New year, new me. Sound familiar? I guarantee that this phrase was heard, voiced and definitely thought of while welcoming in 2018 because it is symbolic of change. Celebrating the New Year allows for this kind of idealism, which is the promise of a better, brighter future.

I am not one who usually makes New Year's resolutions; I've found that sticking to them is much harder than making them — and I’d rather not start my year off with that looming disappointment. However, this year I did decide to set a goal for myself that involves fitness.

Last year was filled with almost everything except for exercise, and I wanted to take the time this year to change that. I've always envied those who seemed to love exercising until I came to the realization that most people don't really "love" exercising. Rather, they are more keen on seeing the results that come from engaging in it.

So, I’m going to continue to dislike all things involving exercise with a fiery passion, but I’m going to engage in it for the sake of my health. I have found that not all exercise was created equal, and that the only way to get myself up and moving is by taking my health seriously and treating it like a class I wouldn't want to miss or a job that I know I can't be late for.

In order to move forward with my goal of getting in shape, I have put together a few tips for myself that I hope you find motivating.

5. Start moving.

The only way to turn thoughts into action is by getting up and moving. This tip is pretty obvious, but it’s easier said than done. It is so much easier to stay sitting or lie down instead of engaging in some sort of physical activity, but, in my experience, that's not going to get me where I want to be.

4. Prioritize.

Take your health seriously, because now is the time to do it. We’re not going to be this young forever and our bodies aren’t the most forgiving, which is why fitness needs to be prioritized. Treat it like a class or a situation that you can’t get out of.

3. Set a routine.

Humans have often been referred to as creatures of habit — we like what we know. If this is true, setting up a routine and sticking to it will make exercising a whole lot easier. We all have a schedule to follow, so find a way to incorporate exercise into it.

2. Stay motivated.

Find what motivates you and use this as a tool to fuel your fitness journey. I have found that exercising makes me feel better as a whole person, and this motivates me to keep going. Everyone has different reasons for working out, such as maintaining a healthy weight or increasing endorphin levels. Whatever they may be, they should motivate you when exercising feels like the last thing you want to do.

1. Be realistic.

I, for one, know the frustrations that go along with getting back in shape. Although many of us would like to speed through this process, there is no faster, shorter or easier way to approach this. I have found that the best results stem from finding the exercises that work for me.

Luckily for all of us wanting to better our health, our campus offers free gym access to all LMU students as well as health-concious food options. If lifting weights doesn’t thrill you, there are plenty of other options available to help you to start moving. There is also an array of classes offered at the Burns Recreation Center that are printed out on flyers at the center’s front desk. Not to mention, LMU has an easily accessible trail towards the main campus entrance. With all of the exercise options that LMU provides, I am confident that you will be able to find one that works for you.

This is the opinion of Paris Shepherd, a junior communication studies major from Ventura, California. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan or email comments

Paris Shepherd is a junior communication studies major from Ventura, California. She believes in fairness and the power of positivity. She also tries to model herself after Gandhi and bring about the change that she wishes to see in this world.

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