As another year winds down, many of us start thinking about resolutions. For many of us, it has been another year of failed commitments — and, according to the studies, a disproportionate number of those failures had to do with our health.

We wanted to lose weight — but we didn’t. We wanted to cut back on our drinking, but we didn’t do that either. We were going to exercise but it didn’t work out, because we didn’t work out.

Enough is enough. The time has come for you to take control of your life and build the better body and more complete health that you need and deserve for the future. You want to lose weight, feel younger, look better, and be healthier — and this is how to do it.

Committing to a sustainable plan

Why do so many lofty goals related to health, weight, and exercise fail? Experts say that a huge factor is the simple fact that these goals are too aggressive and these plans too unsustainable.

Sure, you could lose a ton of weight if you ate just 1,200 calories and exercised for two hours every day — but that’s insanely unhealthy (you should aim to lose no more than one or two pounds per week except in special cases) and not at all sustainable. That plan would require huge changes to your life and would make you feel awful while demanding insane amounts of willpower from you. And even if you managed to do it — if you dodged the immediate health dangers such a plan involves, stuck to the impossible terms, and reached your goal weight — what then? Experts say you’d probably go right back to how you were eating and acting before.

So don’t make extreme and temporary changes; focus on sustainable long-term changes and reasonable goals. Start by eliminating an unhealthy snack or by adding more whole (unprocessed) foods to your diet. Make exercise a regular habit, not an all-out thing. Little by little, aim to reach healthy standards of 150 minutes of exercise per week and a plant-based, whole foods diet.

Medical weight loss options

If you are seriously overweight, you may want to speak to your doctor about your options for surgical intervention. Gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery are among the procedures that can help you lose weight at a much higher rate.

Be aware, though, that you’ll still be expected to make a real commitment. In fact, overeating after these surgeries can be very dangerous, which is why you’ll likely be required to demonstrate your ability to lose weight without the surgery before you’ll be accepted for the procedure.

Hormone therapy and restoring your youth

If you’re feeling tired and old, you may have medical options. Hormone therapy is a powerful way to restore vigor and treat symptoms of conditions like menopause.

The idea is relatively simple. As we age, our hormones grow depleted; hormone therapy is about adding those back in and rebalancing things. It is used to treat symptoms of menopause in women, but it’s good for more than that: Testosterone hormone replacement therapy for men, for instance, can help men feel healthier and more energetic. It will even increase a man’s sex drive. For more information, including important information about side-effects, speak to a medical provider who specializes in hormone therapy.

Partnering with the pros

You can and should seek to make changes in your lifestyle in order to become healthier. But don’t make the mistake of assuming that your healthy future is all on you. You can’t get healthier without real commitment, but you do need help! Seek out the help of personal trainers and dieticians, visit your doctor regularly, and consider seeing specialists in things like hormone therapy and gastric surgery. Doing so could change your life.