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Tips for sticking to New Year’s workout resolutions

Karen Jackson kept with her New Year's resolution for five years. Matt Myers / Global News

REGINA – Every year, getting in shape is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. It’s also one of the most easy to fail at, according to gyms.

Karen Jackson started working out five years ago for a resolution.

“That’s always my goal, to get into some kind of shape before we go on our winter vacation,” she said.

She’s a rarity; at many gyms, attendance goes way up in January, then levels back down in the following months.

She credits her continued commitment because of having a trainer.

Her trainer, Graeme Mills agrees. He says that being accountable to someone, such as a workout buddy, helps to maintain a routine: “Just having someone else that you know – if you miss your workout or you screw up on your diet or something like that that they’ll be there to help you back on track.”

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That accountability works for Jackson.

“My family always says, ‘You can probably do this at home; you can probably go to the gym and do this on your own, but I think that’s where the personal training [is needed] – you’re scheduled into a time and you just got to go do it,” she said.

Mills, a personal trainer for four years, says the lust for instant gratification is a major reason why people fall through on their resolutions.

“It is great to see results quick, and there are things you can do to see quick results,” said Mills. “Ultimately, you want to make a lifestyle change and that’s going to take a bit of time, a little bit of effort, a little bit of sweat.”

He also recommends sticking to a specific and manageable goal, such as losing a certain amount of weight and/or lowering the percentage of body fat.