Every holiday season, millions of Americans ring in the New Year with a common goal: weight loss. Living a healthy lifestyle is attainable if a person has access to the correct educational tools and support.

Every holiday season, millions of Americans ring in the New Year with a common goal: weight loss. Whether motivation stems from wanting to fit into last year's jeans or simply wishing to be healthier, data shows "staying fit and healthy" as the top New Year's resolution of 2015 for Americans, followed closely by "lose weight." According to a study done at the University of Scranton, of the 45 percent of Americans who usually make New Year's resolutions, 64 percent maintain them past one month and 46 percent past six months. Only 8 percent of people are actually successful in achieving New Year's resolution goals.

Living a healthy lifestyle is attainable if a person has access to the correct educational tools and support.

The La Junta Chamber of Commerce is encouraging companies to participate in a Biggest Loser challenge. For a minimal fee, companies can sign up teams of four employees to compete against other company teams. The event lasts eight weeks and includes healthy challenges and a wellness program. The chamber has partnered with NBC and The Biggest Loser to offers this competition to local companies. For more information, visit biggestlosercommunity.com or contact the La Junta Chamber of Commerce.

Southeast Health Group offers wellness solutions to help build healthy, happy families - focusing on mental health.

Wellness Solutions is an employer-based option for accessing confidential counseling for employees and their families. It’s important for area employers to have access to services such as counseling and drug testing when their employees experience mental health or substance use problems.

Through Wellness Solutions, employees —and each of their family members— have access to four free counseling sessions per year.

Staff trainings are also offered, designed to promote health and wellness. Current training topics include: Life/Work Balance, Workplace Boundaries, Developing a Positive Attitude, Stress Management.

For more information about enrolling in Wellness Solutions, contact Paul Sedillo, Executive Director of PFP/WW, (719) 383-5439.

Southeast Health Group has also set up Weigh and Win kiosks through six counties to help improve wellness. They created a wellness challenge and results will be tallied soon.

Weigh and Win has become a very popular program throughout Colorado.

In the United States, $40 billion is unnecessarily spent on weight loss every year, a number that could decrease exponentially by utilizing free community resources such as the Weigh and Win program (primarily funded by Kaiser Permanente). Not only would obesity rates decrease, but the amount spent on medications for obesity related ailments such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and heart related issues, would follow suit.

"To complement my healthy living New Year's resolution, I joined Weigh and Win in January of 2014. My father passed away at 73 and my mother at 78; I had just turned 70," said Weigh and Win success story Suzanna Spears. "Weigh and Win was not only a free resource but a daily reminder of the commitment I had made to myself. I have lost weight and built muscle and stamina. People even comment on how I look better."

Spears has since competed as a walker in 10 5k's, taking first place in 9 of these.

"The greatest benefit is knowing that, as I approach my 72nd birthday next month, I am a different person and have improved my quality of life. I still check in with Weigh and Win daily," said Spears.

Weigh and Win has helped thousands of Coloradans reach their goals. To date, the program is made up of 70,000 participants. The average weight loss for a successful participant after one year in the program is 17.7 pounds.

"My husband Ron and I were looking at our weight as a barrier for us enjoying life including traveling, going anywhere seats may be too small or where we may have to walk too far," said Weigh and Win participant Julie Brown. "Since our successes with Weigh and Win, Ron has been taken off full-time oxygen and diabetes medication and is working full time for the first time in a decade. Weigh and Win made us accountable to our goals while receiving daily, positive reminders, tips and money to boot!"

Weigh and Win is available for free to all Coloradans 18 and over. Sign up for an account today at www.weighandwin.com.