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With New Year's right around the corner, The Times reached out to local fitness experts for advice for sticking to those resolutions. Here are some tips for keeping up with your health-related plans throughout 2018:

1. Write down goals and track your progress. This will help in planning out the steps needed to achieve the goal.

2. Increase your accountability by sharing your resolution with your friends and family.

3. Keep your resolution realistic and attainable and break it up into small goals. If the long-term goal is to lose 50 pounds, break it up into several short-term goals of 1-2 pounds per week. This will give a feeling of accomplishment and encouragement to continue.

4. Set up rewards along the way such as treating yourself to a massage after the first 6 pounds lost or a manicure/pedicure after 10 pounds lost and continue until you have met all your desired resolutions.

5. Hire a personal trainer. This will ensure that you are engaging in a safe and effective exercise routine and will increase your accountability.

6. Learn to take setbacks in stride and recommit to your goal.

Remember to set SMART goals:

7. Specific goals: Know exactly what type of goals you're looking for, write them down and have a game plan. This will help your motivation and make you look forward to your routine. Remember to be specific.

8. Measurable goals: Whether these may be measured in weight loss, increase in muscle or a lower body fat percentage, a measurable goal will help keep you focused.

9. Attainable goals: Possible goals. Aiming to drop 15 percent body fat in two weeks is not healthy. Deciding to squat 700 pounds is rather unlikely.

10. Realistic goals: These require an objective in which you are able and willing to work. A goal is realistic when you truly believe it can and will be accomplished.

11. Timely goals: Have a specific time frame for every goal. With no time frame, there is no sense of urgency. This will help keep your motivation factor high and push you toward those goals within the time allotted.

Sources: Community Hospital Fitness Pointe; Stephen Bryan, Franciscan Health Fitness Centers


Health Reporter

Giles is the health reporter for The Times, covering the business of health care as well as consumer and public health. He previously wrote about health for the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.