Do you want to make 2013 the year that you get in the best shape of your life? If you answered YES then follow these 10 steps:

1. WHAT is your goal?  Picture it in your mind. Is it losing weight, feeling better about yourself or lowering cholesterol levels? Your goal is your target.

2. WHY do you want to achieve this goal? To be more confident or to prove to yourself that you can do it?  Imagine what it feels like. This is what’s going to motivate you every day.

3. WHEN is your goal going to be realized? This spring? A year from now?  Give yourself a date and now you have something to aim for.

4. WHAT do you bring to the table? Take a personal inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. Under strengths, maybe you can include “a willingness to learn”. Under weaknesses, maybe it’s a “fear of the unknown”. Now what do you do with that? Improve your skills and turn your weaknesses into a strength.

5. HOW much are you willing to invest?  This has to do with time, money and knowledge.  It takes time to exercise or read a book on nutrition.  It takes money to buy new athletic shoes or hire a personal trainer.  In my opinion, the most important investment is knowledge. Take the time to learn about yourself.

6. WHO can help you? Identify resources (people, books, apps, or websites) to help you succeed.

7. Anticipate SETBACKS. Realize that things don’t always go as planned. What’s the solution? Be flexible and understand that you will need to overcome obstacles in order to achieve your goal. It comes with the territory.

8. Take LITTLE STEPS. Let’s say your goal is to complete a 5k walk/run in mid-April. What are you doing right now to move towards your goal? Look at the calendar and see how many weeks until the race. In this example, about fourteen weeks. Next create a plan of action for every week, progressively increasing the distance and/or shortening the time. In week 1, maybe you’re walking 1/3 mile. In week 2, you walk 1/2 a mile. And so on. By the time you are at thirteen weeks you’ve done it!

9. DECIDE to do #8. This is about making daily decisions. Every day decide that you can achieve your goals and that you deserve it.

10. HAVE FUN! Getting in shape doesn’t need to be a big production.  Enjoy the journey!

Need some inspiration? Watch this clip from one of my favorite movies.