All too often guys make New Year’s resolutions, stick to them for a month, don’t see results, and quit. It’s the phenomenon behind the “January rush”—and the reason most gyms are back to their usual crowd by mid-March.

But you don’t have to be one of those average guys who abandons a fitness plan once you lose your initial momentum. We talked to New York City-based trainer and strength coach Nick Ebner, C.P.T., to tell us how to stay motivated and achieve results for life. Here are five common questions with responses from Ebner below.

What’s the key to staying motivated after the January rush?

Don’t just show up at the gym and say, “I want to get in shape.” No plan usually equals no results. You also shouldn’t peg your goals to something physique-related, like “I want six-pack abs” or “I want to burn my love handles.”

I suggest having a definitive performance goal, or several. Make it measurable, like “go to the gym three times a week,” or “make sure to exercise for 180 minutes total in a week.” Depending on where you’re starting from, you may need to change nutrition, sleep, and other lifestyle habits in order to reach these goals, but you’ll need a strategy.