June 20th, 2019

Support essential for New Year’s resolutions


By Michalezki, Amanda on January 3, 2019.

Amanda Michalezki

Lethbridge Herald

amichalezki@lethbridgeherald.com

Every January, people make New Year’s resolutions in hopes of starting something new, with the old adage of “New Year, New Me” in mind. Usually this doesn’t last long since people tend to fall off the resolution bandwagon by the end of the month.

The most common New Year’s resolutions are losing weight, quitting smoking and getting their finances in order after the holidays.

When it comes to financial resolutions, through January and February are typically when banks see an increase of people coming in.

Credit card use can be a big culprit, since you don’t see the accumulation right away. Instead of using your debit or credit card for all of your purchases, having a cash budget for smaller purchases can help people avoid further debt after Christmas.

Realizing your financial situation is what a person needs to do first, said Rob Bain, branch manager for the downtown ATB Financial. He added if you want to become more financially secure, discussing different options that banks have is a step in the right direction.

“The best piece of advice I can give someone is to not be afraid to come into their financial institution and speak to someone, let them know what you’re feeling and where you want to get to,” said Bain. “If your goal is to pay down debt, or do some restructuring, then the first step to making that happen is coming in to talk to someone.”

Another New Year’s resolution is to get fit, healthy and lose weight.

Anytime Fitness sees a bigger jump in February with the number of people hitting the gym compared to January, said Kim Byam, manager for Anytime Fitness, as people are trying to avoid the crowds of new gym-goers.

Anytime Fitness has many options to accommodate people with any level of support needed. They have specifically designed programs to help you stay on track, a Health Fitness online training app, accountability coaches, drop-in passes, monthly contracts, and pay-per sessions.

Byam said most people can let themselves down when starting a resolution but if someone else is there helping you achieve your goal, and holding you accountable, then they tend to not let someone else down.

Setting a goal with a time frame in mind will help you succeed, recommended Byam.

“If you don’t have a specific goal in mind, that’s usually what deters you. It’s easy to say ‘I want to get in shape or lose weight’ but actually putting a timeline on yourself makes it so you can’t procrastinate and push that off until tomorrow,” said Byam.

For people wanting to kick their tobacco habit, it takes more than just willpower to quit smoking.

On average, smokers try to quit once a year. It takes a total of 30 times to successfully quit, given research findings from the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, a Canadian leader in tobacco control research, monitoring and evaluation.

Although, tobacco-related cancer deaths have been on a decline since the ’90s in the United States, there are still those who choose to smoke.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the US.

While there are no fool-proof ways to stop smoking, some steps people can take include: try to be in a smoke-free environment; download “quit smoking” apps; switch to a nicotine patch for short-term use; hypnosis; laser therapy; and acupuncture.

Follow these steps to maintain your New Year’s resolutions:

– Make a real commitment to what you say you’re going to do;

– Set realistic goals and expectations;

– Have a support system in place to help keep you accountable;

– Carve out time when planning new routines; and

– Curb excessive spending by making a budget or speaking to your financial adviser for assistance.

Follow @AmandaMicHerald on Twitter

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