# 1 Be realistic but positive
Before you start, it is a good idea to write down your goals. Realistically speaking it is going to take at least 3 months before you start seeing differences, both in your body shape and strength levels, so look at it as a longer term plan. You might find it helpful to write down where you want to be in terms of strength and size in 3, 6, 12 and 18 months.
# 2 Consider hiring a personal trainer
If you are completely new to the gym environment, consider hiring a personal trainer, for the first month at least. It will help you feel less daunted and a good trainer will be able to give you all the help you need on the machines, give you a sound basic program to stick to, as well as give you any advice you need on everything from your diet and supplements to the best techniques for individual exercises. You might not even have to spend any extra money – some gyms offer a personal trainer free for a certain amount of sessions after you first join. Shop around your local gyms and see if you can take advantage of any introductory offers.