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Tips to achieving New Years resolutions

While some people can fall short of accomplishing their New Years resolutions, setting smaller, more definite goals is one way to achieve success. Here are some tips for realistically planning - and achieving - one's resolutions:

1. Be specific. Determine an exact goal. Instead of resolving to lose weight, consider a specific amount or goal weight and time frame, such as losing 20 pounds by the Fourth of July and 20 more pounds by Thanksgiving. No matter what the resolution, setting small goals will be easier to achieve one step at a time.

2. Make a plan for success. Construct a "road map" as a guide to achieve your goal. Consider what it will take to accomplish the plan. Consider keeping a journal to keep track of progress ups and downs.

3. Review the plan along the way. Once a week, take time and evaluate progress. Review the journal and determine if the goals need revamping or ramping up. Everyone makes mistakes. When that happens, avoid falling into the traps of shame and guilt.

4. Keep resolutions realistic and be realistic in goal setting. If completely eliminating a behavior is too difficult, consider resolving to do it less often.

5. Make it personally meaningful. A resolution should be something an individual desires to change or achieve and should not be dictated by family members or what society says is good for you. Resolutions without strong, personal motivation can be doomed to fail.

6. Tell others about the resolution. Sharing goals with friends and family can be an outstanding support mechanism and a source of gentle nudging if a detour from the plan takes place.