If you’re someone like me who exercises, you probably become annoyed during the month of January as the gym fills up with the multitudes of people who have made a resolution to lose weight and/or get fit in the new year. My annoyance is always short lived as the numbers of new faces dwindle over the next several weeks.

Several years ago I made the resolution NOT to become annoyed, and instead find the humor in the whole situation. I joked with other members in year round attendance. We would make bets on who would last past the month of January. Some of the bets were easy as I had seen these faces in the prior January or I observed a lack of energy behind their workout efforts. Then on occasion there was someone who was able to create a habit of coming in and exercising.

What was it that made these people different? I believe that there were several things

First, they clearly identified all the benefits of reaching their goal and they developed a reward system to celebrate the small successes as well as the large ones.

They set a specific goal that could be measured with a deadline, such as weigh 150 lbs by May 30th and then created incremental goals to keep them on track. I will lose 1 lb each week.

They found someone who they respected and counted on to report back their progress to on a weekly basis.  This person was someone who could support them in their long term goal. They weren’t alone.

They didn’t keep their goal a secret and announced it to many of their friends.  Peer pressure can be a huge motivator!

So if you have a New Year’s resolution for 2010, use these simple steps to increase your effectiveness in keeping your resolution!

Image Credit: The Stock Exchange (www.sxc.hu) User: jayofboy