Setting fitness goals at the start of the new year is almost a cliche at this point. But the reality is that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Making a commitment to stay healthy throughout the new year is a great idea — making that goal a reality all year requires some follow through and preparation. Here are some tips to help your fitness goals stick in 2019.

Image via Dick’sSporting Goods Marathon

Register for a Race

Commit and take the plunge. Whether you’ve been thinking about a couch to 5K or an 18-week plan for your first full marathon, signing up for a race is a great way to motivate yourself to consistently work out. Training is the most important part of running any race. Pittsburgh race weekend is May 3-5, 2019, giving you several months to start training. One plus is if you live in the city, you’re more familiar with the race routes and terrain.

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Start a Workout Group

Make fitness goals with friends. It’s been proven that working out with others makes it more likely that you’ll continue to work out. Reach out to a few friends and start a workout program together or register for a gym membership together.

Image via Steel City Road Runners

…Or Join a Local Group

You can also join an established workout group. Steel City Roadrunners is a great organization that has several training runs every week. Try out a few runs with them. You can pay to be a member for some special perks, but you don’t have to be a member to join the weekly runs.

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Discover Something New and Different

There may be a new type of workout that you love, you just haven’t tried it yet. Get a taste for different workout classes in your area with a service like ClassPass. Pay a monthly fee for credits that you can then redeem at a number of different classes. Want to try ballet? Rock climbing? Water yoga? Redeem your credits to find a new workout style.

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Check Out a New Gym

Pittsburgh has a lot of different gyms around the area. Whether it’s your typical cardio and weights or something more specialized, most gyms run great specials in December and January. Having a gym is a good resource if you’re serious about fitness. Keep in mind convenience too. If your gym is close to your home or work, you’ll probably make it there more often.

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Set Realistic New Year’s Goals

New Year’s resolutions — eye-roll, we know. Most people forget them entirely by the second week of January. But goal setting is really powerful if done correctly. Set SMART goals for the year: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. If you want to reach a certain weight, PR on your next race, or hold that yoga pose, set a goal and outline the steps you need to take to reach it.

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Get a Fitness Tracker

Keep your health top of mind with a fitness tracker. When they first came on the market, these were fairly pricey. But now you can grab a cheap one from Amazon to get started. If you’re serious about training, consider investing in a top-of-the-line GPS tracker. Fitness trackers are great because you track your day-to-day progress, but you can also see long-term trends. Create challenges with friends to keep each other motivated (working out is better together, remember?).

If you’re not wanting to spend any money, some smartphones come equipped with a step counter. You can also find free fitness apps online.

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Cleanse Your Kitchen After the Holidays  

Between Christmas parties and neighbor gifts, it’s easy to accumulate all sorts of holiday treats in December. If you’re hoping to make healthy choices in the New Year, consider getting rid of tempting treats. If they’re not there, you won’t be tempted.

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Invest in the Right Equipment

That can mean clothing, shoes or actual equipment. These items are practical but can also motivate you. (Better get to the gym to break in your new shoes.) Get some new workout clothes with your Christmas money or grab a few things for yourself while holiday shopping.

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
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