The end of January is fast approaching. The time when all those good intentions of a New Year’s Resolution are sorely tested.Apart from stopping smoking, one of the most made resolutions is to finally get back in shape. You know, you bought the treadmill, the fit-cycle, the Nintendo Wii or the gym membership together with those £100 trainers and kit to match but their novelty is fast wearing off.

This is now the time of year though when the exercise machines and trainers start gathering dust in many households. The Wii Fit finds itself moving further and further back in the cupboard. Suddenly the true cost of that gym membership you so quickly signed up to dawns on you and you curse the 12 month contract you have signed up to.

Suddenly leaving the office on time to make the gym becomes harder, just one more spreadsheet revision, oh look I haven’t got time to go now.

But why? Remind yourself of the reason you spent that money in the first place. Was it because you caught sight of yourself in the full length mirror and did not like what you saw? Was it because you suddenly realised you could no longer keep up with the kids? Maybe you can no longer bend over properly to tie your shoe laces. Or is it because you no longer get that second lingering glance from a member of the opposite (or perhaps the same) sex? Or maybe you’d like to start getting them?

Like puppies, fitness isn’t just for Christmas. Fitness, like being good at your job or being a good partner, takes time and effort to achieve. And anyone who tells you different is lying to you. Sure, some people seem to enjoy it more or get better and faster results. But remember, we’re all different.

Only a very small majority of even the most dedicated gym goers will end up with a Bechham six-pack or a Naomi Campbell figure. But what you will get with a regular exercise routine and a sensible diet is a stronger body, looser joints and more energy. You will have a brightness in the eye that attracts attention as well as maybe having to spend a bit of money on clothes one size smaller. You will also exude a more confident persona, something that the opposite sex does appreciate.

Now that you have spent the money on the fitness regime of your choice don’t throw away the chance to improve yourself. You need to spend the time and, more importantly, the effort on making it work for you. You obviously had a need when you initially spent the money, re-connect with that need. Re-discover why you decided you wanted to change.

Now write that reason down and then, next to it, write down the alternatives. Example: “Look better, feel better, be healthier” against “stay feeling and looking like I do now, feel ashamed when I get to the beach, sitting in front of a computer is more important than being healthier”.

At the end of the day it’s your choice, all I’m saying is give yourself a chance. If in the end you elect to forego a healthier lifestyle then you must accept the results and please don’t look back with the question “what if ………. ?” on your lips.

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