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The key to keeping any New Year’s resolutions is to be realistic and have a sustainable action plan.  We not only need to feel inspired, but we have to also prepare.  Here’s a list of some suggested resolutions and tips on how to successfully implement them.

Take small steps to improving your overall health – avoid feeling overwhelmed from the get-go by taking “baby steps” to move closer to optimal health.  For example, choose drinking water over a soda.  This small action will move you in the right direction to better health in the long run.  By making these smarter health choices every day, you’ll be well on your way to better overall health.

Move and stay active daily –  for example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, jog back and forth to the mailbox instead of leaning out the car window as you drive by, choose to stand on the bus instead of sitting.  All of these little choices can add up to more movement throughout the day.

Choose better health over weight loss – even though weight loss may be a goal, place your focus more on healthy eating.  Avoid empty calories and gravitate more towards whole foods and healthy fats.  In doing so, weight loss becomes a side benefit of the bigger goal of achieving optimal health.

Make your own food – get back into the kitchen and prepare your own meals and snacks.  Prepare your food from fresh ingredients.  This will help your pocket book as well as your waistline and give you control over nutritional quality.

Practice some form of stress management each day – it has been proven that media overload can increase your risk for all kinds of maladies.  Take at least 15 minutes out of each day to unplug and do some belly breathing or guided imagery to relax and rejuvenate.

De-clutter your living space – reduce your stress level and feel better about yourself by clearing out the clutter in your home.  Clutter can actually suck the energy right out of you.  Once you’ve accomplished the task of de-cluttering your environment, you invite more positive energy into your life.

Get your finances in order – save more and spend less.  Live below your means and you will automatically save money.  Establish an emergency fund and reduce credit card use.

Integrate small acts of kindness or generosity – try donating your time or money to those less fortunate than yourself.  You can volunteer at a local charity or food bank, spend some time with veterans or the elderly.  These simple acts provide us with instant gratification and improve the quality of our own lives.