5. Gardening and heavy-duty housework, like cleaning out the garage, do count.
6. Write a loooong list of all the fun, sexy, sassy reasons you want to achieve your fitness goals. (“I want to rock a bikini!” “I want biceps worthy of the cover Men’s Health.”) Make copies of that list and stash them everywhere. Your wallet. Your car. Your kitchen. Review when weakness strikes.
7. Recognize: Six packs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. If you have only 30 minutes, you’re better off using that time to prep the following day’s breakfast and lunch than working out. That’s right. We just gave you an excuse to skip a workout, but only if you use that time wisely.
8. Jump on the boutique gym bandwagon. Try a funky, fun fitness haven, where the low-impact, calorie-torching workout happens in a room full of cutting-edge elliptical machines. The classes fly by.
9. Eat all the raw, non-starchy vegetables you can stand.
10. Exercise while doing household chores. Put in a load of laundry before you press “play” on a fitness DVD, and pause partway through to make the washer-to-dryer transfer. Or plan dinner around a casserole that bakes while you work out in the living room.
11. Give up extreme thinking. Don’t give up chocolate for 2013. How about: Give up bingeing on chocolate in 2013, and instead resolve to enjoy it in moderation.
12. Ask yourself a magic question: “How can I reach my health and fitness goals and enjoy the process?” You don’t need to answer the question. Let your brain percolate on it. (Credit motivational guru Tony Robbins.)
13. Got a tablet? Download a movie and prop it on a treadmill at the gym. The average movie should get you through four 30-minute walks.
14. Stop trying to be Julia Child come dinner time. Store-bought rotisserie chicken + bagged salad equals dinner. A corn tortilla quesadilla + bagged salad equals dinner. A grilled steak + bagged salad equals dinner.