What exactly is a New Year’s resolution? The dictionary defines resolution as ‘a firm decision to do something,’ but what does that really mean? It’s easy enough to make a decision to get in shape, lose a few pounds or quit smoking—it’s the follow-through where we tend to get tripped up. Rather than making a resolution this year, we are going to suggest you make a New Year’s solution. There is no better time than the New Year to create a new approach to getting yourself healthy. A New Year’s solution means creating long-term success–so you never have to make another resolution again.

We’ve all experienced short-term motivation. Most of us start the New Year by saying, “I ate too much,” or “I’ve been lazy,” or “I feel out of shape,” and then we make a short-term resolution to change. Ask yourself this: If you took a wrong turn in your car and ended up where you started, would you take that same turn again? Probably not, yet time and time again, we all make the same resolutions at the same time of year. We basically set ourselves up to fail! Isn’t it time to change your routine and perhaps change your way of thinking–because if it hasn’t worked in the past, it’s not going to work this time around either!

The first step towards changing your results is to examine your goals and how you view exercise and fitness. This is the key to understanding why none of those New Year’s resolutions really work. Was your resolution a short-term goal? Was it based on a number, like losing 20 lbs in 6 weeks, instead of on an overall feeling of health and wellness? Once you start to look at the roots of your health habits, you can identify what’s been holding you back. If you’ve made a decision to get in shape for the New Year, yet deep inside you view exercise as punishment and food or alcohol as a reward, you’ll be fighting yourself every step of the way. The quickest way to achieve your goals in health, or in life, is to bring your thoughts and actions into alignment with how you want to feel and look.

Observe your thoughts and daily habits and develop a sense of awareness about them: How you feel throughout the day? Where are your priorities? Who do you surround yourself with, and do they help or hinder your success? Become aware of any excuses you use which consistently hold you back. You’ll get some very interesting information about yourself—information you can use to refine your health plan and move forward.

Then take action! Simple steps on a daily basis, like taking the stairs rather than the elevator or skipping dessert when dining out, add up. Look at all of your daily choices as positive steps toward better health. After all, the whole point of a healthy lifestyle is to feel good all the time, not just after you spent an hour in the gym. Start feeling good all the time, and things in your life get better—your work gets better, your body feels better, your sleep is better, sex is better, and your relationships get better.

Remember your 3 keys—not a resolution, but daily steps towards success: movement, good food choices, and sufficient rest. Have faith in the process; every mountain climb starts with a single step. You’re not going to get to the peak in one day, so take your time and learn about yourself as you progress. And take time to enjoy the view! As you continue to find daily ways to be healthy, you’ll feel your strength and confidence improve. The solution is there, waiting for you.

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