2016 is here and that means you might have gathered together another list of New Year’s resolutions. No matter how large or small your resolution, achieving your goals can all too easily become a daunting challenge. Instead of giving up hope or changing your New Year’s resolutions in the face of challenges, you should remember the infamous words of Vince Lombardi, “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”

A Month-by-Month Guide To Achieving New Year’s Resolutions
Instead of focusing on the large resolution, the following month-by-month guide will help you to achieve your goal through a set of smaller accomplishments. To help give this guide perspective, and make it applicable to your life, we’ve chosen to focus it on the goal of “Getting In Shape.”

January — Create A Game Plan
Before you can achieve any New Year’s resolution you must first have a game plan; so get your pen ready and pull out a physical calendar. If your goal is to “get in shape” then you need to define what this means to you. Is it losing 5, 10, or 20+ pounds? Is it being able to run a mile in under 8 minutes? Once you have decided what “getting in shape” means to you, you can work backwards to reach your goal. Each month should be focused on a smaller step that puts you closer to the final goal.

February — Focus On Healthier Eating Patterns
Getting in shape will require a change to your eating patterns. Instead of immediately eliminating carbs or switching to a vegan diet, in February you should focus on making small changes to your eating patterns. Focus on adding the right proteins, vegetables, and fruits to your diet. Small dietary changes won’t leave you with terrible cravings or make you over indulge on your “cheat day.”

March — Begin A Workout Regime That Is Both Creative And Innovative And Starts With Cardio
With an entire month of healthy eating under your belt, March is the time of the year when you should begin your workout regime. Focus on creating a workout regime that is both creative and innovative. In other words, don’t say “I’ll run on the treadmill five times per week.” This is not only a boring workout regime, but it doesn’t give you the motivation you need to keep going to the gym. An innovative alternative is to say “I’ll explore a new neighborhood each week during my morning run.”

April — Add Muscle Training To Your Workout Program
In March you focused on getting your cardio levels back-up. April is the month that you should begin focusing on building your muscle. By adding to your workout routine you can keep things fun, while still working slowly towards your goal of “getting in shape.” Be sure to work with a trainer to ensure that you are lifting weights correctly and focusing on the correct muscle groups.

May — Try A New Sport To Create A Holistic Workout
After two months of working out like fiend, you might find yourself a little unmotivated to head to the gym or outdoors for your morning run. If this is the case, then May is the time to try a new sport. Whether you want to don a swimming cap and try your hand at water polo, or are interested in taking out some aggression on the soccer field, trying a new sport is a great way to stay active, while simultaneously pushing yourself closer to your New Year’s resolution of “getting in shape.”

June — Evaluate Your Results To Regain Motivation
In June you are half way through the year, which means it is time to evaluate your results. Take a close look at your new healthy eating patterns, weight loss achievements, and new muscle tone. Focus on the positives, while also identifying any areas of weakness. If your healthy eating has gone by the way-side, focus on the small steps you need to put things back on track. Remember that June is also a time to reevaluate your mental motivation; make sure that you are mentally ready to tackle the next six months of getting in shape!

July — Test Your Fitness Levels In A Competition
A little competition is healthy when you are trying to reach new fitness goals. Enter a competition to see how your new physique compares to your peers. A race, a mini-triathlon, or a tough mudder; no matter what type of competition you choose, make sure that it is something fun and high-energy.

August — Go Shopping For New Clothes
If you have stuck to your small monthly goals, then in August it might be time to go shopping for new clothes. By this point in the year your body shape will have changed, and you might have dropped a size or two.

September — Increase The Intensity Of Your Workout
With the fall season approaching don’t let yourself become too lax. Instead, you should focus on creating a more intense workout. Push yourself (but not too hard, you don’t want an injury) to reach a new fitness level.

October — Join A Workout Group
With a month of intense working out under your belt, it is time to regain a bit of fun in reaching your fitness goals. A workout group is a great way to try new workout methods and become motivated by your peers. At this point in the year you will have reached a new level of physique that hopefully makes you the leader (and motivator) of the workout group.

November — Adjust Your Eating Habits To Enjoy The Holidays While Still Meeting Dietary Goals
The holidays are approaching, which means it is time for you to adjust your healthy eating habits. Remember that you don’t want to make your diet so restrictive that you are “missing out.” Instead, you should plan on a healthy balance that allows you to enjoy a slice or two of pumpkin pie.

December — Weigh-In And Look Back On Your Fitness-Inspired Year
Congratulations, you did it! If you stuck with your New Year’s resolution, December is the time to look back and take note of the highs and lows of your fitness-inspired year. Be sure to keep things in perspective and remain positive about all that you achieved during the year.

Whether you reached your goal, fell short, or surpassed it, by creating a month-to-month guide you will have given yourself the tools needed to meet your next New Year’s resolution!