With the New Year, you’re probably making a resolution to lose weight. Maybe it’s the first year you make this resolution. Or maybe you’re like many and have made this resolution many years.

Most likely, you begin the year with great intentions and strong motivation. And then, it fades. Mainly because life happens. It becomes harder to fit in an hour of exercise.

There are many gadgets to buy, apps to download, and discounted memberships. You’ve tried it all but to no avail.

So what do you do?

Here are three steps to achieve your New Year’s resolution to lose weight:

1- When developing your exercise plan don’t overcommit. Create a plan that fits your lifestyle. If your schedule doesn’t permit an hour of exercise daily, then begin with 15 minutes. Alternate daily between a brisk walk and strength training exercises. The more time you put into exercising, the quicker you’ll see results.

2- Monitor your food consumption. There are apps to track this information, but it may be easier to just take a photo. Use your smartphone to photograph everything you eat. At the end of the day, you can easily estimate how much calories, sugar, and sodium you consumed. You may be surprised at the amount of food you consume daily. By monitoring your food consumption, you’ll be motivated to eat healthier.

3- Increase the amount of water you drink. Yes initially, you’ll need to go to the bathroom more often. But eventually, your body will adjust. If you have to add a flavor, choose fruits or vegetables instead of powder products. Most powder products are not natural. Use a water bottle to monitor how much you drink.

By doing these three things you’ll be on your way to long term benefits. It’s not easy to stay consistent, but if you begin in small steps you’ll stay on track. It’s important to stay healthy to keep your healthcare expenses low.

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Niv PersaudNiv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”