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A brand new year approaches. There is no better way to kick off 2018 than to make getting more fit your New Year’s resolution.

Statistics show that 41 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. However, fifty-five percent of these people quit during the first six months. These numbers suggest your resolution is highly likely to fail. But here are a few practical strategies to ensure you succeed:

Join Supportive Groups

Interacting with like-minded people can positively influence your behavior. Join a fitness group. Consider signing up for a class on fitness. Join a running or walking club in your area. Or even hire yourself a professional trainer. A group creates an environment where you are accountable to others. You may not want to fail others; you are highly likely to be successful.

Set Goals

Goals can keep you focused. Consider signing up for an event such as a marathon, a triathlon or a dancing competition. The idea is to register for a goal that pushes you out of your comfort zone. With goals, the chances are that you will stick with your fitness program.

Have Fun

Fun is not something most people associate with a fitness program. But a 2016 study published in Germany revealed that individuals were more likely to stick with their fitness programs if they were enjoying themselves. If your current program does not bring a smile on your face, consider looking for a different one.

Do Not Ignore Aches and Pains

Effective exercise usually results in some discomfort. You can expect “normal” body aches and pains after getting started on your exercise regimen. Consider visiting your doctor if the pain feels like too much.

Do Not Give Up

You are probably never going to win an Olympic medal. You want to get more fit. There may be times you feel like quitting but just keep moving. Get out of the house when you would rather not. Hit the track when it is cold. Run even when you are feeling tired. It is about your health; it is about your life.

None of the successful athletes you know would have become a winner without determination. To succeed in your New Year resolution, you need to set goals and follow through. Working with like-minded people can help you stay focused. Do what you enjoy. You may experience pains and aches at the beginning, but in case they are excessive have your doctor examine you. Whatever happens, keep moving.