I’m starting to notice the big drop-off. It happens every year. As an active employee and member of the YMCA, each year in January I get used to a more crowded parking lot, a longer wait for equipment, and no breathing room in fitness classes. However, a couple weeks into January, the crowd subsides a little bit. Now that we’re into February, we’re back to just the regulars at the gym.

Why does this happen? Because everyone has good intentions to keep their New Year’s resolution to get fit, but when a busy schedule gets in the way, it’s easy to let exercise be the first sacrifice. But wouldn’t it be nice for our overall health to be able to not just follow through with our resolutions, but to make a point of being more physically active on a regular basis? I know it’s hard to do with a fast-paced schedule, but here are some tips that help you keep your resolution and create a healthier you:

Have workout buddies

This is a method that has always helped me. I feel much more motivated to work out knowing that there is someone counting on me and expecting me to be there. Your friend can help hold you accountable. Grab a pal to stand next to while you’re on the treadmill and elliptical, or you can even invite someone join a class with you.

Smartphone applications

There are a variety of applications on your phone for cheap, or even free, that can help motivate you. Some of these utilize GPS to track distance while you’re biking or running. Others teach you how to do various strength and cardiovascular routines and then let you track your progress. This article includes a list of five. One that didn’t make the list that I have used before is MyFitnessPal. With this app, you enter your current information and goals, whether you wanted to lose, maintain, or gain weight, and then it tells you your daily caloric allowance. You can track what you eat, as well as your physical activity, and it does the math for you. There is also a social aspect to it, where you can add friends and encourage each other.

Fun Workouts

Why not have fun while you shake off those calories? The Wii and Xbox Kinect have several workout games that will get you moving — and you don’t even have to leave your house! Workout videos also give you an effective workout from the comfort of home. Or, classes like Zumba, Pilloxing, Turbo Kick, and Hip Hop Cardio are all a blast! They are so fun that you won’t even remember you are in it for a workout.

Workout Clothes

Nothing makes me more excited to go to the gym than buying new shorts, active-wear tops, or a great pair of running shoes. Shopping is fun, and it is a great motivator, because you will feel bad if you don’t wear your new clothes enough. If you run or do any other outdoor activities, then a new pair of sport sunglasses might get you going!

No more excuses; get to the gym!