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As we tick ever closer to the end of another year, many of us are beginning to take stock of the work we have put in over the course of the past months.

The reality is that many, or even most, of us won’t be entirely satisfied with our progress for the year as the completion of a year-long fitness program is a difficult thing to obtain. This can happen for a multitude of reasons, such as work and family life getting in the way, but it is important to not be overly dispirited if you haven’t quite achieved all you set out to do.

Now, as those months inch ever closer to another new year, the temptation can be there to abandon any workout plan and pick it up again in the new year once the merriment of Christmas has come and gone — but remember, you don’t have to sit back until January 1st to launch a new set of fitness resolutions. Why do tomorrow what you can do today?

You will have a new attitude over the holiday season

People who maintain a fitness schedule over the course of the next few weeks will have a better chance of not over-indulging over the Christmas period, leaving you with a mountain of work to do in the cold light of January. We are all going to eat and drink a bit more than usual over the next while, so if you are wary of what you’re putting in your body during this time you will thank yourself when it comes to burning those calories back off.

You will teach your body to overcome challenges

If you start now you will be immediately issuing a challenge to yourself. It won’t be easy, either. You will learn how to schedule your life around your fitness goals and how to work them in to a season filled with office parties, mulled wine and mince pies. It takes a little over 30 days to develop a new habit, according to various studies, so think of this as giving yourself another head start to where you want to be.

Remember, there is no ‘perfect time’

We’re all familiar with the refrain of, ‘I’ll do that tomorrow’. That is just a delaying tactic designed to put off what you know you have to, or want to, do. There is an old maxim which states that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is right now.

It will free up your New Year’s Resolution for other objectives

The vast majority of people’s new year’s resolutions are fitness-based but if that element of your life is already in check you can use this list to improve different areas of your life. Syphon off more time to spend with friends or family, develop new hobbies and interests, read more. Use your time wisely.

Your body doesn’t know the difference

There isn’t some magical change to your body which happens when the calendars read January 1. You body does not know, or care, about it being Monday, or Wednesday, or Friday, nor does it matter if it is the end of a month or the beginning of one. The first day of January is the same as the very day in which you are reading these words.

Start now. Thank yourself later.