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STEP 3: SET YOUR GOALS

With your motivation in place and your excuses out of the way, you can go about defining your goals. Several years ago, researchers at Columbia University in New York City and the University of Konstanz in Germany conducted a study of what helps people stick to exercise. They found that women who filled out a goal-setting worksheet doubled their weekly workout time compared with a similar group of women who did not use the technique. Here's an example.

1. What is my exercise goal?
Set an objective you can achieve—nothing overly ambitious. "Getting 30 minutes of exercise in the morning."

2. What's the most positive outcome of achieving this goal?
This is crucial. Think back to the reasons you chose to exercise. "This will get me in better shape and help me manage my diabetes."

3. What's the main obstacle standing in the way?
"I don't have enough time."

4. How can I overcome the obstacle?
Give details about the changes you're going to make. "The night before, I can get to bed by 10, so I can wake up 30 minutes earlier."

5. How should I achieve my goal?
This means focusing on the when and where. "Between 6:30 and 7 in the morning, before I shower, I'll exercise with a 30-minute aerobics video in my living room."

Ready to Get Moving? Excerpted from The Life You Want: Get Motivated, Lose Weight, and Be Happy; Simon & Schuster. Copyright (c) 2010 by Bestlife Corporation.

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