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More than 44 percent of Americans will make New Year resolutions in 2017 according to Marist Poll. Since 2014, weight loss has been the number one resolution, but being a better person — at 16 percent — has taken the lead spot this year, placing weight loss in second place alongside exercising — both at 10 percent. Rounding up the list are improving one’s health and eating healthier, both at 7 percent. At 40 percent, health and wellness are a priority for millions of Americans, but unfortunately only 8 percent of people who commit to resolutions are successful in completing them.

If so many of us want to focus on eating healthier and improving our physiques, why do we give up so quickly?

New Year Resolutions #1: Change

Let’s face it, change is hard. When it comes to developing a bad habit, do it twice in a row and chances are you’re a goner. For instance, skip the gym Monday and Tuesday, and you’ll likely stay home on Hump Day too. It takes an average of 66 days to create a new daily habit, such as not eating wheat or meditating for 15 minutes. Bad habits are harder to alter, and that’s why developing a healthy habit is really worth the struggle. Because once you establish it, it isn’t hard to maintain.

So remember health is everything. Love yourself enough to make a positive change. “Remember, eventually exercise and proper diet will become a habit — one that you don’t want to miss,” says Dr. Michael Smith, chief medical editor at WebMD. If you need help, check out Smart Change: Five Tools to Create New and Sustainable Habits in Yourself and Others by Dr. Art Markman. “Unfortunately, being out of shape and overweight are a reflection of a set of habits that we have developed over years, and so just setting the goal to get in shape in the new year is not enough to overcome the inertia,” says Dr. Markman.

Smart Change explores the psychological mechanisms that form and maintain habits in individuals and groups, and offers real, accessible, and actionable advice. The book also helps readers develop a structure to support the creation of new habits that will replace the old ones that have become outgrown.

New Year Resolutions #2: Sweet Tooth

Sweet foods are the hard to avoid when trying to stick to a New Year resolution to eat healthy. Let’s be honest, sugar is an addiction and a hard one to kick. Cravings often override common sense and the next thing you know you are gobbling down a red velvet cupcake. If you need some ammo, remember that sugar consumption has been linked to obesity, poor memory, learning disorders, and depression.

Both cancer and Candida (yeast) feed off sugar, wreaking all kinds of havoc on the body. If you need even more to fire you up, consider that Big Sugar are very aware that the sugar they pour into their products leads to profits. They refer to the perfect quantity of sugar in a given product as the “bliss point.” They know they are partially responsible for the obesity epidemic, and yet they do not want to give up any dough by downgrading or reducing their sweets.

Consider cutting out high fructose corn syrup from your diet. It’s genetically modified and contains mercury and pesticides. Yuck. Our body does not recognize it. Swap out table sugar for healthier alternatives such as Stevia and coconut sugar, which, unlike table sugar, retains nutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium, along with some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols, and antioxidants.

If you are a chocoholic, understand that real cacao is not laden with milk and sugar. Rediscover cacao, which is actually full of magnesium and encourages production of serotonin, and can even help with cognition. At HoneyColony, we are big fans of organic raw chocolate nibs.

Don’t be swayed by claims! Read the labels. And remember that the products at eye level on the grocery store shelves are the ones loaded with sugar. Look high and crouch low for healthier alternatives.

New Year Resolutions #3: Time Collapse

Managing time has become an art. Many of us are regularly playing catch up and simply cannot imagine carving out time for exercise. With that said, you do not need much time. Thirty minutes of intense cardio a day, mixed with yoga and meditation, would do the trick. When you do achieve a milestone, no matter how small, reward yourself, says Smith. But instead of going for a piece of cake, which will only backfire on you, buy yourself a new pair of running shoes.

So no more excuses. More than half of those polled recognized that small changes in diet will lead to big changes in their health. These modifications do not need to eat into your schedule.

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New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions #4: Lack of Direction & Support

One of the biggest challenges in committing to a healthy lifestyle change is the realization that finding delicious and healthy alternatives that won’t leave you feeling hungry are important in maintaining your personal wellness New Year resolutions. Consider HoneyColony your personal health coach. And check out our Organic Weight Loss Superfood Smoothie Package. We deliver all the superfoods to your door along with a starter kit, featuring nutritional information and easy instructions.

By slowly changing your diet and enjoying this protein-rich superfood morning smoothie as I have, you can lose weight and keep it off. Write down your eating plan each week. You’re more likely to stick with it. And get assistance! Embark on your journey toward health with family and close friends who also support healthier choices. This will empower you in a positive way and help you maintain your resolution. “Avoid people who don’t support you,” says Smith.

Some may even unknowingly sabotage your goal. Stay away. For extra support and motivation, “post your goal on Facebook. A little extra nudge from friends never hurt anyone. Maybe you’ll influence others to do the same.”

Finally, do set realistic goals. “Tweaks are a lot easier to grasp than a complete overhaul,” says Smith. “Going too hard, too early is one of the main reasons people fail. You have my permission to start with 1 minute of exercise a day. Once you got that, step it up to 2 minutes. It’s more than you do now, so consider that a success.”

If you want to lose weight, know there will be weeks when you lose no weight and even some when you gain. “At this point, people often give up. Don’t fall victim to that excuse. Own the setback and make a commitment to yourself to keep moving forward,” he adds. Believe in yourself. “As you practice making healthier decisions, “no thanks” truly gets easier, says Smith.

You’ll be patting yourself on the back like crazy in no time. And remember, even if you missed the Jan. 1 deadline, there is no better time than today to make your healthy living resolutions.

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