DECEMBER 24, 2013

Desert Foothills Family YMCA kicks off 2014 with tips for setting successful New Year wellness goals

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SCOTTSDALE – The Healthy Living team at Desert Foothills YMCA has advice to help you meet your New Year health and fitness goals.

Many people make New Year’s resolutions each year or set goals for the coming year with the best intentions. Unfortunately, a majority of these people give up in the first few weeks and never reach their goals only to resort back to their current lifestyle and wait another eleven months to try again. Frustration becomes the only constant because, try as we may, nothing seems to work.

Maybe you are one of those people that resolve to get back in shape every time the New Year comes around, but for some reason fail to accomplish that goal every year. Sharon Lynn, Group Fitness Coordinator & Personal Trainer at the Desert Foothills YMCA says “one proven way to set effective goals is by using the SMART method. This method will allow you to transform those goals into reality and break the annual cycle of frustration”.

• Specific: Goals must specifically state what is to be accomplished, easily understood and should not be ambiguous. For example, instead of stating that you want to get in shape set a specific goal of running a 10-minute mile.

• Measurable: Setting goals that are measurable allow you to track your progress and removes any doubt about if you achieve them. They can be measured objectively or subjectively, or both. For example, you could measure your body weight or body fat percentage, or just notice how your clothes fit differently.

• Attainable: The goals must not be too difficult or too easy but realistic. Easy goals tend to not be motivational and overly difficult goals may lead to frustration or a perception of failure. For instance, maybe you need to lose 50 pounds. That sounds like a lot, so break this goal down and instead set a goal of five pounds a month.

• Relevant: The goals must be relevant to your particular interests, needs and abilities. Maybe you desire to run a 5K race this year. Running sprints would not be the best approach to achieving this goal. Make sure your efforts are not in vain and plan activities that will benefit your goal.

• Time-bound: Your goals must have specific deadlines for completion. Timelines can be both short-term and long-term and should help you stay focused and on track.

“People often start programs with the intention of making a change, but struggle to stick with it to the end. Remember, it is only when you decide you are ready to make a real commitment to this change and do it for yourself that you can expect results”, says Lynn. “You have to do it because you want to, not because a spouse, significant other or a friend or family members want you to". Taking the SMART approach and doing it for you will set you up for success in the New Year.

Our Healthy Living professionals at the Desert Foothills Family YMCA are here for you to help you meet those goals. Whether you are looking to get back into exercise or are an athlete, we can help you set and achieve realistic goals and give you the tools to achieve them!

For more information, please contact Sharon Lynn at or by phone at
602-212-6281. A full schedule of activities and healthy living programs is also available at