Many of us have been there, watching the ball drop in anticipation of what the upcoming year might bring. Maybe our thoughts are fueled by liquid inspiration and we’re telling ourselves “This is it! This is the year that I get into stellar shape!” At the time, we think we’re fully grasping the gravity of our goals and ambitions, but when it comes down to getting the job done on a repeat basis, sometimes we see how much work is necessary to achieve those long-term results and we give up. If you want to see the falloff, go to the gym on January 2nd and count the number of gym-going patrons. Then, return on February 1st and count again. Note the difference. Anyway, here are some tips to help you remain committed to your goals.

1. Plan Your Workout

Problem number one for most individuals attempting to get back into shape involves and overall lack of planning. If you go to the gym without a game-plan, it’s easy to get lost in the mix of machines. You need direction and an effective strategy if you want to achieve results in the fastest time possible. Plan your workouts a week in advance. This might mean sitting down on Sunday evening and mapping out your entire week. If you’re experiencing trouble with the planning, get online and lookup workout plans and exercises. A simple Google search will provide you with a virtually endless list of workouts.

If you don’t want to do the planning, consider joining a team of sorts. Many Crossfit gyms offer classes with planned workouts. Either way, stick with it as best you can. There is the unwritten rule of thumb that says if you practice something 20 days in a row it becomes a habit.

2. Practice HIIT in the AM

If you want to shed weight, you need to train your cardiovascular system. The best way to do this is via high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is so efficient, recent studies indicate that a mere 15 minutes of HIIT does more for your aerobic capacity than an hour running on a treadmill. Furthermore, the American College of Sports Medicine suggested that, if practiced properly, HIIT can improve your aerobic capacity to that of 6-8 weeks of pure endurance training.

Practicing HIIT in the morning on an empty stomach will force your body to use fat stores from your most recent meal. Plus, the workout will kickstart your metabolism and allow you to burn more calories throughout the day.

3. Hydrate Your Cells

Even if you aren’t involved in an extensive workout plan, it’s always important to stay hydrated. A healthy practice anyone can take advantage of involves taking their body weight, dividing it by 2 and then consuming that number in ounces of water each day. Also, you should run a water loss test before beginning a workout program. This test should be completed in the morning immediately after waking:

  • Strip down
  • Weigh yourself
  • Don’t drink or consume anything
  • Workout for precisely 30 minutes (a workout that will get you sweating)
  • Strip down
  • Weigh yourself

This will give you an idea about how much water you lose every half hour during an intense workout. This number will fluctuate if you’re in warmer temperatures or working out harder. Regardless, you need to be prepared to rehydrate with the appropriate amount of fluids after a workout.

Although consuming coffee or a healthy energy drink, like Verve energy drink by Vemma, can give you a wonderful boost of energy, they do act as a diuretic and should be consumed with a large glass of water. The founder of Vemma, BK Boreyko, produces a line of healthy liquid supplements.

4. Workout With A Partner

Unless you’re a completely intrinsically motivated individual, it can be difficult to motivate and push yourself to a level that will produce the best results in the fastest amount of time. Did you ever play and individual sport in your youth or play on a team where slots were competitive? Maybe it was for that starting spot on the varsity men’s basketball team. Maybe it was the anchor leg of the 400 M relay race on the track team. Whatever it was, you trained with those people and knew that you needed to compete against them to earn a top spot. Competition is good if it’s used productively to make either person better at the end of the day. As a tip, don’t pick someone who is going to go easy on you or let you quit without a fight.