Some time ago, thinking that I just needed to change my perspective on New Year’s resolutions to achieve long-term success, I changed what I called them.

No more resolutions for me; I started to set goals.

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Nearly everyone makes resolutions/goals to start the year. The majority of those goals are related to weight loss and exercise. Of course, we could vow to change unhealthy behaviors anytime throughout the year, but a new year gives us the equivalent  of a fresh start, a clean slate and psychologically helps us believe we will achieve success.

But sadly for us, our humanness kicks in by mid to late February and only about 10 percent make it a few more months before lapsing into easier, former behaviors. I regret to say I am among the 10 percent many years.

Changing one’s mindset can often change a person’s outlook and success rate. We gave up dieting years ago, and now we “change our eating habits” to more healthy choices, or we have a “food plan.”

Really, this changing of words or phrases is just to trick ourselves into making better choices.

My latest bit of trickery involves living up to my life strategies. Sounds pretty good, eh?

I run across phrases that carry some meaning for me and I add them to my “life book” and then make a conscious effort to live up to that meaningful quote.

Many of the quotes I share with friends, too. I have a group of friends who are experiencing different challenges, and who I think might need a little uplifting verse at the time I run across these tidbits for life, and I hope it will give them a new perspective on their problem.

When I think of all the things in a day that deplete my soul, I’m always looking for ways to replenish it. One way is to make “New Year’s Resolutions” on a daily basis, through friends, verses and living up to my life strategies. I think these are things that I can be successful in achieving.

Websites abound with tips on goal-setting and how to achieve those goals. Primary among the tips is to be realistic when setting the goals. For instance, losing 40 pounds in a month is simply unhealthy and unachievable. Saying you will do several specific things to lose a couple pounds a week is manageable and realistic.

Use the SMART acronym: goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Another tip offered about making resolutions, setting goals or living up to life strategies is to tell someone about it. It will help others keep you on goal, so to speak.

Lapses are bound to happen. Don’t beat yourself up when they do. Just start over again in the next moment or the next day. I try to start every day wiped clean of the negativity of the previous day. Like a chalkboard, I wipe it off to start each day fresh. It’s a visual exercise that helps me put the past where it belongs. Another thing to think about is that some habits that we want to stop have taken years to ingrain and will not be stopped overnight. Cut yourself some slack if you stumble.

All in all, it’s a good thing that we all want to make personal improvements each year. And it doesn’t matter what we call these steps, as long as we are willing to make an effort toward them each day.

Good luck and may 2017 be your best year ever.