No sooner has the last Christmas bauble been stored away, then it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions.

From more exercise to healthier eating, these tend to be life-changing goals that take serious determination to keep up – which is why many folks will have failed by the end of January.

But no more. Here’s how you can make sure that this is the year your resolutions stick!

Post-Christmas, Don’t Go Cold Turkey

It’s unlikely you’ll maintain a completely new lifestyle in early January, especially right after the indulgences of Christmas. Instead, kick off the new year with small, gradual changes that you know you can do immediately.

If one of your resolutions is to get more exercise, try adding in a brisk seaside walk to your routine, or commit to going to the gym only three days a week instead of every day. If you want to eat more healthily, replace one dessert a week with fruit, and build from there. You get the idea – start small, think big.

One at A Time, Please

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Most people attempt a total life overhaul in their resolutions, but you’ll have better results if you focus on just one change at a time. Trying to change everything at once will overwhelm you, and you’re more likely to give up on the whole lot.

Since old habits die hard and it takes an average of 21 days for new ones to stick, focus all your energies on one singular resolution for at least a month, before starting on the next.

Get Real

Whilst we can all daydream of dropping a dress size or writing a novel, dutifully adding these goals to your list year in, year out will not turn them into reality. If you’ve had the same resolutions for years and done nothing about them, it’s time to think long term and ask if you can realistically see them happening.

Picking smaller, simpler goals will help you to stick them out right through to December 31st 2018 – and perhaps even bring you one step closer to writing that novel by then too.

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

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Society gives the impression that new year’s resolutions are destined to fail for everyone, but don’t let this apply to you.

Create a project plan for each resolution, with stages that you can tick off as you go. Having a tangible plan makes it easy to monitor your progress and reward yourself for every step in the right direction.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Bumps on the road to achieving your goals are completely normal, so don’t let them bring you down. The temptation to give up will be at its greatest after you’ve eaten that brownie or been too busy to get to the gym this week, but it’s how you get yourself back on track that matters here.

Remember to stay positive, and keep motivated by focussing on how much better your life will be if you stick to your guns.

Go Public

Make yourself accountable by telling people about your goals. Having someone to share your journey will make the process far easier.

Writing down your resolutions and displaying them somewhere visible at home – or on social media – will also remind yourself and others that you mean business.

Good Luck!