By Andrea K. Walker
2:10 PM EST, January 2, 2013
It's a new year and once again some of you have made the ubiquitious goal to get in shape and lose weight.
Most of you will fail.
By the end of the month the crowds at the gym will thin out and all that will be left are the die- hard exercisers.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to stick it out. You might be one of the ones that makes exercise a regular part of your life.
Here are some tips to making an exercise plan work taken from various health and fitness websites.
1. Have realistic expectations - Don't try to get back to the size you were in high school, says sparkpeople.com. You'll only set yourself up for disappointment. Pick a realistic goal that you can actually meet.
2. Make it personal - Pick an activity that you enjoy doing or exercise will seem like a chore, say experts at Harvard Medical School. If you hate running, don't torture yourself by trying to do it everyday. There are enough activities out there to choose something that you look forward to doing.
3. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic suggest starting with simple goals and making the workout harder as you get stronger and more fit. It's easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious, they said. A short-term goal might be to walk five minutes once or twice a day, according to the medical institution. An intermediate goal might be to walk 20 minutes three or four times a week. A long-term goal might be to complete a 5K walk.
4. Use the buddy system, says WebMD. If you have a workout partner depending on you, you're less likely to skip exercising. You can also get the family involved. Instead, of going to the movies take the family on a bike ride or hike.
5. Don't be too hard on yourself - If you do fall of the wagon, don't feel too bad. Even prolific exercisers have bad weeks. Just make sure you get back at it eventually.
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