Each year, many people set New Year's resolutions with the intention of improving themselves. However, keeping up with these resolutions for more than a few weeks is a challenging task.

Consider these suggestions to ensure you follow through with your New Year’s resolution and ultimately achieve your desired results:

  1. When setting resolutions or goals, make sure they are realistic, specific and achievable. Look closely into your plan for how you will go about achieving the goal; be sensible when it comes to it. For example, if you're trying to lose weight this year by eating 1,200 calories per day, that may not be a realistic approach.

    • Goals like decreasing calorie intake by 10% each week or eating at least 3 servings of fruit daily are more realistic, very specific in their plan and frankly, more do-able than simply saying, “Lose 50 pounds” or “Eat 1,200 calories a day.”

    • Make sure your goals are achievable and your plan of action to reach it is feasible; otherwise, change it today for better success.

  2. Keep your resolution top-of-mind. Write out the resolution in your journal, make a note, and place it somewhere visible like on the fridge. Also add it to your calendar, or even better - keep it written down on a piece of paper in the front seat of your car. Keeping your resolution in the forefront of your mind increases the chance of success in achieving it.

  3. Ask your spouse or friends to bring up your goal frequently. After all, people close to you want you to be successful in your goals. It can be as non-threatening as, “So, how are you doing on working toward your New Year’s resolution today?”

    • Consistently talking to those who understand and support you can be invaluable in helping to achieve your New Year’s resolution. Make sure you share your progress and struggles with people who care - this will increase the likelihood of you actually following through on it.

  4. Start early each day. Start each day with an activity that brings you closer to achieving your resolution. Taking small steps in the morning – when you're likely feeling the most productive – can be an effective way to move toward your goal.

    • If your resolution has something to do with your nutritional intake, eating a balanced breakfast will get your day off to a great start.

    • In the event you’ve resolved to get more exercise, getting in 20 or 30 minutes of exercise would be a great start to your day and respect your resolution.

    • If you’ve resolved to delve into a subject or learn a new language, setting aside 30 minutes every morning can be an effective way of following through on your resolutions.

    • Implement your resolution in the mornings for a successful start to the day. This will help keep your goal front of mind and provide you with motivation throughout the day.

  5. Be flexible about your New Year’s resolution. Allow yourself to make necessary changes as time passes and adjust your goals as you go along. For instance, if you initially planned to cut calorie intake from 2,500 calories to 1,500 calories in a day but were only able to reach 2,200 calories, don’t be disheartened. Focus on cutting an additional 100 calories in the next few weeks instead.

    • Don't forget that change is a process, so don't try to take on too much too soon. You may find it easier if you break your resolution into smaller, manageable steps. Stay flexible with your plan and be realistic when setting goals; this will increase the chances of achieving them throughout the year.

Staying with your New Year’s resolution as long as it takes to be successful is possible. Just apply the above strategies: make it realistic and specific, keep your resolution in mind, ask friends and family to talk to you about your goal, start first thing in the morning, and be flexible about your resolution to achieve your goal.

Stick your New Year's resolution to make this year your most inspiring ever! Make sure to stay consistent and focused in order to make it happen.