Because so many of us fall off the fitness wagon during this time of year, we often commit ourselves to get back on track as soon as the clock strikes midnight and the new year begins. But why wait until then? The sad truth is that most people who include fitness as one of their resolutions often stop exercising shortly after beginning. In my humble (and semi-expert) opinion, I think the reason for this is because when you put off things rather than jumping right into them, your motivation and interest starts to wane.

Think about the last time you decided to do something like tackle a new hobby or read a book. You probably said to yourself that you will take that photography class just as soon as soccer season is over or you will go out and buy that book you wanted to read the next time you are near the bookstore. Odds are you probably never got to either of those things because you got caught up in other things or you simply lost the desire to do them. The same thing happens with fitness (and diet) resolutions.

Okay, so maybe during this busy time of year, going to the gym or popping in your favorite exercise DVD is not top priority, but ask yourself this—if it is not priority now, do you think it will be after New Year’s? Will that motivation, inspiration and desire for perspiration still be there when the clock strikes midnight or will there be other things that get you sidetracked? So how do we stick to our fitness resolutions? The answer—start now, before the New Year.

For those of you who are already avid exercisers but have not been able to engage in your regular routine, find some time during the day (and most of us can find at least thirty minutes worth) to engage in some sort of physical activity whether it is lifting weights, a short run, a favorite class (or a new one). Do whatever it is you enjoy doing.

For those of you who want to start an exercise program, visit your local gym now instead of waiting. Some gyms and health clubs offer passes this time of year in hopes you will join. This is a great way to get a feel for the place and beat the after-New Year’s rush of people who also want to join or are returning to the gym after a long holiday hiatus. By starting now, you will be more likely to continue exercising long after many of the others give up on their fitness resolutions. Put it this way—if you can fit in exercise during one of the most hectic times of year, then you will have no problem continuing it long after the holiday hoopla is over. You already made it a part of your schedule so once the New Year is here, you are ahead of the game.

Do not let time zap away your drive and determination to lead a healthier life. The saying, “don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today”, holds true when it comes to just about everything—including exercise.