Are you treating your body like the temple that it is, or a warzone? If your New Year’s resolution (to lose that holiday weight or achieve rock hard abs) has already fallen by the wayside, then let’s get real—it sucks giving up on yourself, doesn’t it? You know what feels really good? Doing for yourself before you do for anyone else. Here’s how to give to your body the R-E-S-P-E-C-T it deserves. Then (and only then) can you reach and maintain your health and fitness goals for the future.

The ‘Sweat and Smile’ Approach

sweating young man with a towelIf you don’t love your body—and most of all, appreciate it for its strength and resilience—how do you ever expect to reach your fitness goals? After all, your body follows your mind’s orders. If you think to yourself, “Who am I kidding? I can’t lose these last ten pounds!” then your body gives up, heads to the pantry for some potato chips, and calls it a day. Make 2015 the year you reverse your thinking, commit to a kindness approach in body and mind and treat your daily exercise with the effective ‘sweat and smile’ approach.

It’s the most basic benefit of daily exercise in order to boost the overall health and wellness in your life. Endure any activity—swimming laps in your pool, dance while doing the dishes, or Zumba your way to a raised heartbeat—and you smile more. Sweat and smile on a daily basis, and you’ll sleep better, minimize your stress, maximize your productivity and increase the happiness in your life.

Know Your Peak Performance Time of the Day

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Daily exercise? No way. Who has the time?” think again. Studies show that a moderate 30 minute workout just a couple of times a week will boost brain power. End result? You’ll be able to use the rest of your day to work smarter, not harder. So, exercise actually saves you time!

Office Clocks Showing Different TimesWhen is your ‘peak performance’ time of the day? Are you most energetic first thing in the morning, at lunchtime or in the afternoon? Commit to a morning, mid-day or afternoon workout (which ever one reflects your high energy level the best). Take a yoga class. Run outdoor to train for the upcoming marathon. Take an aquatic dance class. Do anything that raises your heartbeat and gets you out of the office and into the gym.

When you make time for daily exercise, you give your mind and body ‘payback time’ for all it does for you. Jump, run, squat—the type of exercise you do is up to you. All that matters is that you shake, swim, lunge or dance your way to a healthier and happier state of mind. When your mind is balanced and mentally fit, your body will be too.