12/29/2015 02:13 EST | Updated 12/29/2016 05:12 EST

Make Healthy Living A Lifestyle, Not A Resolution

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Woman drinking from water bottle

Nothing much has changed over the years in resolutions. This is the year countless people will decided to "be healthy" or "lose 10 lbs." The gyms will overflow, and by February, a large percentage of those making resolutions will be off them.

So, if you are going to make the "be healthy" resolution, let me help you with a few thoughts. Make the resolution something you can absolutely make happen. Here's four simple ways to make 2016 a healthy year, and 2017, and all the years to follow.

Let's make it a lifestyle, not a resolution.

1. Find like minded friends.

This is going to help you:

a) Split costs on sitting down with experts, commutes to hiking trails or outdoor activities, and if you do it right, purchasing healthy food in bulk.

b) Stay focused and accountable. Nothing better than having someone ask where you were if you skip a walk, hike, gym session, or anything you put in as your goal.

c) Makes it fun. Your friends keep you company, but it's so much more fun and easy doing this healthy thing when everyone around you is on the same page.

2. Manage expectations

Not everyone is a fitness model, not everyone wants to be, and that isn't even a sign that you are healthy. Go at this thing with the mind set to stay alive for as long as possible while being as healthy as possible. Instead of sitting down with a buff personal trainer, sit down with your doctor. See who you should talk to in order to bring your blood sugar down, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and work towards being healthy.

Make this the year you take care of your mental health and well being, and have that turn into you taking care of yourself because you feel like it. Let your soul guide you to healthy living. Losing weight won't do anything for you emotionally. I've seen it hundreds of times. What you are chasing with weight loss is not there waiting for you at the end. Living healthy, caring for your mental wellness, and finding happiness are the best ways to health and the ideal body weight.

3. Be less sedentary.

We are in a strange time where people will go to the gym for an hour, and then sit for the rest of their waking hours. We can get transfixed by our computer screens and forget to move. I recommend purchasing a product like the Apple Watch for two reasons:

i) Long term, it will store your information about resting heart rate, blood pressure, and other health markers. That means when you go to the doctor, they can give you a better picture of your health. This data storage is critical to success.

ii) Your watch is also going to beep at you if you've been sitting to long. If that happens, make it your resolution to get up, walk for three to five minutes and then do some deep Yoga breathing to reduce stress and purposefully stretch. I'm on a mission as a workplace wellness expert to get employers to realize the importance of this. Five minutes every hour can save the loss of days and weeks in sick time, and it increases productivity. The watch beeps, you get moving, that's a resolution to stick to.

4. This is the year that we all stop looking at food as what makes us fat or skinny, and the gym as the only acceptable source of exercise, or weight loss as a competition. I need this to be part of everyone's resolution. It is what is causing us to walk further away from health. We made it too difficult and confusing and many of us have given up.

The return to basics means:

No more shopping for short cuts with pills, powders or fads

No more feeling guilty if we don't go to the gym

No more setting or goals based on looks, we work towards feeling amazing.

Set the resolution this year to include friends in a more active lifestyle, and to eat real food. Talk with your doctor, and set up a plan with results that make sense for you.

2016 is the year we capture health...and forget about the scale, actually.


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