ARLINGTON, Va. (Feb. 28, 2014) -- Guard Your Health will launch the Small Steps to a Healthier You Challenge, also known as Small Steps, on Saturday to help Army National Guard Soldiers and their families create long-term healthy habits by changing their daily routines slightly.

Small Steps was inspired by the fact that almost 90 percent of New Year's resolutions fail each year -- largely because they are too ambitious or ill-defined.

By early spring, many Soldiers find their aspiration turning into frustration and ditch their healthy living efforts.

The challenge is designed to encourage these individuals to take a more realistic approach to self-improvement for the remainder of the year.

Small Steps represents the first push in the Guard Your Health team's effort to teach Soldiers, their families and communities about how easy and impactful small changes can be.

Small Steps is a 28-day challenge in which participants are asked to adopt one quick and easy health change a day. The steps touch on all aspects of mental, physical and spiritual health, from drinking more water and increasing time outdoors to remembering to floss.

"People tend to give up on their resolutions around this time of year," said Army National Guard Chief Surgeon Col. Anne Naclerio, a board-certified pediatrician. "They head into January with so much momentum and then abandon their goals after a couple months. We're hoping Small Steps will help keep people on track without overwhelming them with too much change all at once. We want to teach the community that it is not about the size of change, but rather the fact that they do just a little bit every day."

To participate in the challenge, which runs through March, visit the Guard Your Health Small Steps web page at, participants can pledge to "accept the challenge" and browse the full list of recommended daily steps/challenges. All challenge participants are encouraged to share their daily accomplishments on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (using the hashtag #smallsteps), and can add in additional/alternate steps to personalize their experience.

Guard Your Health, a health and medical readiness website for Army National Guard Soldiers and their families, supports the Chief Surgeon of the Army National Guard's efforts to build and sustain a resilient, adaptable and medically ready Citizen-Soldier force. Guard Your Health provides Army National Guard Soldiers with the information, motivation, and support they need to overcome challenges and make healthy decisions for themselves, their units, and their families.

To learn more, visit, Like "Army National Guard Health" on Facebook, or follow @ARNGHealth on Twitter.