After much anticipation, 2021 is almost here. While many used their time at home in 2020 to try new hobbies and bake plenty of sourdough bread, the new year provides a time to reflect on what you hope to achieve in the coming year.

Exercising more, focusing on health and improving finances are among the most common resolutions each year and will likely be the top goals again in the coming year.

Luckily, there are steps you can take that will make sticking to your resolutions easier — and making sure you are using reputable businesses to do so.

Finding the perfect gym, knowing which health products you should use or avoid and using trustworthy financial resources are great ways to start 2021.

Keep these tips from your Better Business Bureau in mind as you set your goals:

• Take a tour. Touring a gym can give you a better idea of the equipment, trainers and classes available. Use this opportunity to learn additional information about the facility, such as busy times or how often showers and equipment are cleaned. Some gyms even offer virtual tours.

• Understand the cost. Many gyms use the beginning of the year to promote introductory offers or free trial periods. Be sure to ask when these promotions end and what the regular cost will be moving forward.

• Check with health professionals. The best thing to do when considering a weight loss supplement, smoking cessation aid or other health product is to consult your doctor. They may be able to provide recommendations or guide you away from potentially harmful products. You can also use FDA resources to learn which products were recalled for using dangerous ingredients.

• Assess your finances. Review your finances to see which areas need improvement. Request a copy of your credit report through one of the three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax or Experian. You can also use to find reliable financial advisors to help you build your credit and manage your money.

• Consult trustworthy sources. When deciding on a company to assist you financially, find their business profile on to view their rating, customer reviews and complaint history.

The Texas Attorney General’s office is also a reliable source for learning your debt collection and relief rights.

Happy New Year from BBB Serving the Heart of Texas!

Amy Rasor is regional director of the Better Business Bureau in Fort Worth.

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