It’s the end of January. By now, you should be over your holiday hangover and back into the swing of things. And if we know you, you’ve been busy planning all the ways you’re going to make 2017 your best year ever. But whether your goals are related to your fitness level, your physique, or your overall well-being, chances are you won’t succeed without a plan. So before you set out to drop a dress size or become a better runner, take this advice from holistic nutritionist and medical exercise specialist Jenn Pike, for smashing those resolutions.

1. Clearly define your goal. Goals that sound something like “I want to be healthy” or “I want to lose weight” are too vague to yield any solid motivation to get started, let alone hit your goals this year. The best goals—and ones that are more likely to be achieved—are those that are clearly defined and thought out. Ask yourself: Why do you want to be healthy? What does “healthy” mean to you? How much time can you commit to exercising and preparing healthy meals? What could get in your way? Once you create more clarity around your goals, you’ll be able to better define them, and stay more focused when you set out to achieve them.

2. Make appointments with YOU. How many times have you said you are going to the gym and then something (or someone) else comes up, pushing it further down your list until it’s too late? If you are serious about making changes to your health, you must prioritize time to do the work required to do so. Schedule your workouts in your calendar at a time that works for your schedule and make it non-negotiable. It should be the most important appointment in your day.

3. Write it down. Write your goals on sticky notes, then walk around your house and stick those beauties up wherever you know you will need the reminder: in your wallet, on your computer monitor, and in the pantry (next to your favorite potato chips). One of my best tricks is to use washable markers and write out key words that remind me of my core desired feelings and goals on the bathroom mirror. Right now my mirror reads, “Simplicity. Joy. Passion. Authenticity.” Oh, and “Build more muscle,” of course.

4. Tell the world. Nothing keeps us on track like accountability. If you haven’t already, tell your friends and family what you’re up to, especially if it includes major lifestyle changes. Not only will it keep you accountable, but it will give you a cheering squad to support you through those tough times. If it’s within your means, hire a coach or trainer who checks in often and will assess your progress to keep you on point.

5. Build your toolbox. Having the right tools and resources to stay motivated could make or break your progress. These could include keeping your gym clothes in your car, having a few playlists of your favorite fitness jams, or setting motivational mantras to pop up on your phone every few hours. My must-haves for my toolbox are Danielle Laporte’s book The Desire Map, a three-ring spiral notebook that I use as my training journal, and the latest edition of STRONG Fitness Magazine for fresh training ideas and fit tips.

6. Stay Centered. Remember why you started. We tend to get lost in life’s chaos and the never-ending chore lists. Slow down, take a deep breath, say “Ommm”, smile and then pull up your Lulu’s, put your runners on and hit the gym!

Jenn Pike is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bestselling author of The Simplicity Project:
A Simple, No-Nonsense Approach To Losing Weight & Changing Your Body Forever!

Jenn Pike
Jenn Pike is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bestselling author of The Simplicity Project: A Simple, No-Nonsense Approach To Losing Weight & Changing Your Body Forever! Follow her on Twitter: @simplicityjenn | Instagram: @jennpike