January is always the time where we set out to achieve something, change something or just do better, and the vast majority of these relate in some way to health and fitness.

Firstly, and most importantly, you need to get yourself in the right place mentally. If you stop thinking in terms of ‘I should go to the gym’ and instead tell yourself you ‘must’ go to the gym, then you will be more inclined to make it happen. It’s a subtle change, but you will be in a better place mentally to be able to achieve your goals.

I then suggest you write down your number one goal and make sure that it is measurable. So, don’t just say ‘I want to lose weight’. Be specific about how much and by when. Likewise if you want to ‘get fitter’ write down how. Do you want to be able to run a specific distance, or at a certain speed? Don’t set yourself crazy goals – you want them to be achievable so that you can be buoyed by your success when you reach it. When you have your goal, ask yourself why you want to achieve it.

Again, be specific and write down at least seven reasons. Get to the bottom of what changing the way you look or feel will do for your relationships, work, family, self-esteem, confidence, etc.

Next, you need to come up with a tangible plan of action, which you can stick to. Firstly, schedule your gym visits and workouts like you would a social engagement. There are 168 hours in a week, so setting aside a handful of them to exercise – to help you reach your goal, for all of the reasons you have written down – is very achievable, especially as PureGym is open 24 hours a day... there really is no excuse for not finding time for the gym!

If you are joining a gym for the first time in January, then take full advantage of the induction. It will give you a point of contact at the gym and will ensure you are familiar with the facility and all the equipment within it. The personal trainer can give you tailor-made advice, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

The number of different classes on offer ensures you can keep your workout routine varied. From step classes and spinning to pilates and boxercise, there is something for everyone.

As they’re free you can try a wide variety to find out which ones work for you. More generally, you may be unsure of what exactly you should be doing as part of your workout. There are two broad types of exercise; cardiovascular and resistance training.

Cardiovascular exercise is a sure fire way to improve your stamina and will help you to achieve a calorie deficit, so it will be an important part of any plan where the goal involves some weight loss. Cardiovascular exercise involves anything that raises your heart rate significantly, such as running or cycling.

With cardiovascular activity it can be difficult at first and it may feel like it will never get easier or more enjoyable, but it will! You just have to stick at it and keep building up your stamina slowly.

Resistance training is also an important part of any workout routine. It will help to tone and define muscle, but it will also help to speed up your metabolism which in turn will result in weight loss.

Make 2014 the year of kept resolutions and goals achieved. Good luck!

To join PureGym Bournemouth please visit Puregym.com