We’re only a few days into 2019 and you may have set a new year’s resolution. A new year, a new you after all. While 1 in 3 Americans make a resolution for the new year, about a third drop off by the end of January and less than half are still going 6 months in. But don’t get discouraged just yet; we’ve got a list of things that can help you along the way and lead you down the path to success.

1.Make Manageable Goals

Setting a big goal is good, it is what you want to achieve, but you need to have smaller goals along the way as well. These smaller, more manageable goals allow you to see your progress along the way and keep you motivated to keep going.

Let’s say you are wanting to lose 50 lbs. That is your big goal. Set smaller goals at 5 lbs, 10 lbs, and 15lbs. This allows you to get excited each time you reach a goal and see your progress in positive ways. Sure, you still have a ways to go, but look at how far you’ve come already!

2. Have a Plan

It’s great that you want to jump into your resolution head first, but going in without a game plan could lead to failure. If you want to quit smoking, and you always stop at the same gas station for coffee and cigarettes, change the routine. Have a plan for what you’re going to do differently. If you want to go to the gym 3 days a week, plan specific days. Without a plan it’s easy to fall back into your old habits.

3. Get a Support System

Having people in your corner that support you and understand what you’re trying to do can make a huge difference. Life is hard and you need people who understand what you are doing and why. This is exactly why things like AA exist, so people can gather together and talk about their shared experiences. Find a community that fits your goals and you’ll find some of the best support out there.

Remember, this doesn’t have to be an organized group, this can be family and friends that share the same goals as you, it can be a Facebook group about quitting smoking or running. The options are endless, just don’t try to do it all alone.

4. Keep a Log

Keeping a log of your exercise, or food intake can really help you see the progress you are making. If you are trying to save more money, keep track of your expenses to see where you can make improvements.

Keeping a log of whatever you are trying to improve lets you look at your habits all in one place and really analyze them. Maybe you spend $10 a day on lunch, 5 days a week. While it doesn’t sound too bad one day at a time, when you realize that’s $100+ per 2 week paycheck it may make you rethink.

There are tons of way you can do this. There are journals, planners, apps, you name it. Find what works for you and get started tracking! This also gives you the ability to see how far you have come when you look back. You will be able to compare your habits at the start of your resolution and throughout the year as your progress.

5. Be Flexible

Set backs will happen, because life happens. The important thing is to not let a little set back through you off your plan. Let’s go back to quitting smoking. If you slip up and smoke a cigarette, act like it never happened and get back to your goal. You are not perfect, no one is, and mistakes will happen. It is how you recover after the mistake that matters.

Your schedule will also not always go as planned. If you want to go to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but you’re out of town, don’t let it throw you off your whole game! Be prepared to make adjustments so that you can keep on the path to success.

6. Don’t Give Up

Life is hard, but changing can be even harder. It is so easy to fall into old habits and forget why you started your new years resolution in the first place. If there is one thing you take from this it is to stay positive and don’t give up. As long as you keep trying you are improving. There is no such thing as failure when you are giving it your best effort. Don’t let others (or yourself) tell you that you can’t do something. You can do anything that you set your mind to.

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