Every year thousands of people make New Year’s resolutions they hope will facilitate a health transformation; weight loss, healthier diet, more exercise, and/or reduction of vices such as sugar and alcohol.  It just seems like a good time of year to tighten the belt and become more disciplined, and it is.  However, going it on your own, with big lifestyle transitions can be tough, if not downright impossible.  We are both creatures of habit and social animals. Here are my seven tips to successfully create a healthier lifestyle in 2016:

1. Identify your goals, write them down in as specific terms as possible, and then read them to at least two important people in your life.

2. Focus your goals about what you want – not about avoidance!

3. Journal before bed, summarizing the highs and lows of your day in relationship to your goals.  You may want to share this with someone who loves you!

4. Support you goals by organizing your kitchen, your car, your workplace, your bedroom, and any other place you spend time…

5. Create a reward system!  e.g.,  gold stars on a calendar, financial contribution to a planned trip, a fun activity…

6. Join a gym, a club, or a class that supports your goals

7. Find a buddy with similar goals: meet, call, text, email, etc. on a regular basis

Take advantage of the New Year with the holidays behind and a time of introspection ahead in the dark of winter.  Reach out to loved ones and community for the support you will need to enhance your health and lifestyle.  In the process, be kind to yourself – none of us are perfect.  At the same time, keep your eye on the prize – a healthier, more vital you!