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resolutionWith any new year comes a clean slate and a chance to take on new goals. For many, resolutions revolve around healthy changes, but experts caution that resolve begins to waver at the end of January — which is why setting specific, realistic goals is proven to be more effective.

“When it comes to fitness resolutions, the focus should be on small steps,” said Tom Holland, exercise physiologist and Bowflex Fitness Advisor. “While having a big goal to work toward can be motivating, it’s important to have small, manageable goals that allow you to celebrate the milestones along your fitness journey.”

Here are three examples of lofty fitness resolutions — and how to break them down into achievable goals:

* “I want to run a marathon.” Training for a race takes months of commitment. Start with a 5K and work your way up to a 10K or half marathon, before deciding if you’re ready to complete the full 26.2 miles. To build endurance before you hit the pavement, consider starting your training on a running machine.

* “I want to look like a bodybuilder.” This route takes serious patience. Begin with smaller goals, such as gaining one pound of muscle per month. You can accomplish this by increasing the amount of weight and reps with each workout.

* “I want to go on a cross-country bike trip.” Like a marathon, months of training go into preparing for this long-distance journey. Experts suggest building up your stamina over time to avoid injury.

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