Happy New Year, my lovely friend.

I started to write a new New Year’s Weight Loss Resolutions post – only to discover that it sounded a lot like the one I wrote last year. I guess that’s because the real keys to weight loss success never really change. And, since I’m all for recycling – I’m going to repost last year’s Weight Loss Resolutions advice. I hope you like it.

I have a confession to make. I love this time of year. I take great pleasure in sitting down and figuring out my top priorities for the new year. I also like to read people’s tips for making a resolution that stick. Until I get to the the tips regarding weight loss resolutions. Then I just get depressed.

Almost all weight loss resolutions advice has to do with two things – dieting and exercising – and most resolutions involve doing both in some extreme way. Studies show that most weight loss resolutions have pretty short shelf life. That’s because will power has a short shelf life. In addition, focusing on getting away from something (disease, fat, fatigue) is never as compelling as focusing on what you want to add to your life (health, fitness, energy).

That’s why the one weight loss resolution I want you to make this year is an easy one. Best of all it won’t cost you a dime. I simply want you to take a look at your life and ask yourself a few questions:

How much joy do you have in your life right now? Not when you lost five pounds, not when you can fit into a size whatever, not two years from now, not ten years from now. Right now. Go ahead and quantify it.

How much of that joy comes from food? How much of it comes from activities that somehow involve food (eating out with friends, cooking, baking, shopping, etc.)? What percentage of your overall level of joy is food-related?

Take a look at your numbers. Are you surprised? Saddened? Relieved?

The good news is that we all have room for more joy in our lives – regardless of your number. Find some joy that has absolutely nothing to do with food or weight loss. Think about activities you enjoyed as a child. List some activities that you once loved but have let slide for one reason or another. These could be anything. Coloring, writing, reading, taking pictures, visiting neighbors, walking the dog, flying a kite, gardening. Any activity that gives you a little pull of longing and the hint of a smile when you think of it. This is your excuse to start it up again or to discover a new love. Make a commitment just for the fun of it.

That’s it. Make 2014 the year you bring joy into your life. Find it. Add it. Practice it daily. The truth is health and happiness do go hand in hand. But research shows that the equation is actually swapped. Happiness must come first. Cultivating it leads to better health and a healthier weight.

Please use the comments section below to let us know what joy you’re adding to your life – starting today – then get started living 🙂 And if you want some help finding your joy or starting a successful weight loss program, send me an email. Individual coaching is more affordable that you might think.