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Here's to You: Tips on New Year's resolutions

A new year, a clean slate, a fresh outlook, a time full of new hopes, dreams and resolutions.

New Year's resolutions are full of the best intentions, with grand plans and promises for your health, yourself and happiness for your family. But many of us fall short of reaching the goals that our resolutions set out for us.

This downfall is typically the result of four common mistakes that so many of us make when it comes to our resolutions; we focus on the long term, we expect perfection, we aim too low, we stand alone in the shadow of our resolutions. How do we avoid these common mistakes, how do we make strides towards our pending accomplishments?


-- Focusing on the long term.

It is important to have long-term goals, but when setting these goals, it is important to set short-term goals that lead to the long term goal. As you accomplish each short-term goal, not only will you be closer to your overall goal, you will also feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.

-- Expecting perfection.

Putting focus on doing everything perfect 100 percent of the time will have you going crazy, and when a mistake does occur (and it will), you will be tempted to throw out your whole plan. When you don't focus on being perfect and when you place realistic expectations on yourself, you will accomplish your goals while setting your resolution into your lifestyle.

-- Aiming low.

It is said that when you aim high, you achieve high. Often we set our goals at a low level so that with little work we will accomplish them. When we set high goals, we work to achieve them, sometimes working harder and longer to feel a complete and worthy feeling.

-- Resolution solo.

Making life changes is difficult. When you keep your resolution to yourself and go at it with no support, you make it even more difficult. Sharing your resolution and conquering it with a friend, a spouse or even your family will have you making memories and achieving your goals and resolutions.

The Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department wants to help you achieve your New Year's resolutions and avoid these common mistakes. Whether your resolution is to feel better, get fit, get outside or spend more time with your family, we have a program that can help you.

Couch to 5k

The free couch to 5k program has you follow weekly workouts that are e-mailed to you. Group runs take place on Saturday mornings. This is a time to ask questions to feel the support of those who have similar goals to you. At the end of the program, you will be able to run a 5k, and the Shamrock Shuffle in March is the perfect place to start.

Passport for Fitness

Combining fitness classes from all over Bemidji, the Passport for Fitness will have your new fitness program exploring new classes and new ways to get fit.

For an affordable price, you will be attending classes, meeting people and developing goals and feeling support from participants, instructors and friends.

Snow fun

Getting outside, trying something new and hanging out with your family are only a few of the benefits you will feel when you participate in our winter outdoor programs. Ski and snowboard clinics at Buena Vista Ski Area will give you the chance to hit the slopes with friends and family. Our free snowshoeing lessons will give you the opportunity to explore winter trails while providing you with a great workout.

Sanford Steps

Take the steps to a new you on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at the Sanford Center. Sanford Steps provides participants with a free walking program until May.

All these programs and many more are available to view online at, and questions about programs can be directed to me at 333-1857 or


Samantha Parker is recreation coordinator for Bemidji Parks and Recreation.