As February comes to an end, there are many people who have already fallen off the wagon. They start the year with a positive attitude and every intention to turn things around. What started out with promise now takes a back seat to everything else. Why is it that year after year these same people find the motivation to get the wheels in motion to begin an exercise program but fail to follow through?

If you happen to be someone who constantly talks about your "old" self and the great shape you used to be in, here are a few ideas you can implement into your routine to stay on track.

Make several short-term goals that will ultimately get you to your long-term goal

By setting attainable small goals that can be met within two weeks, you will set yourself up for success in the long run. If your goal is to lose 20 lbs, but you don't have any short-term goals that relate to your long-term goals, you have a high likelihood of failing.

Set deadlines and stick to them

In conjunction with making a list of goals, set definitive deadlines as to when you want to reach these goals. By leaving an open end date, there is a good chance you will find yourself pushing that date further and further back while seemingly never getting any closer.

Find a partner

If hiring a qualified trainer isn't practical for you, finding a like-minded individual with similar goals will make your life easier. By having someone with you along the way, reaching your goals will not seem as difficult. That being said, a qualified trainer will not let you off the hook whereas a partner who happens to be a friend may be more lax when it comes to skipping a workout.

Think about the alternative

Maybe exercise and healthy eating just doesn't seem to fit in with your everyday life at the moment. Just keep this in mind; your body doesn't improve with age. Unless you are actively keeping your cardiovascular system in shape and challenging your musculoskeletal system on a daily basis, nothing good is happening. Countless medical conditions can be traced back to lack of exercise and poor nutrition. If you think a doctor is going to be able to help you overcome these preventable problems, you are only half right. Without doing your part, all the cutting edge medical treatments available today aren't going to get you where you want to be.

The easiest part of any new routine is taking that first step. The hardest part is doing the work, day in and day out, and staying consistent for not only a few months but a few years. With a solid plan in place, the odds are in your favor that you will achieve every goal you set.

Yours in health,

Keith Pacific