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Columns

Park District Dish: Branch out in the new year

January is one of the most exciting times of the year, in my opinion. It’s a new year and the perfect moment to stop, reflect on the past year and make plans for the coming one.

We often get so caught up in our busy lives that we forget to set goals for ourselves and tune into the changes we want to make in our lives.

I love that after the first day of the year, there is a sense of community and conversation about our goals as we set New Year’s resolutions and think about the future.

The Batavia Park District is the perfect place to explore opportunities to expand yourself this year.

You may have noticed that the district Fun Guide brochure has a new theme each year, carefully selected by district staff. This year we chose the “Branch Out, Batavia!” theme, which we think epitomizes what we hope residents accomplish not just this year, but every year. Whether it’s trying something new, volunteering or further developing a skill, the park district has something for everyone and can help you reach your goals.

“Making changes in your life can invoke a lot of feelings and emotions, but – with change – we grow,” said Amy Sarro, the park district’s new human resources and risk manager. “The Batavia Park District has been a positive change for me as I love the people I work with and everything it provides to our community.”

One of the biggest mistakes some people make is setting the bar too high for themselves. They want to lose weight, quit smoking, eat better, spend more time with their family, worry and stress less all at once. Although those are all important changes, trying to do it all can be very overwhelming.

Many individuals can have a higher success rate if they break their goals down into smaller changes and take it day-by-day or week-by-week. It also helps when you have a support system around you! Signing up for a program, attending an event or volunteering your time is an excellent way to find new friends or meet like-minded individuals to help support you along your journey.

“Too many people set too high of expectations and set themselves up for failure,” fitness supervisor Kathy Freedlund said. “Aim for moving a little bit more each day. As I always say, exercise is the fountain of youth. The older we get, the more we need to move. If you are sedentary I suggest walking five to 10 minutes a day for a week. The next week make it 10 to 15 minutes each day. Aim for a final result of a 30-minute walk at least five days of the week. You’ll be glad you did.”

And if you slip up a little, it’s OK. You can start anew each day and get yourself back on track. At the park district, we have qualified instructors at the ready to help establish the foundation for a new you this year.

To learn more about winter programs, special events and other park district opportunities, visit bataviaparks.org.

Katie Drum is the director of marketing and public relations for the Batavia Park District. The “Park District Dish” column runs the second Thursday of each month in the Kane County Chronicle. Contact Drum at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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