Donald Creagh, general manager at LA Fitness in Ansley Mall, says making sure a person follows through with a fitness plan starts in the head.

• Make a decision that this is going to be a lifestyle change, not a temporary diet. “Don’t put a deadline on yourself. That takes pressure off,” Creagh says.

• Think about what you are going to eat tomorrow today, he says. That way you can purchase the proper food to prepare instead of rushing to a fast food joint.

Health & Fitness: Advice for fitness newbies

• Don’t overcommit. Working out three times a week is generally a good plan that is doable for the long term.

• “Forgive yourself,” Creagh adds. “If you splurge, don’t freak out.” Just pick up where you left off and keep going.

Chase Zabernowsky, manager and personal trainer at Gravity Fitness on Faulkner Road, says people need to make a plan that’s feasible.“People come in and say, ‘I want to look like this magazine cover,’” he says.

• Looking like a cover model is not likely in your stars. Understand that and work toward goals that are achievable, he says.

• Be aware of scheduling — including the time it takes to get to the gym through Atlanta traffic — to ensure time is made for work outs. “Time management is one of the biggest issues we see of people not being able to keep up,” he says.