If I asked you what your New Year’s resolution was last year, would you remember? If so, did you stick to it? How long did it last? Make this year different.

I have a client named Danny. He came to me in February of 2012 without a clue about exercise, and said: “I want to take my fitness more seriously.” We sat down and talked about goals for a few minutes, and in just that short time, I realized he’d made a serious commitment to himself—he wanted to be a better person.

Get Consistent

As he slowly progressed from training with me once a week to the present three times a week, I saw his original desire to simply be healthy evolve into a streamlined, specific goal: “I want to add five pounds of lean mass and squat twice my body weight.” Admirable goals for any lifter. His eating habits changed accordingly, going from the traditional high-carb American diet to lots of lean protein, leafy greens, and healthy fats.

Danny now has a ripped six-pack and guns that could set off airport security alarms. His secret? Consistency. Since that first workout in February of 2012, he hasn’t missed a session, with or without me.

Like everyone, Danny cheats on his diet—but once a week and no more. Even though he has a job that keeps him up till the wee hours many nights, he’s there and waiting for me every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 8:30, ready to go.

I’m not here to tell you to get a trainer, or that what Danny’s achieved should be your goal. I’m telling you that being consistent is the most important thing—not only in exercise, but in life. Consistently show up for work with a focused mind- set and you’ll be successful. Eat clean, healthy food every day and you’ll maintain a lean midsection. And, most importantly, stick by your principles, even when no one’s watching, and you’ll build a greater strength than you could ever achieve in the gym—strength of character.

Next time your alarm rings at 6 a.m. and you think about hitting the snooze button and skipping your workout, remember why you set the alarm in the first place.