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Getting fit and sticking with it

Saturday - 1/5/2013, 8:52am  ET

WASHINGTON - This is the time of year when gyms and rec centers are packed with folks vowing to get fit.

Many won't stick with their goals. However, if you start with a plan, chances are, you can make those fitness dreams come true.

According to personal trainer Fairfax Hackley, 68 percent of people who start out with fitness goals in the new year quit in the first three weeks. He says the biggest mistake of those who don't make it is not having a workable plan or strategy.

Hackley says you should start out by setting clear, reachable goals and then to build up to your desired level of fitness one step at a time.

"If you try to run a marathon, remember, by an inch it's a cinch, by the yard it is hard, but the mile takes a while," he says.

Hackley also advises not to be shy about asking for the advice you need from a doctor, a trainer or even a friend.

"Talk to people who have been there and have experienced what you are trying to accomplish," he says.

It's also important to keep in mind that getting fit is not for someone else, but for yourself.

"If you don't enjoy what you are doing, you are less likely to do it," says Hackley.

WTOP's Paula Wolfson contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)