If you’ve ever tried to tone up or slim down, you know that it can be difficult to stick to your healthy habits right out of the gate. From day one, most people struggle with staying motivated and making smart choices. Other times, you might end up setting unrealistic goals or no goals at all, causing you to get discouraged very quickly without hardly making progress–or giving yourself the chance to.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to sit down and write out your goals. When it comes to fitness, setting a 30-day fitness challenge for yourself will accomplish many things. Number one, it will give you a realistic goal to aim for in the next four weeks. Plus, it gives you the chance to decide how exactly you’re going to reach that goal. For instance, you can make cutting out soda apart of your 30-day challenge.

In your 30-day challenge, you could make drastic changes or minor changes. In either case, if you plan correctly and stick to that plan, you will definitely see results in 30 days. Generally, it’s considered safe to lose 2 pounds per week. But, weight loss isn’t linear. Most people also experience a larger drop during their first few weeks of dieting because you’ll lose some water weight when you change your diet.

So, if your goal is to lose weight, make sure to keep things realistic. In 30 days, you might aim to lose 8-10 pounds. If that’s your goal, figure out what the challenge is going to be and how you’re going to accomplish it. For instance, maybe you’ll limit yourself to 1,500 calories a day and exercise for an hour in order to create a caloric deficit. Plenty of web calculators exist that will enable you to see just how much you can eat and how many calories you should burn in order to lose a certain amount of weight.

If your goal is fitness related, as in you want to gain muscle or tone up, your 30-day challenge will likely be centered around eating health, getting more protein, and getting lots of exercise and physical activity in. Whatever the case may be, keep things realistic, lay out a plan for yourself, and stick to it! In a month, you’re bound to see results.