Every year, countless people make the resolution that this will be the year they get off the couch and in shape. Two months later, nearly 75 percent of people have given up their unachieved fitness resolutions. Here are some tips on how to stick to and maintain your fitness goals throughout the entire year — making a true lifestyle change for the better.

1. Set realistic goals.

While it’s good to set a goal, make sure it’s attainable. You can’t go from a couch potato to marathon runner in the course of a month.  Setting unrealistic goals sets you up for failure. Start with small, specific goals and build upon them as you achieve each. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to workout more,” say “I’m going to start going on at least four walks a week.” You can then slowly add in more goals as you go, i.e. weight training, running, etc.

2. Find accountability through someone else.

It’s much easier to blow off a workout when you’re the only one that you feel like you’re letting down. Choose a friend to meet you at the gym or class. If you have money to splurge on a trainer, even better!

3. Write down your goals

This is the most important thing you can do when setting any kind of goal, regardless if it’s fitness related. Write down your fitness goals and put them where you’ll consistently see them — it helps to keep you focused and working to meet them.

4. Get rid of your scale

So many focus on the number on a scale as the ultimate measurement of success. Your weight doesn’t tell the entire story — you’re likely to gain muscle mass that will drive up the number at some point — and that’s a good thing. Instead of obsessing over a number, pay more attention to how your clothing fits and energy levels.

5. Reward yourself

Celebrate your accomplishments; it’s a big deal! Coming up with a reward system is a personal incentive to keep on track toward your goals.