Southeast resident Katrina Wyder shows off her skills during a session of aerial yoga at 2D Pole & Fit in Fort Washington, Md., led by instructor Dawn Thomas. (Courtesy photo)
Southeast resident Katrina Wyder shows off her skills during a session of aerial yoga at 2D Pole & Fit in Fort Washington, Md., led by instructor Dawn Thomas. (Courtesy photo)

Like millions, I count myself among the throngs who have made the same New Year’s resolutions for years – and failed to successfully manage them. Some years, the concerted efforts came with a modicum of success and the realization that goals could be achieved. Water intake increased, the recommended 8-hour sleep cycle achieved, and regular workouts managed. In other years, like a knock-off Patsy Stone swigging Bolli-Stoli cocktails, it took only the slightest temptation for me to throw caution to the wind and swan dive, back into a two-a-day green tea frappuccino habit.

In either regard, I made for good company, as an estimated 8 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions and fail to reach them within a two-year period. With nearly half of the country vowing to eat better, take in more exercise, quit smoking and other vices, or make better money management decisions, failure to reach those goals strongly impacts the overall well-being of both the individual and the nation.

Psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert, author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” in speaking with Business Insider, suggested that often the rates of failure – and even the inability to reinvigorate those efforts – rests in the underlying motive of the resolution.

“Goals need to be made for the individual. So often, people seem to be influenced by their friends, their family, what they see in society,” Alpert said. “I think it’s important for people to set goals that are for themselves and unique to themselves.”

This sentiment echoed through Informer interviews from Washingtonians whose resolves strengthened once their goals took more strategic forms.

With Katrina Wyder, for instance, a systems analyst and Southeast resident, the idea of setting resolutions worked contrary to the ability to manage upheavals that always come with life changes. In what begins as mere challenges to changing course, Wyder said, many people become discouraged because the tasks feel burdensome.

“Everything in life that is worth having requires dedication, persistence and a resolve to get it done. But our lifestyles embrace bad habits there is a different level of resistance we face,” Wyder told The Informer. “I don’t believe the average person should make New Year’s resolutions, but instead work toward smaller, behavioral changes. It’s also good to try new and innovative ways of reaching your targets.”

For Wyder, that has meant trying aerial yoga to combat stress and find her “center,” at instructor Dawn Thomas’ 2D Pole & Fit. Aerial yoga, also known as anti-gravity yoga, is performed in sturdy nylon hammocks, called silks, that are suspended from the ceiling. This allows participants to explore new and traditional yogic postures with their body weight partially or fully supported. The fabric supports your body like a swing, allowing you to perform inverted poses and flips. The result: refined strength, energetic flow, and heightened awareness of breath and body.

“Aerial yoga puts my body into a relaxing place and has worked to center me by pushing my body to an extreme and wonderful place. I was surprised by the flexibility, calm, and energy I gained – and because it has been such a unique experience, it became a class I looked forward to without thinking of it as exercise.”

This Health, Wellness & Nutrition supplement is designed to reinvigorate those New Year’s resolutions by helping readers take a new and innovative approach to making them happen. Whether it’s weight loss, overall health and fitness, support, or re-examining the goals themselves, the Informer invites you to reassess your needs and work actively towards reaching new heights.

Read, Learn, Enjoy!

Dr. Shantella Sherman is a historian and journalist who serves as the Informer's Special Editions Editor. Dr. Sherman is the author of In Search of Purity: Eugenics & Racial Uplift Among New Negroes...

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