Research shows that setting small, achievable fitness goals – and letting success build on success – can be more effective than setting loftier goals from the start.

In one study presented at an American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, sedentary adults who were given the smaller goal of increasing their daily steps by 2,500 were more than twice as likely to stick with it than those given the goal of walking 10,000 steps a day.

If you’re not yet a regular exerciser, start today! Set a small goal – whether it’s walking five minutes a day or five miles a week. And try any of these tools to boost your odds for success.

Pedometers. Easy to use, inexpensive and available at most sporting goods stores, pedometers record your steps and distance. Some have a function that enables you to convert data from the device into charts and graphs on your personal computer.

Fitness journals. Whether high-tech (online journals) or low-tech (a pocket-size spiral notebook), fitness journals allow you to set goals, record successes and monitor your daily progress. Some paper journals worth checking out are BodyMinder Workout and Exercise Journal (MemoryMinder Journals Inc., 2007); The Ultimate Workout Log: An Exercise Diary for Everyone (Mariner Books, 2005). If you prefer an online journal try www.FitDay.com, www.MyFitnessJournal.com and MyFitnessPage.com.

Online Trackers. Try Track + React, the new online interactive tool from Arthritis Today that lets you track fitness as part of arthritis self-management. Also, the Walk With Ease Online Walking Tool allows you to record and key elements of the Walk With Ease program. You’ll also resources to help you get started and stay motivated.

Wearable Trackers. Some GPS devices, like Garmin’s Forerunner wrist models, track and record time, pace, distances, calories burned and route, which can be stored and charted on a PC. Or try the Nike Plus, a device that fits in or attaches to a shoe and measures your workout on an iPod or iPhone.

Apps. Track + React is now also available as an app for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices.

Gaming systems. Games like EA Sports Active and Wii Fit allow you to work toward and track fitness goals right on your home gaming system.