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Keep your resolution with Recreation and Wellness

January 29, 2018

Resolution season is in full swing, and staff at the Fitness Department of NIU Recreation and Wellness are ready to assist students and faculty in sticking to their wellness goals all year long.

During her three years of employment at the Recreation and Wellness Center, MaryKate Welch, graduate assistant for the Fitness Department, has watched as resolutions bring big, enthusiastic crowds of members in January, and then patronage drops in February.

“[This] is why I wasn’t surprised to learn that, according to US News, 80 percent of resolutions are abandoned by February,” she said.

Welch said accountability is one of the strongest factors in motivating people to stick to their resolutions, which is why it’s also a key part of her department’s efforts to help people stick to their goals this year.

“If an outside source is holding you accountable for showing up and putting in the effort, you are so much more likely to work on those goals than if it were just you pushing yourself,” she said. “If other people are cheering you on and telling you that you can do something, that is automatically going to leak into your brain, and you’re going to take those first steps with a little more confidence and meaning. Then, as time goes on and this resolution becomes more of a habit or a lifestyle, that intrinsic motivation builds.

“With a focus on accountability, a few strategies, support and strong commitment, fitness goals can be achieved over time,” said Welch.

These strategies include:

Small group training, which Welch said is a great option for people who are on a budget but want individualized attention and accountability. Participants can sign up as an individual or with a group of friends. A certified personal trainer, who customizes training plans to the groups’ goals/needs, holds the workouts. This option also includes pre- and post-fitness assessments to track improvements. A 12-week session is $127 for students and $200 for other members and includes five nutrition coaching sessions. Deadline to register is Friday, Feb. 16. For a six-week session, the cost is $125 for a student and $175 for a member and includes three nutrition coaching sessions. The registration deadline for the six-week session is Tuesday, March 20.

Personal Training, which includes 60-minute individualized sessions with a personal trainer. There is an initial assessment to go over goals and get baseline measurements. Then, the certified personal trainer creates a program specific to the individual. Pricing varies depending on the number of sessions, which range from one to 36. Visit for more information.

Other options are also available allowing participants to combine services. For example, a Fitness Starter Pack includes one fitness assessment, two personal training sessions, and nutrition coaching, and costs $69. A basic fitness assessment is $10 and includes a comprehensive fitness assessment by a trained professional. The assessment considers lifestyle, blood pressure, body composition, strength, flexibility and aerobic fitness. Finally, free equipment orientations are available for all members who wish to learn how to use the gym equipment.

NIU Fitness Program staff also offer the following recommendations for sticking to a New Year’s Resolution all year long:

  • Resolutions tend to be too broad; don’t be afraid to get specific. The more specific, the more likely you can reach the goal.
  • Break a big goal down into smaller goals. Create the path that is going to help you reach that goal.
  • Write it down somewhere where you will see it every day.
  • Tell others about your goals to help create accountability.
  • Make the goal attainable and realistic.