Carolyn Hansen from Anytime Fitness offers some tips on new year's resolutions

As another year has come to a close, thoughts of new beginnings and fresh starts are on our minds. It's the perfect time to get in shape, eat better, exercise more and become an overall happier person. Right?

But how many times have you made a New Year's resolution and never really followed through? If you've sworn off them because you fail to keep them, the good news is it does not have to involve a radical overhaul of your life.

Here are five meaningful changes to work on:

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1. Change your health outlook - Instead of an all-or-nothing approach, look at health as a continuum and that every decision you make moves you closer to one end of the continuum (good health) or the other (poor health). For instance, drinking a soda would move you in the wrong direction, while a glass of water would move you in the right direction. By making small, positive decisions, you move closer and closer to good health.

2. Think health not weight loss - The fact is you can lose weight and continue to be unhealthy. But when you change your way of eating permanently, add in more exercise and movement, work to reduce stress, and get healthy amounts of sleep, not only will your health improve, but your body will begin losing the excess weight.

Weight gain is a symptom. A side effect of living an unhealthy lifestyle. It is not the problem that needs solving. Shift energy away from fighting the never-ending symptoms of unhealthiness and get right to the root of the problem.

Focus on improving your health, and have faith that the inside of your body is changing for the better. In time, your external appearance will align with its internal counterpart. Get healthy and losing weight will take care of itself. The overall health improvements that you will be making will also transform your entire life for the better.

3. Focus on getting active - This means going beyond a token workout here or there. Sure, some exercise is better than none, but the goal of getting healthy means living an active lifestyle.

If you were to ever study fit people and their daily activity, you would see they go beyond the two or three structured weekly workouts. They get up off their butts and they move. They walk more. They take more steps than the average person does, and they spend less time just lounging around. They engage in opportunistic exercise by finding creative ways to make their daily tasks just a little more active and intense. Just an extra burning of 100 calories a day pays big dividends to health and body weight in the long term.

4. Focus on eating REAL foods - Forget about calories, focus your energy on slowly changing your eating habits until 50, 60, 70, 80, and then 90 percent of your food intake is made up of whole foods.

Body transformation lies not in manipulating calorie intake, but in providing your body and mind with whole, nourishing foods that will do wonders for your body composition (muscle/fat ratio).

Instead of making an "I want to lose weight" pledge, try "I'm going to put more vegetables and good stuff on my plate" so the resolution is a positive action that you can perform over and over.

Get your butt back in the kitchen and make it a priority to discover quick and easy recipes that will allow you to create healthy and tasty meals that you will want to eat again and again.

5. Figure out your "why". This is the single most important aspect of any health goal, yet it is seldom considered. It's the driving force that will get you out of bed an hour earlier to get to the gym or plan ahead with meal preparation. Write down the top three things that you would like to achieve, keep it close to you and read it every day.

This one crucial element in your approach will push you past where you have been before or even beyond what you ever thought was possible or you were capable of.

To make it easier for you, I have created a FREE 30-minute self-hypnosis MP3 audio to help you implement healthy resolutions for 2018.

Year Round Health Resolutions Download Instructions – Type into your browser bar (top left - not search bar in middle of screen) carolynhansenfitness.com/betterme then "Save As" to save onto your computer. No name or email required.