Each year, one of the most common new year's resolution is to improve health and fitness.

Those who are looking to get in shape at Fort Leonard Wood have a great place to start with the Army Wellness Center, which has been serving the community since December 2015.

Molly Lautzenheiser, Army Wellness Center project lead, said the center schedules as many as 100 appointments in a month, and that internal motivation is important when enrolling in the program.

"People who can identify the 'whys' typically have the most success," Lautzenheiser said. "When clients have a solid plan and are committed, they normally achieve their goals."

"Seeing clients hit their goals, refuels me and gets me excited about the purpose of my job," she added.

To reduce the stress of setting new year's resolutions, Lautzenheiser recommends people take small steps in order to achieve their goals.

Meleena Littlejohn, health educator at the Army Wellness Center, explained that another focus of the center is behavior change and the daily habits that will impact health.

"If we can't change their behaviors, they will not be able to reach their goals," Littlejohn said.

Different clients have a variety of goals they wish to achieve such as; losing weight, gaining lean muscle mass, becoming a runner, or even becoming a body builder. However, it is important to achieve these goals using steps.

"At each appointment, we sit down with them and create small goals within a time line. If they come back in 30 days and have reached those goals, we create more," Littlejohn explained.

"Eventually it will become a lifestyle for them," she said.

Those welcome to come to the wellness center to achieve a healthier lifestyle include; active-duty personnel, retirees and dependents.

Capt. Greg Shaneman, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Engineer Brigade commander, enrolled in the Army Wellness Center program last October to become more self-aware of his health with the drive to improve.

"The Army Wellness Center provides an excellent opportunity to improve yourself on several levels," Shaneman said. "I have utilized the program with my Soldiers to help them achieve goals and standards the Army has set in order to accomplish every mission."

Shaneman added that he has used several options offered by the wellness center to include; stress reduction techniques, fitness test, resting metabolism and the ultrasound.

"It has provided great feedback and I am now more aware about my health as a whole," Shaneman said.

"The Army Wellness Center is a wonderful tool for units or anyone to use to help them achieve their health goals and it also provides a great deal of self-awareness," Shaneman added.

For those who have a goal for improved health as a new year's resolution, the Army Wellness Center is here to assist. The center can assist clients in creating goals and guiding them on their own mission to successfully enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with the Army Wellness Center, located at 199 East 4th Street, Building 2081, call 573.329.1900. The center is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FLWAWC.