another top resolution for many people is to develop a budget. According to Shape Magazine, a strict budget can also be a barrier to achieving different resolutions, such as losing weight and staying fit. Though gym memberships, gear and fitness classes are a big expense, a great way to stick to a budget without forgoing your fitness goals is to find low-cost or free amenities and opportunities that facilitate a healthier lifestyle. MetroParks makes workout sessions both affordable and accessible by offering a variety of parks that are free to the public. Additionally, MetroParks provides free and low-cost program and rental fees to those who wish to try new activities and build on existing skills. Whether you opt save gas money by riding your bike to work a few times a week or want to grow produce in your own personal garden, many money-saving endeavors can also lead to a healthier lifestyle.

MetroParks Tip: Volunteering with MetroParks is a great, no-cost way to build skills and make new friends. Volunteers are trained in different areas, such as gardening and conservation, and then use their newly learned skills in their local MetroPark and at home.

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