Mistake-proof your mind

Your attitude may be the one final adjustment you need to maximize your results. Avoid these three mental missteps:

Focusing on the numbers
Instead of worrying over how many calories you burn or steps you climb, focus on the energy and the strength you feel and how wonderfully you're treating your body. While monitoring your intensity and applying the numbers to ensure you're mixing things up enough is critical for optimum progress, you should simply be aware, not fixating.

Obsessing over one body part
Focusing too much on your "problem area" can backfire, causing you to neglect other muscle groups that are as important for your appearance as they are for your fitness. For instance, if your midsection is your main concern, doing hundreds of crunches isn't the answer; sure, do ab exercises for tone, but don't forget that developing your chest, back and shoulders can take the focus off your middle. Always strive for a balanced workout.

Shying away from the unfamiliar
It's only natural to be intimidated by equipment you've never used or classes you've never taken. But venturing into new territory may be just the ticket to better results. If you've been avoiding free weights, ask a trainer to teach you a few dumbbell exercises; if you've shied away from Spinning, hop on a bike. Getting past your fears also will give you a sense of accomplishment and confidence -- and what could feel better than conquering the unknown?

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