I’ve got 10 simple ways to get in shape and fight off those festive occasions for overeating and those perfectly reasonable excuses for missing workouts. Try these 10 easy ways to get in shape before those extra pounds start to show and literally weigh you down.

1. Have a beginner’s mind

As Zen Master Shunryo Suzuki said, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” In other words, you’ve got to believe that you can get in shape BEFORE you even start working out or making healthy eating choices. It also means keeping an attitude of openness and eagerness along the way. If you find yourself struggling a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months from now, returning to a beginner’s mind will help you stay on course with getting into shape and eating healthy.

2. Understand your body type

There are three basic body types: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Cool words—but what do they mean? Believe it or not, ectomorphs have trouble actually gaining weight, building muscle, and having needed body fat. Most people are mesomorphs who can manage their weight and build muscle by eating right and exercising regularly. Some people are endomorphs, and it’s very difficult for them to lose weight, especially body fat. They need help finding a diet and workout plan that will shed fat and build muscle. If you’re not sure what your body type should do, then get a professional fitness trainer and nutritionist to help.

3. Try a fitness trainer

If you’re not sure what kind of workout will be most effective, then hire a fitness trainer to develop a workout just for you. Working out is more than just stretching and lifting weights. A good fitness trainer will help you understand how your body works. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start working out on your own or with a gym buddy.

4. Get a gym partner

Need motivation? Get a gym partner. Working out with a friend or colleague from work can provide support and motivation. It’s a simple way to have fun and get in shape.

5. Make healthy food choices

It may sound too simple to be true, but a bowl of old fashion oatmeal topped with a few berries and nuts can get your day started right. For those lunch sandwiches, give up the white bread and replace with whole grain or even go with a lettuce wrap or fresh salad. Don’t forget the lean proteins at lunch like chicken, turkey, or tuna. Watch the sodium. Have a light meal at dinner. Try brown rice instead of white rice. Instead of a loaded baked potato, try a plain baked sweet potato. A few healthy choices three meals a day will make a difference.

Healthy Fish Meal

6. Keep a food journal

Writing down everything you eat might seem tough at first, but it will be worth the effort. Why? First, it will help you become more aware of exactly what you eat, which in turn will help you track those healthy choices I just mentioned. Plus, it takes a month or two for someone to break bad habits and create new positive habits. Keeping a journal will help create those new healthy habits!

7. Drink water

You’ve probably heard “you are what you eat”—but really, you are what you drink. Most people know it’s important to drink lots of water when exercising, but many people don’t realize that it’s easy to get dehydrated even when you’re not working out. You are literally about 75-80% water—your body, your blood, your lungs, your brain, and even your bones. Drinking water is truly they best way to live a healthy life.

8. Be consistent (slow and steady)

Remember the importance of having a beginner’s mind—well, it’s just not at the beginning—it’s all the time. Start slow but be steady like a beginner. Keep trying and don’t give up. Be consistent with your workout schedule and keeping your food journal. You will be surprised by the changes in your life if stick with these 10 simple ways to get in shape!

9. Set realistic goals

Think about what you really want to achieve, then think about the steps it will take to get there. Losing weight and getting into shape won’t happen overnight, so setting fitness goals and healthy eating goals is essential to becoming a better you. Write your goals down. Make your goals realistic and obtainable within a reasonable time frame. When you accomplish those goals, you will gain confidence and be ready to set your next goals. If you’re having trouble thinking of goals at first, just write down my 10 simple ways to get in shape as your set of goals.

10. Plan one day a week to eat anything you want

The keyword here is PLAN. Yes, I want you to plan to eat anything you want one day a week. If you have a sweet tooth and you just need that slice of chocolate cake, then eat it—but plan to eat it. Unplanned eating is what throws your plan off. If you want that double cheeseburger, go for it. I know that you’re thinking—this can’t really be one of the simple ways to get in shape. It’s probably one of the most important because if you plan to eat anything you want one day a week, you are much more likely to stay with your new healthy habits.