Ideas for making and keeping New Year’s resolutions

The YMCA of M.V. starts its Resolution Relay, a program to get yourself in shape, this week. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

For most of us, making a New Year’s resolution is typical. It’s maintaining those resolutions that is a challenge. To help you change the tide and succeed in what you felt needed changing this year, here are some helpful suggestions on where you can find assistance.

One of the most popular resolutions is the ambiguous, “get healthier.” If “healthier” for you is denoting physical strength and/or weight, both can be addressed with one dedication – exercise. With great health clubs, fitness studios, and classes on the Island, there are many opportunities to find the right fit. Many are offering specials to bolster resolution success.

Both the Vineyard Tennis Center Workout and Spa at the airport and the YMCA of M.V. are offering special fitness programs. The Workout (508- 696-8000; is starting a new program called The Wellness Resolution, which costs $199.

The YMCA is encouraging people to sign up for the Resolution Relay, which is free to all members. For more information on the Relay and all the programs the Y offers for the entire family, call 508-696-7171 or visit, or stop by for an informational tour of the Y facilities located across from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School on the Edgartown/Vineyard Haven Road in Oak Bluffs.

If you are looking for a fitness and weight loss facility that caters just to women, Curves in Woodland Center on State Road in Vineyard Haven could give you your start. They are offering a great deal in which you will receive 50 percent off their service fee plus 30 days free to workout. Their program is a choreographed circuit which their website says “will tone every part of you while burning up to 500 calories.” They have even incorporated the popular Zumba Fitness into their circuit program to give you the most motivating workout possible. To learn more, call 508-696-3030 or visit

If you have your exercise down pat, but need some help with your daily diet, a nutritionist might be your solution. Denise Guest at Vineyard Nutrition can help you with individual nutrition and weight loss counseling. Contact Ms. Guest at 508-627-3235. Martha’s Vineyard Hospital also has a Nutrition and Dietetics department, though you may need a referral from your doctor. For more information, reach the department at 508-957-9473.

For those looking to expand their repertoire of hobbies or learning, a class from our Island’s numerous instructors on everything from language to pottery could be your answer. For the biggest selections of classes available in one location try ACE M.V. or Featherstone Center for the Arts. ACE M.V.’s winter/spring 2012 classes, which begin January 19, include professional education classes and short-term classes covering such topics as arts, music, dance, or communication. For a full listing of this season’s wonderful classes visit them at or call them at 508-693-1033, ext. 240. For the parents out there, there is even free child care available on Thursday nights, though you must pre-register for the service after you have signed up for your classes. This wonderful free service is provided by the Martha’s Vineyard Family Center of Community Services.

Featherstone offers hands-on educational classes on everything from ceramics to photography and has classes for the entire family. Visit them at or call 508-693-1850, once they re-open on January 9.

There are many other classes available on the Island, so for a full listing of topics, times, and locations, visit our Calendar section Events and Essentials pages under Classes.

Another popular resolution is to give back to your community. Lucky for you, our Island is filled with nonprofit organizations that are always looking for volunteers and/or donations. If you are a kid at heart and want to become a mentor, the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization could be the perfect fit. For more information on how you can help, call them at 508-696-5497.

If you are handy and like to see immediate results from your work, Habitat for Humanity will definitely meet your needs. Building homes for those that need a little help is very rewarding and a needed service here on the Vineyard. To become part of the Habitat for Humanity family, visit them on the web at or call them at 508-696-4646.

Another great option is any one of our local Councils on Aging. They are always looking for volunteers to help, just once or regularly. Volunteer opportunities might include answering phones, working a special event, teaching a class, or even delivering meals. For more information, visit your town’s local Council on Aging now or call them directly. For a full listing of Councils, look at 55 Plus newsletter, which is published on the last Thursday of every month in The Times. Keep in mind these are just a few of the many Island non-profits that need your help.

Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions.