If you’ve kept your New Year’s resolution through the first week, you’re already in a select group.
Only 45 percent of Americans usually make resolutions, and only 3 out of 4 people within that group make it through the first week, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Many of these people are focused on improving their health. Weight loss is at the top of the list, as the most popular resolution, and staying fit and healthy comes in at No. 5. While staying fit trails behind weight loss, it may be easier to keep, according to local personal trainers.
One Durango resident, Corey Sue Hutchinson, is serious about getting strong. She hired a personal trainer to help her make changes that will last long after the holiday mirth has faded.
A longtime skier and a biker, she is setting out to do both at a higher level.
“I need to keep working on this body,” she said.
To help attain the goal, she is working with personal trainer Terri Oliger to help her set goals and use equipment properly.
Setting attainable goals is one of the most important steps to sticking with a new weight-loss or fitness plan, Oliger said.
In addition, if you’ve made it through the first week of your fitness resolution and don’t feel a difference, that’s entirely normal.
“It usually takes three weeks to start feeling something,” she said.
That something may not be weight loss, but you may feel more toned or you may sleep better. It’s important to remember, good changes take time, Oliger said.
While gyms, locally and nationwide, are enjoying a spike in attendance driven by resolution-makers, other Americans have set goals to be more organized, to save more and spend less and to enjoy life.
Much like weight loss, if you try to set huge goals to get organized, you’re likely to fail, said Alexis Hartz, a professional organizer in Durango.
Instead of setting out to organize an entire room, spend 10 minutes working on a junk drawer or stack of papers.
“You will see progress really quickly,” Hartz said.
But in order to maintain organization, it is important to make appointments with yourself.
“Like a diet or getting in shape, you have to set aside the time,” she said.
In the financial realm, as with the others, it is important to set achievable goals for paying off debt and saving.
“If it’s not grounded in reality, it’s dangerous, and it’s not going to be sustainable,” said Paul Lemon, owner of Integrated Financial Planning based in Durango.
The first step to managing money differently is to sit down and track where your money is going, he said. When paying off debt, starting with the credit card with the highest interest rate is a good first step.
One of the main financial challenges locally is the high cost of living. A salary of about $40,360 a year is required for one adult and one preschooler to be self-sufficient in La Plata County, according to a study for the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.
“A lot of people can’t afford to live in Durango, and they don’t know it,” he said.
The result can be a constant financial struggle and constantly falling behind.
Enjoying life to the fullest rounds out the top five resolutions on a positive note. While it’s a vague notion, one way to approach it is by slowing down and evaluating where you might be wasting time and energy, said Craig Holliday, a local licensed professional counselor.
Taking walks without any electronic devices, practicing yoga and meditating are simple ways to slow down, he said.
In addition, living more fully can mean exercising greater compassion in relationships with friends and family.
No matter what the change you’re trying to make, being genuinely motivated is key.
“If it’s based in fear, guilt or shame, it’s not going to work. ... You have to do it because you see it as a kind, caring self-compassionate step,” Lemon said.