How are those New Year’s Resolutions going for you? If you’re like most people you’ve already quit your attempt to lose weight, get your finances in order and find the love of your life. If you’re like most people you’ve given up on any lasting change and fallen back into the habits that have gotten you right where you are. Probably on the couch watching some horrible reality show while scarfing down a sleeve of Oreos or some other equally unhealthy food.

Even if you’ve lost track of your New Year’s Resolutions, you can still get back on course and see your goals through to the finish.

It’s never to late to make positive changes so get off the couch, brush off the cookie crumbs and grab a notebook and a pen.

If you want to see sustainable change and improvement you’re going to have to take goal setting seriously – and that means writing it down.

Studies show that people who write down their goals – on paper, on bulletin boards, calendars, or even on the internet – are more likely to achieve their goals. This is why you see so many people sharing their progress with losing weight, training for a marathon, and even finding love.

If you want to make changes, you have to be willing to do things differently and that all starts with intention and that starts with pen and paper.

Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Write it Down – Write down exactly the things you want to change or achieve. Be as specific as you can and go into great detail about how you plan on doing it. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure how to achieve your goals, that’s okay, you can do the research later – just include that in your notes.

Prioritize – Once you’ve written down the goals you want to accomplish it’s time to prioritize. Reaching goals is hard work so choose one or two at a time. One is probably better if this is your first time setting goals. When you’ve reached your first goal you can choose another from the list, so you will eventually get to all of them.

Break it Down – No matter what your goal is, there are probably a lot of moving parts to it. You may have no idea where to begin and that can be overwhelming. Being overwhelmed can, and usually does, lead to paralysis and that can lead to failure. To avoid overwhelm you’ll want to break down the project into manageable chunks. For example, if you want to lose 30 pounds this year you’d have to lose just over half a pound per week – that’s pretty doable. In fact, losing half a pound a week is cutting out your daily Oreos or taking a 20 minute walk each day (I don’t really know how much you would need to do to lose a half a pound in a week, everyone is different). Breaking the task down, especially against time, is a great way to see how achieveable your goal is.

Journal – Whether you keep track of your progress in a notebook, online blog or in a Facebook group – journaling your journey will help keep you on track and keep you accountable. Sharing your progress with friends is even better.

These are just some tips for keeping your New Year’s Resolutions, you may have others, and if you do please share them in the comments below. Setting and achieving goals should be challenging, but it should also be fun.

Here’s to a wonderful and successful 2018!