Want to whip yourself into shape this year? Think outside the box, go big with your goals, and establish accountability. Most of all -- Believe in yourself! Here's how.
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With the new year officially off and running and motivation at its highest, now is the perfect time to sit down and really consider your health and wellness goals for 2016.

Maybe you kickstarted the year with a 90-minute SoulCycle reSOULtion ride but quickly ran out of steam. Maybe you fully intended to reset your diet and exercise regularly, but already your work and family life has gotten in the way. Perhaps you were too hungover at the start of the year to even think about a new fitness or food regimen.

No matter which category you fall into, nothing (ever, really, but certainly not this early in the year) is set in stone. There are no limits or rules to making resolutions.

Today is as good as any to create a fresh plan for 2016 health goals! Here's how to get started.

Keep a Journal

Best way to start is with a journal. Get a new one -- You will fill the blank pages with your dreams and your progress toward them.

I believe the key to commitment is accountability. By writing down your intentions, you create a sense of permanence about them. The written words act as a reminder and motivator. And from there, around those written goals, you'll notice all the empty space on your pages to journal your progress (or lack thereof), and inherently you are held accountable.

Set Goals

My best advice is set them somewhere between what you believe is achievable and what you believe is impossible. Some goals are meant to get your feet wet and create small successes. Some goals are meant to be long term and keep you reaching for the stars.

Make your list long. Don't hold back. Make sure it feels real, true to what you want in life and not just what you think you are capable of.

Get Started

Immediately! Motivation occurs through action. Once you realize what you can achieve, you'll quickly expand on your goals. Opening that door is truly enlightening.

Consider Exercise and Diet

Set new expectations for how you will use your body and what you will feed it. Fitness and food play off each other in the dance that we call personal health. They affect each other in ways you may not have noticed or ever really felt.

When you start to work out more, you may initially gravitate toward unhealthy or sugary foods. But you'll quickly discover that if you make better choices (like smoothies after a workout instead of a sandwich) your energy level will actually rise. You'll become more active and less likely to use exercise as an excuse to eat poorly.

Trust your instincts. The cleaner you eat, the more you move, the better you'll feel. You know what choices are healthy. Empower yourself to make better choices more often, and you will hit your goals faster than you planned (and then be able to set bigger and bolder ones).

Think about nourishing your body with GREENS, FRESH FRUITS, WHOLE GRAINS, PURE PROTEINS and WATER, WATER, WATER.

Mix It Up

When creating an exercise routine, think outside the box. Do what you love, but also try new things. Routine is fantastic but can get monotonous. If you're a morning workout person, try an evening exercise class. Do you always take indoor classes? Maybe get outdoors with your fitness. If you run in the evenings when you get home from work, try an early-morning bootcamp instead.

Whatever you do, write it down every day. Challenge yourself with your goals and track your progress.

Good luck, and get going!

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