The morning session of water aerobics at the Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center offers a low-impact aerobic workout. From left to right: Sue Halliday, Robin Straub, Marie Flasche, Dell Keys, Gordon Beh, Linda Moore, Sue Allemand, Nancy Johnson and instructor Cathy Birsfield. [Photo by Kristin Millis/ Moab Sun News]

Making a list of resolutions for a happier and healthier life at the beginning of the year is an annual tradition. However, many fall short quickly.

“What are New Year’s resolutions?” asked certified life coach Lee Truesdell. “It’s a ‘to do’ list for the first week of January.”

There are number of valid reasons of why we don’t have a successful outcome when we have an intention, she said.

“A common pitfall is to try to launch into action steps that are toward immediate results, rather than trying to find the underlying purpose to create change,” Truesdell said.

Truesdell recently hosted a workshop about creating success in 2013 and about the process of change.

A common resolution is to lose weight or get healthy.

“We create a program, go on a diet, exercise everyday and orient our everyday life that feels challenging and not that enjoyable,” she said. “We have a sense that it has to be about deprivation or denial. That is only sustainable for so long.”

Instead, she advised to step back and identify the desire underneath the resolution.

“Is it to feel more confident? To feel less tired? To look better in clothes?” she asked.

One can align action steps toward the desired outcome, rather than setting goals that may not be sustainable.

“It is about creating a positive feeling space in the moment so you can enjoy the process, instead of enduring a regime to follow,” she said. “We give up on ourselves too soon when we create a structure for implementing change that isn’t enjoyable.”

Terry Lewis, director of the Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center (MRAC), echoed the similar thoughts.

“What is the best New Years resolution to make?” she asked. “The only good New Years resolution to make is the one you’re going to keep.”

Lewis has been an athlete all her life and has worked in the fitness industry for the last 20 years. She said that she has seen a pattern over the last two decades: People come in, buy a year’s membership, bust out of the gate and have no idea what they’re doing and quit.

“They’re sore from head to toe, discouraged that they haven’t seen results yet, and cranky because they’re depriving themselves of comfort foods by going cold turkey on fats, sugars, starches, coffee and alcohol,” she said.

She doesn’t want to see someone who says there goal is to lose a certain amount of weight.

“That’s a great goal if it is part of a larger goal; to establish a routine and a lifestyle that will maximize the quality of life for as many years as you have left,” she said.

She recommended seeking the staff’s help, setting small incremental attainable goals, and making it fun.

She also said that taking a class, or having a workout buddy can turn it into a social experience as well. She offers a buddy discount: If a MRAC member brings a friend to a fitness class with them, they both get to attend for free.

“If you don’t like your workout, you will make every excuse not to do it,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how much your want to succeed at your fitness goals if you’re not having fun. You’re not going to do it.”

She emphasized that the MRAC is a “family wellness and recreation center, which means you’ve got to have fun.”

Nick Oldroyd at the South Town Gym is starting up a new round of the “Biggest Loser” this week. The deadline to join the 12-week program is Jan. 10.

Last year he had 47 people sign up for the competition. Each contestant paid $50.

“Forty lost 10 percent of their body weight,” he said. “The winner lost 69 pounds.”

That winner was his father-in-law Mike Aerhart. He took home $220.

“People wondered if it was rigged,” he said. “But he worked his butt off.”

This year Oldroyd has room for up to 75 participants.

The program has five days worth of workouts Monday through Friday. Each Wednesday a motivational speaker is available. Oldroyd gives participants a workout to do on the weekend, but stresses one day needs to be for recovery.

“They want to work 21 days in a row, but your body needs a day off each week,” he said.

Oldroyd was an athletic trainer for the Arizona Diamondbacks before he moved to his wife’s hometown to raise a family.

He said that personal training is part of the gym membership. Trainers will create a program that includes diet, aerobic exercise and strength training.

“It’s not just getting on the treadmill and going for an hour,” he said. “It’s a life change. It’s a commitment. You need to implement diet and strength training. You will have less plateaus and they will be shorter in duration if you do.”

Nutrition advice is available.

“Diet is at least 70 percent of your workout routine,” he said. “Some people want guidelines. We do meal plans. It depends on how in-depth they want to go.”

For those wanting to have less structure in their workout, there are opportunities to play at the Center Street Gym throughout the week.

Moabites can drop in for regularly scheduled sports, such as pickleball, coed volleyball, men’s pick up basketball and even rollerskating.

“The best way to get your self into shape is to enjoy doing it. If you’re having fun – playing a sport, learning a new skill, spending time with friends – you are much more likely to stick with it,” said Moab city recreation director John Geiger. “Holds true for any age – have fun!”