A 2014 YMCA survey found that many people make New Year’s resolutions, but about 40 percent give up on them within the first few months or even weeks of the year.

YMCA of Greater Louisville district executive director Norm Johnson said his organization encourages those who make resolutions to keep them realistic.

“New Year’s resolutions are always a great way to take a fresh start, take a fresh look at things, but it’s really important that you start small, one step at a time,” Johnson said. “Set some goals that are very easily attainable and build off those successes from there.”

Johnson said it’s easier to stick with a new exercise routine or diet regimen if you have a partner or friend working toward similar goals.

“If you can exercise with a partner or a group, you have better adherence,” he said. “There’s a lot more motivation.  You’re accountable for your actions.  It’s always fun if you’re doing something strenuous to do it with a friend or do it with somebody else in there, too.”

Johnson said the YMCA offers incentives to encourage people to become members in the new year, but staff are also available to help them maintain healthy habits throughout the year.

Rick Howlett is WFPL's Broadcast Editor and also produces feature and general assignment radio stories.