No matter where you turn, you’ll find someone who is making that same tried and true resolution.

This year, they’re going to lose weight.

That’s right – they’re going to hit the gym seven days a week. They’re going to turn vegetarian (or vegan) and eat better. They’re going to lick this thing.

And it usually lasts, what? Two months tops? Three if they’re lucky?

The reality is this – some people like start dates. Nothing is wrong with using the start of a new year to signify the start of a major change in one’s life. However, we can’t treat those changes the same way we treat the holiday – once the novelty of the day wears off, so does the resolutions. We can’t do that to ourselves.

What we also cannot do is spend a short amount of time going hard in the gym, or wildin’ out on a crazy diet hoping to get rid of that last little bit of weight. We can’t adopt something only to quit in a few months because we’ve burned out, or because we made changes that were too drastic and were unbearable.

You have to realize that there’s something in your lifestyle that allows that weight to stay on. The issue isn’t the fact that you need to burn off this little bit of weight super fast – the issue is that you need to take a long, hard look at your lifestyle and start making changes that will lead you in the direction of not only achieving your goals, but maintaining them. Make sense?

So instead of making a resolution that involves a gym membership that you’ll only use for ten weeks, what kind of resolutions are much healthier?

Ones that can last. Baby steps. Resolve to hit the gym at least three times a week, if you’re opting to make use of a membership. If not, resolve to go walking for a half an hour a day. Resolve to avoid junk food one day a week. Gradually move up to 2 days, then 3, then allow yourself only a couple of days a week when you eat fast food or junk food. I promise you – you’ll feel so good after accomplishing those simple tasks that they will not only become a part of your regular routine, but natural progression on it’s own will lead you to increasing your own intensity.

Resolve to think before you put food in your mouth. Resolve to drink an extra glass or two of water each day. Resolve to eat breakfast every morning. Promise to get a healthy night’s rest. Try to take the kids to the park at least once a week, and while they’re playing? Walk laps around the playground (this one is mine!) Don’t just burn yourself out in the gym. Don’t just jump on the grapefruit diet. Definitely don’t expect a quick fix to change what a lifetime created.

Approach the new year with a positive attitude. Trust in the fact that this is the year you will treat the one body you have for a lifetime… as if it is, in fact, the one body that you will have for a lifetime. You want it to be (and look) healthy forever, so take the time to develop habits that you can maintain forever!