5 Tips for Keeping That New Year's Resolution

Nearly half of all Americans say they usually make New Year's resolutions, but just 8 percent are successful in achieving them. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with your lofty goals for the year ahead, try these tips for realigning your resolutions and finally achieving your ambitions this year.

Be Clear About Your Goals

   Image via    Flickr    by d26b7

Image via Flickr by d26b7

Vague resolutions are often impossible to keep. If you're not clear about what you hope you to achieve, there's no real way to map out your path for getting there. Instead of setting a goal to get healthy, challenge yourself to eat three servings of vegetables a day, take a daily vitamin, or walk for 30 minutes three times a week. The more specific your resolution, the easier it is to keep.

Research Your Methods

Take some time to make sure your chosen strategy is realistic and achievable for your lifestyle. If your goal requires a financial investment, take a good look at your bank account before

beginning. If you're planning to embark on a serious weight loss journey, consult a doctor. Make sure you're using the best possible approach to your resolution.

Track Your Progress

Set benchmarks for success so you know when you've hit a milestone on the way to your goal. If you're saving money for a new car, set mini-goals for how much you need to put away each month so you can make sure you're always on track. Focus on weekly or monthly achievements rather than an overwhelmingly big picture of your end game. Mark predetermined check-in points on your calendar throughout the year.

Go Public

It's often easier to follow through with a resolution if you're public about the journey. You can drum up social media support or even enlist a group of like-minded friends to take the journey with you. You can enjoy bragging rights when you make important strides forward to your goal, and use the added allure of showing off your success as a motivator to keep moving forward. Going public may also help you snag some smart tips from friends and family along the way, such as a recommendation for a great gym or ideas for healthy meal replacements.

Develop a Rewards System

Give yourself little rewards for reaching those milestones you set, so you have added motivation to keep going. If you eat your allotted servings of veggies all week, treat yourself to a special weekend dessert. After shedding the first few pounds, enjoy a pampering day at the spa. Creating a reward cycle will make it easier to push forward.

Don't fall into the majority who give up their resolutions as failures a few months into the year. With a smart strategy, you can live out your resolutions successfully all year and declare them a success. Get started tweaking your resolutions and revitalizing your approach now.