With the new year approaching, the first resolution most people think about going for is a gym membership. Year after year the same thing happens. They really want to get into shape, and they know for sure that this year will be different. They sign up for a year membership and start their new goal with clear focus and determination.Most people never make it past the first week. Why? Mostly because they quit when they realize how much work goes into getting back into the shape they once had. The fact of the matter is that it really is not as difficult as they think. They are just focusing on one aspect of overall wellness and burning themselves out on it.In order to lose weight and keep it off for good, a person must develop the mindset necessary for living a healthy lifestyle. There is much more to being healthy than showing up to the gym every day. In fact, exercise is only one-eighth of the total equation. If you really want to achieve personal wellness in 2009, forget the gym and focus instead on improving the following 8 categories of health.Health Tips #1: Diet & NutritionYou already know the main reason you gained weight. Too many trips through the McDonalds drive-through, late night snacking on junk food and poor dinner choices. You do not have to eat a diet of bland salads and yogurt, but you do need to limit the amount of trigger foods that you caused your weight gain. Replace your current American diet of high sugar, high-fat processed foods with those found in the produce and lean meat department as often as you can.Health Tips #2: Nutritional SupplementsNow that our soils are more depleted of minerals than ever, and our farm animals are not fed properly, living a healthy lifestyle requires nutritional supplementation. I lost 70 pounds in 4 months and kept it off for over 15 years simply by drinking a soy-based protein shake for breakfast every morning and taking a few targeted vitamins. Why does this work? Because greasy bacon and runny eggs do not provide proper nutrition.Health Tips #3: Fun & RecreationWhat makes you happy? Going to the movies? Ice Skating? Playing the guitar? Whatever it is, you must find time for it on a weekly basis (if not daily) in order to maintain good mental stability. Your activities and hobbies should not include junk food or alcohol. Going to the movies is watching the movie, not eating a tub of fatty buttered popcorn. Be happy with what you are doing without the unnecessary evils.Health Tips #4: HydrationDrinking enough water throughout the day is the part of the equation that gets overlooked. People do not consider drinking as important as eating and it is! You should not be drinking soda or processed juices every day. Why? Because they deplete your body of vitamins and minerals while loading you up on sugar. Alcohol is even worse. Do yourself a favor and keep a water bottle with you at all times. Drink, drink, drink. I cannot stress this enough.Health Tips #5: StressAnd speaking of stress, this is what happens when you do not allow yourself to have any fun in your life. This is just as important to living a healthy lifestyle as eating and drinking properly. Too much stress can cause major problems for your body. You only live once, so do not allow other people and events to get you so bothered and worried that you cannot live the lifestyle you deserve for yourself.Health Tips #6: Unhealthy HabitsNot eating the wrong foods is just as important as eating the right foods. But unhealthy habits are not just about food, are they? Smoking and the use of other drugs, prescription or not, is probably the worst thing a person can do to their body. This is the only one you have! Take care of it. Alcohol is OK on occasion but not recommended on a daily basis to anyone interested in living a healthy lifestyle.Health Tips #7: Weight ManagementHave you ever noticed that weight loss really is not the issue that people struggle with? Most everyone has lost weight at one point in their life. Keeping that weight off is the obstacle that most people can not overcome. Think about it logically. If you gained weight by eating twinkies, then lost weight when you stopped eating twinkies, do not go back to eating twinkies. The person who eats twinkies on occasion (not every day) does not struggle with weight fluctuation.Health Tips #8: ExerciseYou knew this one was coming! It is totally possible to lose weight without exercising. I am living proof because my severe asthma prohibited me from doing it. The reason I can exercise now is because I got my body healthy through focusing on the other 7 categories. Once I began exercising, it only accelerated my weight loss and now helps to keep me lean. The key to exercise is not quantity but quality. A little bit every day will give you the best health benefits overall.So there you have it! The 8 health tips to kick off the new year for a new you. Focus on improving each of these simultaneously as your one and only New Years Resolution and you will be on a successful path to overall wellness. Weight loss and poor health can be things of the past if you are just willing to make small changes on a daily basis.