The New Year is a time for new beginnings and to set goals that strengthen one’s spirit, mind and body. While it’s tempting to make big goals, it’s essential to start small. Set goals that are attainable, easy to sustain and lead to big benefits over time. It’s easy to see how things such as getting involved in with the community and making positive lifestyle choices can change someone’s life for the better.

Here are the Y’s five New Year’s Resolutions for 2014:

1)  Eat Healthy: Make water your drink of choice (supplemented by age-appropriate portions of 100 percent fruit juices and low-fat milk) and eat more fruits and vegetables. Keep it interesting and create some variety by mixing and matching fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.

2)  Commit to Community Service: Giving back and supporting neighbors can benefit everyone involved. Not only is it a personally rewarding experience to help others in need, but it’s also a way to meet new people or discover an interest. Find an opportunity in your community, such as cleaning the neighborhood park or distributing food at a local food bank.

3)  Unplug from Technology: Limit screen time (television, video games, computer, etc.) and instead set aside an hour or two for activities. If weather permits, go for a walk, bike ride, trip to the park, or have a game night at home with family or friends.

4)  Be Physically Active: It’s important for children to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day (30 minutes for adults). Incorporate physical activity into your daily routines and spend more time walking to places instead of driving to improve your health and well-being.

5)  Put Extras to Good Use: Do you have extra canned goods or clothes that could benefit others in need? Clean out your pantry, closet or attic and donate extra items to homeless shelters or community outreach programs.

Strengthening communities begins with strengthening the people within the community. Setting a goal to achieve any one of the recommended five New Year’s Resolutions can help improve one’s health and well-being.

For additional tips or to learn more about how to get involved with the Duluth Y, contact (218) 722-4745 or visit www.duluthymca.org.