We are now a week into 2016 and one of the most popular new years resolutions is to get into shape.

Starting something new, especially something that is as daunting as trying to lose fat and getting healthier can be a challenge.

Here are a few tips to help you push past the first week struggles.

Write down your goals and place them somewhere you can see them all the time

It is easy to get distracted from day to day activities and trying to remember your goal can sometimes be difficult. Writing it down someplace where you can see it can help put your goal in the back of your mind. Another great benefit to writing down your goals is that now you have it on paper, you’ve started the commitment. Thinking about it is half the battle. Once it is on paper, you have committed yourself that much more.

Choose 1 or 2 things to change at the beginning.

Why so many new years resolutions fail is because people go all out right away, and this doesn’t give you time to adjust, hence you burn out. Much like a marathon, you start slow and pace yourself, then you can gradually start upping the restrictions, going at your own pace. When diets fail, it is because people, for example, start saying, “I will cut out sugar, carbs, fast food, go to the gym 7 days a week, and read more fitness books“. These goals are unrealistic and unachievable – it’s too many, too soon. Start with small changes like cutting down your daily Starbucks drink to every other day, changing one part of your breakfast (or start eating breakfast) or going on daily walks. By changing one thing at a time, you are setting yourself up for success, which in turn will give you motivation to do more.

It is ok to fall down, but make sure you get back up.

We are all human with real life problems. We look up to and idolize fitness models and their bodies. However, is it important to remember that most are getting paid to look like that for photo shoots/videos. They spend a lot of time in the gym, have a team of nutritionists, supplements and the best coaches. That is their bread and butter. Living in the real word with kids, jobs, and other obligations can make us feel so overwhelmed that sometimes causes us to fall off the wagon. That is okay. One’s true character will show when overcoming obstacles. Resilience is key. Perseverance is the goal. Getting healthier isn’t for the short term, it is for the long haul and obstacles will and do happen. Do you remember the first time you tried to learn to ride a bike, or ice skate? I do, and I had fallen so many times, I even have marks to prove it. But, you get back up on those skates, or your bike and you try and try again until you don’t fall down. Success doesn’t come easy, and when it does through perseverance and hard work, it is the most satisfying feeling.

Have a support team.

One of the most important aspects of changing your life (doesn’t matter if it is fitness related or not) is to have a good support team around you, people who genuinely want you to improve your life- people who will be brutally honest and tell you things you may not want to hear. There are many different support systems out there such as, friends, family, spouse, using internet forums such as, Bodybuilding.com, reddit.com (their fitness forums have many sub forums like bodybuilding, lean gains, fitness, bodyweight exercises and fat loss) or you can always contact a specialist such as a certified dietician or a personal trainer. Your support team can help you through periods of self-doubt, and offer advice or information either through personal experience or professional knowledge.

Change is sometimes hard and that is okay. Remember, you are doing this for you and only you. I hope this blog has helped you. Please leave a comment and as always share this.