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Keeping New Years resolutions alive

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

A new year means making resolutions for many. According to, three out of the top five new years resolutions deal with living a healthier lifestyle.

When it comes to keeping those resolutions, the advice from experts is to start small.

"A lot of times I think with New Years resolutions, people tend to shoot for the moon," said Jamie Pronschinske, a registered dietician with Mayo Clinic Health System. "That could be the difference in falling off in February or smaller goals might make the difference in you sticking with it long term."

Research from Scranton University suggests only 8% of New Years resolutions are kept, with the vast majority falling off in the second week of  February. Going too hard too quickly can end up being discouraging.

"You know, if you haven't ran three miles in a couple months, I don't know if coming in and running those three miles right away is going to be the best thing for you," said Dahl Family YMCA Wellness Director Heidi Kuennen.

Instead, starting with even the smallest goals can help achieve long term success, like just getting in the door at your gym.

"Maybe just tell yourself, 'Okay I'm only going to do ten minutes', that's fine," Kuennen said. "Usually once you start moving, that 10 minutes goes by and you're like, "Oh I can do a little bit more, I'm feeling pretty good about it'."

Making changes to your diet follows the same rule.

"Work on eating more fruits and vegetables especially if weight loss is a goal of yours," Pronschinske said. "They're so low in calories that eating more of those foods is going to fill you up and still help you lose the weight that you're wanting to."

For those of us with busy schedules, sometimes even a short time can be valuable.

"Get in what you can," said Kuennen. "That 30 minutes, that 20 minutes... that's definitely valuable just to get yourself in the habit of doing it."

Dahl Family YMCA offers orientations for those getting started with healthy lifestyles and the Mayo Clinic offers a 12 week diet program that includes setting those smaller goals with dieticians. More information can be found on both of their respective websites. 

The other two most common resolutions are making personal growth and spending more time with family.

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