If you are determined to make this the year that you get into shape, but you haven't committed to a gym yet, you're actually right on time!

Here are a few tips to consider when joining a gym:

1. Don't file away that contract without reading the fine print -- it may contain important information about automatic renewal rollovers and cancellation fees.

2. Make sure you take full advantage of your gym's special offers for new members. If they're offering you some personal training sessions or other perks.....those are worth a lot and may not be offered to you again for free any time soon!

3. If you have the option to pay as you go rather than pay for an entire year upfront, go for it --a study shows that people who pay as they go can save money and may actually get to the gym more as they remind themselves that they are paying for it either way.

4. Try negotiating with the gym to see if maybe they can throw in a family discount or waive an enrollment fee.

5. Consider waiting until February or March to join. Up to 30% of people who join gyms in January quit in the first few months, so clubs will be happy to have your business and may give you a better rate during a slower month.