Every New Year, tons of people will resolve to lose weight and get into shape, but unrealistic goals can fizzle out quickly. Local fitness instructors offer sound advice to help those who want to drop weight this year, and keep it off.

Emery Wood, owner of The Fitness Lodge, said there are several things that can be done to help ensure that New Year's resolutions are kept.

"Create a plan and stick to it," she said. "Pick an exercise that is best for you. Pick something that is fun and challenging and will keep you coming back, like Zumba or try a boot camp."

Wood said to shoot for short term goals instead of long term goals.

"Be realistic," she said. "Start slow and develop a solid foundation of fitness and build on it as fitness improves. Also, do not be afraid to try something new. We need to keep our body's guessing. Shake things up."

Joshua Higginbotham, Anytime Fitness personal trainer, said the main thing is consistency.

"Just get through the gym doors," he said. "If you can get here, then it is not hard to get motivated. An hour a day is only four percent of your day. You make time for what is important in your life."

Higginbotham said diet plays a big part in weight loss, and one desiring to lose weight will need to be consistent and balanced in both their eating habits and gym routine.

"Everyone has different goals," he said. "Some people want cardio and some people want strength. I do free 30 minutes with everyone when they sign up to help them learn what muscles each machine works. And we have sign up for a dollar the entire month of January. Usually it is a $90 sign up fee."

Charles Walker, Morehouse Council on Aging Fitness Center manager, said setting simple goals is best.

"It is easier to stick with a plan when it is simple, than to over-complicate things," he said. "Instead of thinking of all the many things that you need to change, change just one or two things. Most people already know what they should be doing, it is just getting them to do it."

Walker said balance is the key to good health.

"Most people want a magic cure all, but there is no such thing," he said. "Balance the equation. For every one soda you drink, drink two bottles of water. Do not over do it. Remember to pace yourself, that way you won't burn out. It is going to take time."