New Year has a way of getting you psyched up to make some serious changes and improvements to your health and fitness. However, while 70% of us commit to our goals for at least the first week, more than half of us have given up within a month, and a whopping 80% of us are unable to pass the 3 month mark. So what can actually be done to help us stick to our goals for a prolonged period of time? The key may lie in setting goals and challenges for different stages of the year, essentially breaking up the 12 months and enabling things to seem much more achievable.

A great way to do this is by signing up to fitness events such as Tough Mudder or races such as The Great North Run or even a marathon if you're feeling bold! The benefit of doing this is that you now have a specific date which you are working towards, rather than the year as a whole - which admittedly can seem very daunting and is a huge commitment. The end seems in sight, all your hard work is for something which you will never forget. Similarly, if you have signed up for, and sometimes even paid a fee to take part in an event, you are more likely to stick with your regime as you have a challenge you have committed to overcoming.

As if the benefits of partaking in such events weren't already enough, they offer the perfect opportunity to not only help yourself but also help others. Fundraising for charity can introduce an extra element to your preparation and motivation to complete your chosen challenge. If you commit to running for a charity, it can push you to keep going even at your lowest points, as you won't want to let them down. It will drive you to get up early and go and train, in those freezing, wet winter months because you're not just doing this for yourself, there are a lot of people counting on you.

As well as the obvious economic benefits that fundraising can provide a charity, running for a cause can help raise awareness about important issues that many of us know nothing about. Hundreds of people will see you wear your charity's logo on the day of your event and everyone who chooses to sponsor you will learn about the charity they are donating to and the incredible work they carry out. It is extremely hard for the vast majority of charities to be heard, and therefore they rely heavily on this type of public exposure to encourage donations and develop a respectable reputation.

After all the effort you've put into training surely one of the most important things is crossing that finish line and completing the race? The same mentality applies to the money you've raised for your charity, every single penny your sponsors paid should go to the charity and ONLY the charity. Unfortunately this isn't always the case, as not all fundraising platforms are created equal. Many are run for profit through the use of gift aid, enabling them to reclaim tax on YOUR donations. But don't worry, there is a WONDERFUL alternative to this issue. Wonderful was set up to ensure that EVERY penny you raise with your efforts goes solely to your charities. As a non-profit organisation, all costs are covered by corporate sponsors and no card processing charges are involved in donations made through wonderful. This means everything gets given to the charities, including Gift Aid.

So this New Year, challenge yourself, be Wonderful.