How-To: Create and stick with a New Year’s resolution Get ready to achieve your goals for the new year

When planning to create a New Year’s resolution, most people tend to delay meeting their goals until they eventually forget about them later on. Maybe you have always wanted to try learning a new skill, but got stuck while planning or lost motivation.

If you made goals that were not completed in previous years, you can still make up for the new year by simply following these steps.

Focus on one resolution. To start, brainstorm a few resolutions before picking the best one. Pick the most realistic resolutions instead of trying to accomplish goals that may not actually be realistic. You will be more likely to succeed when your brain can focus on fewer objectives.

Plan ahead. To ensure that goals will be met, plan ahead by doing research. Whether it is taking up running, starting yoga or becoming vegan, there are informative books to help and inform, such as “The New Becoming Vegetarian: The Essential Guide To A Healthy Vegetarian Diet” by Vesanto Melina MS RD, or “The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice,” by T.K.V. Desikachar. Also, remember that the Internet is available for researching as well. The more knowledgeable you are about your goal, the more willing you will be to work towards it.

Have an accountability buddy. Having a trusted friend or relative can inspire motivation and ignore distractions. Tell your goal to a person close to you that can help document and be honest with your progress. Also, if you are having trouble coming up with an idea for your resolution, they can give you ideas, since they are the ones who know you best.

Accept failure. Remember that perfection is impossible. Minor missteps when achieving goals are normal and may happen at least once or twice. It is all a part of training, pushing on and learning. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped the gym for a week because of a busy schedule. Instead, resolve to recover from mistakes. Make small notes of the triggers that cause these set backs so you learn from them; perseverance and determination are the keys to success.

Reward yourself. According to the article “7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It,” author Annabel Candy says, “Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta or a trip to the movies.” As the goal becomes closer, you could make the rewards better but fewer in between. At the end of the year, getting an anniversary reward positively reinforces the entire year’s progress.

Why wait? Aside from wanting to change an aspect of your life with the help of a New Year’s resolution, the problem with sticking to one may be because of constant excuses and habits. To fulfill a dream or achieve a goal, you do not need to wait until the new year begins on January 1st.

If you are not content with the way life is playing out, then you have the option to start working now, rather than waiting. If you start putting in effort daily, you will get the results and the outcome you earned.