I personally don't believe in resolutions. Perhaps it is because I manage to break them before the first day of the year is over! But this is the time of year when the gyms swell with new clients eager to drop those holiday pounds. As we've all experienced, though, it won't last long. Within a month or two, most of those newcomers will have lost their resolve. Whether it's one day or a month, most New Year's resolutions fail.

This is why I teach my clients to set intentions and then back them up with action steps that are teamed up with rewards all along the way. As the memories of the overindulgent holiday season fade, so does the incentive to keep up the workout plan, which is where you come in.

Here are my top tips for getting your clients to stick to their plan. These definitely require a coach to keep the accountability factor in place (my number-one tip for success, hands down). I have written these in the first person so you can copy them and give then to your clients and then ensure that they follow through with them. These are the same techniques I use with my clients and on my reality series, Freaky Eaters. They work!

1. Figure out your inspired why: Why do you want to lose the weight, why now, what will it do for you. Then set your specific goals of what this looks like (i.e., how much weight, body fat, etc.).

2. Get a clear picture: Take a picture of your favorite body and put your head on top and post it everywhere. "Seeing it" will help you believe it and you must believe you can do it in order to have success.

3. You can improve what you can measure: Get out the scale and tape measure and track your progress -- weight, body fat, hips and waist measurements. This must be tracked weekly.

4. Write it down: Journal your food intake daily. Better yet, take a photo of your meals and post them on a public site or send them to your coach/trainer.

5. Build in NON FOOD rewards along the way to celebrate your "wins." This works doubly well as it teaches you to find replacements for activities where food was the focal point. Nature hates a vacuum so be sure to figure out what you will use for enjoyment in place of food.

Good luck in the new year, to you and your clients!

JJ Virgin, CNS, CHFI, is a speaker, author and media personality specializing in overcoming weightloss resistance. She is the president of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, co-star of TLC's new reality series, Freaky Eaters and runs a busy virtual wellness website, www.jjvirgin.com.


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