Set goals for healthier new year

Gerard Edic, Staff Writer, Greenwood Commonwealth

“New year, new you,” the mantra goes.

Each year, people make New Year’s resolutions in the hopes of bettering their lives through a variety of means. Dieting, working out and saving money are just some of the most popu­lar resolutions for 2019, according to Inc. Magazine.

“Most people have good intentions when they start out” with their resolu­tions but have trouble sticking with them, said John Cook, director of the Greenwood Leflore Hospital’s Rehabil­itation and Wellness Services.

On Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m., Cook will offer suggestions about mak­ing New Year’s resolutions come to fruition during a discussion at the Locus Benedictus Retreat Center. The chat is free and open to the public.

Cook says that at the beginning of each year, 50 to 60 people sign up for gym memberships at the hospital’s Wellness Center with the intent of get­ting in shape. Then the number of peo­ple working out tapers off as the year goes on, Cook said.

“Sometimes we slip up or have set­backs,” he said.

To maintain course, it’s important to set up smaller goals to achieve the over­all resolution and give yourself little rewards for achieving the smaller goals, Cook said.

Friends, family and online support groups can also help by encouraging and motivating people to continue on with their resolutions.

Another key in keeping up with reso­lutions is to think of it not just as a goal but also as a lifestyle change, Cook said: “What we’re trying to do is improve who we are.”

Willie Dickson, a trainer and manag­er of Snap Fitness, has noticed an uptick in the number of people signing up for gym agreements, citing the 15 people who had joined as of Wednesday.

From January through March 2018, 550 gym agreements were signed at Snap Fitness, Dickson said. Gym agreements entail a variety of member-ship plans, such as joint plans in which family and friends are under one mem­bership.

Like Cook, Dickson has noticed fewer people going to the gym as the year goes by. He said he’s unsure why but hypothesized that the warming weath­er in spring prompts people to exercise outside instead.

On maintaining New Year’s resolu­tions, Dickson said, “You don’t get healthy overnight; you do it over a life­time. Don’t look for a quick fix. You have to work hard; you have to trust the process. You’ll eventually achieve it.”

To achieve those resolutions, Dickson suggested setting weekly or monthly goals.

“Try to focus and achieve your goals,” he said. “Once people start seeing results, it becomes a lifestyle for them. You then kind of feel bad not working out.”

The hospital and the Locus Benedict-us Retreat Center offer a free health chat the first Saturday of each month.