By Ashley Sica Special to The Pineapple When it comes to fitness, many people find it very difficult to maintain an exercise program. Most people begin strong, but soon after they quit their exercise routine completely. Hectic schedules, boredom and not having a fitness plan are usually the most common culprits. Below are some tools to help you plan and stay on your best fitness track. Having a fitness schedule is a must. “Do I have a fitness schedule? One of the challenges of not having a fitness schedule is having nothing to make you accountable and little to work toward other than a desire to be in better shape. Having a fitness schedule is a must. Decide what times and days work for you and put your allotted time into your daily planner just as you would a work meeting, a hair appointment, and so on. Make the time, hold yourself accountable, and get to the gym. A one-hour workout is 4% of your day! Next on the list is setting goals. This is one of the most important components when putting together a fitness plan. Having a specific goal will allow you to keep your eye on the prize and give you extra motivation to exercise. It’s a lot easier to make it to the finish line if you have an attainable goal in sight. Whatever this may be, write it down and put it somewhere where you will be reminded of it everyday. Committing your goal to paper and seeing the written words are more powerful than simply thinking or talking about it. The next step is deciding your fitness timeline. Whether it is 2 weeks or 2 months, having a fitness timeline will further help you to be accountable. For example, “I would like to lose 2 pounds in the next two weeks or in 2 months I would like to increase my aerobic capacity and drop a pant size.” Be specific about your timeline and try your best not to deviate from it. Last but not least, you need an action plan. Before you get to the gym you NEED to have a specific game plan of what you will be working on that day. A lot of people waste their time meandering around the gym wondering what they should do next. Decide ahead of time the specific body parts and exercises you will be working on, down to the details of sets and number of repetitions. Having an action plan will keep you focused and your time in the gym will be efficient and effective. If this all seems complicated, or if you feel like you need some guidance in getting your fitness plan started, you should enlist the help of a fitness professional. With the right guidance and tools you’ll be on your way to a healthier and fitter you! Ashley Sica holds a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science and is a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer. She can be reached at 561-274-7477 and at firstname.lastname@example.org, 111 East Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33483, www.mintfit.com.