Most people made resolutions this time last year to lose weight or get in better shape. Unfortunately, most of those people did not fully achieve their goals.

The last few weeks of a calendar year are a great time to reflect on what you did and didn’t accomplish in the past 12 months and to plan how you’ll do a better job in the year ahead.

Most people made resolutions or set goals this time last year. Many of those goals had something to do with improving their health, such as losing weight, getting in better shape and increasing strength.

Unfortunately, most of those people did not fully achieve their goals. In fact, many of them feel like they failed. If you’re in that boat, feeling dejected about goals unachieved and resolutions unrealized, you likely fell short because of one of the following reasons:

1. You started strong, but weren’t in it for the long haul.

Motivation is easy to find in January. Not so much in the spring when the weather is warmer and there are other things to do. Or in the summer when the beach and vacations are calling. Or in the fall when school activities and the holiday season take over.

Besides the change of seasons and the activities that come with them, sometimes life just gets in the way of fitness. Work piles up. Friends and family need your time and attention. Illnesses and injuries slow you down.

Furthermore, we can get discouraged by the occasional plateaus: You work out hard and eat well all week, but don’t lose any weight. You say to yourself, “Why bother?”

This year, acknowledge from the beginning that this is a long and difficult process. There will be ups and downs to work your way through, plateaus that slow your progress and times when life gets in the way. Understand those realities and vow to keep pushing. Be as determined in April, June and September as you are in January.

2. You weren’t willing to change.

Remember the intensity of those first few workouts in January? Remember how you planned and packed your healthy meals for the week?

Unfortunately, our bodies adapt quickly to whatever stresses we place upon them. Unless we constantly place new stresses on them, they will stop improving. That means the workout you do in January shouldn’t be the same one you do in April and June and September.

This year, when the scale stops moving or the dress sizes stop falling, do something to get those numbers moving again. Make your workouts more intense. Take a closer look at your nutrition plan. Constantly reevaluate what you’re doing and how you could do it better. Improvements to your training and nutrition plans and improvements in the execution of those plans lead to improvements in your body.

3. You underestimated how hard it would be.

This one is for the people who dropped out before the end of January. Losing weight and getting in better shape sounded like a great idea until you realized it was hard work requiring a strong commitment, constant dedication and real changes in your lifestyle.

For those people, let me say this: It’s OK. So you took a crack at it and gave up. Now you have another chance to start again and do it right this time. Your goals are commendable. Now you just need the resolve to achieve them

This year can be your year. The life you thought about is within reach. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. This time next year, you could be looking back on a year well lived with a list of goals achieved.

Frank Shelton is a certified fitness trainer and owner of Shelton Fitness. He can be reached at (302) 463-4000 or