Every year, many of us make promises to ourselves to get in shape, lose weight and improve our health.  We all have good intentions, but sometimes we just can’t seem to stick to those plans. Well this time, it’ll be different because you’ll know the secrets to a successful start and easy ways to stick with it.

Follow these steps to get back on track. They’ll work whether you used to exercise regularly and want to re-start, or if you’re a novice who wants to revive your resolution from Januarys past.

1. Set realistic goals.

The biggest mistake people make is that they set goals that are virtually impossible to reach.  I know you want to see results as fast as possible, but please be patient.  Small changes over time add up to dramatic results.

If you simply start walking three or four times per week, for as little as 15 minutes, you will (a) feel better, (b) decrease your risk of heart disease, and (c) burn more calories than you will by sitting.

2. Evaluate your body.

Our bodies grow a little older each year.  Joints may get a little stiffer, and we may develop aches and pains we never used to have.  Do an honest evaluation of how your body feels right now.

Are you experiencing any pain or tightness in certain areas?  Do certain movements or activities increase your pain?  If so, consider these issues when choosing the types of exercise that will be best for you. For example, if you have knee pain, then maybe go for cycling or swimming, not running.

3. Adopt a new routine.

Go crazy and try something you’ve never done before or something you’ve always wanted to do.  Go for it, whether it’s a Zumba class, working with a personal trainer, or taking tap-dancing lessons!

The first time you try anything new, it will feel awkward (remember the first time you rode a bike?) so please be patient.   After eight to ten sessions, you just may be hooked.

4. Schedule it.

Treat every exercise session just like you would a doctor’s appointment:  put it in your calendar and don’t miss it unless you absolutely have to.

5. Be Zen.

Incorporate some form of mind-body exercise into your weekly routine. Why? Because it can lift your spirits, improve your attitude at home and at work (even if you already have a good attitude!), and help you adopt a more patient approach to your other exercise.

In as little as three to five minutes before you leave for work, you can do some deep breathing exercises to help relax you and set a positive tone for your day.  To take it to the next level, try experimenting with yoga, Pilates or meditation; see what you like and what works best for you.


There will always be days when you don’t feel up to the gym, a walk, or even your favorite exercise video.  You need to determine whether it’s because your body is tired or because you’re simply not motivated.  When you tune into the difference, it will dramatically impact your overall progress.

When your body is tired, you need to rest.  But when you’re not motivated because you’re having a bad day, exercise is the best thing you can do for yourself.

So now’s the time to get moving and start feeling really good again.  Follow these simple guidelines and make exercise a part of your life…forever.

Get Fit & Smile,



Originally Published in the GO! Newsletter (GlobalFit)