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Actually keep your New Year's resolution

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Take a good look at the picture. Does it fit a past resolution of yours? Many people make the New Year's resolution of getting in better shape and exercising more. They start strong, then fade once reality comes back in to play.

With the new year right around the corner, its time to find ways to make your newest resolution of getting to the gym a reality.

Goal setting is the most important goal you can do. No, going to the gym, losing weight, and getting in better shape are not goals. You need objective short and long term goals, preferably with specific dates in mind.

Great short term goals are to lose a pound a week, taking 2 minutes off your mile by the end of the month, or to increase your weights by 5 or 10 pounds by the end of the month. Having a concrete goal will help you focus on what you need to accomplish each time you enter the gym.

Long term goals can be helpful, as long as they are concrete as well. Rather than say you want to complete a 5K, sign up for one now. The money will be spent, and you will have a date set in stone. Again, this can help you stay focused, and set viable short term goals. Another great idea is to sign up for an adult sports league. This is another fun event to keep you motivated.

Another common mistake is to try to accomplish your goals alone. Let's face it, if you need to make working out a resolution, you need help. Get a friend to join with you, take classes together, or hire a trainer. Trainers will cost a bit more money, but they can help you progress quicker, and keep you safe. After three or five sessions, maybe you can move on and check in once a month for new ideas.

Lastly, be realistic about your time and energy levels. Start by going for a half hour two or three times a week. This will break you in, not leaving you too tired and sore. After a few weeks, stay for 45 minutes or add an extra day. Too much too soon is a sure way to fail.

Make this coming resolution a lasting one. You will feel great physically, have a great sense of accomplishment along with it.

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