5 keys to help you keep your New Year's resolutions

Now that the Times Square ball has dropped, and the confetti and champagne are long gone, how are you doing on your New Year's resolutions? According to reports, 80 percent of people who make New Year's resolutions will have given up on those goals by Groundhog Day.

Most of us make resolutions with the best of intentions. At first we hope and try to succeed, but then it proves too hard. Life gets in the way, or we realize that bad habit we want to kick is more difficult to change than we'd hoped. And so we give up...and feel like a failure.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Here are five keys to help you crush your resolutions this time around!

Get more fitness tips from Michelle on her blog!

1. To succeed big, go small. Set yourself up for success by making just one or two resolutions, rather than a long list, so that you can give it the attention needed to accomplish. Be realistic on what you are actually able -- and willing -- to do, and the time it will take.

And it's crucial that you have a solid plan of action. A resolution without a plan is nothing more than a New Year "hope." Break your goal down into small, doable steps.

Don't over complicate things. Keep it simple, because simple gets done.

2. Be specific, not vague. Most people make broad resolutions, such as, "This year I'm going to get in shape and start eating better." But what does that mean exactly, and how and when will it happen?

A more clear-cut, actionable statement would be, "I'm going to go for a power walk for at least 20 minutes Monday through Friday," or, "I'm going to make ahead dinner in the crock pot twice a week, instead of stopping for fast food."

3. Remember: Change is a process, not an event. It just doesn't happen overnight. And all too often, people give up on resolutions because of one slip up.

When you're working on a big goal, such as losing weight, it's normal to sometimes take two steps forward and one step back.

Too often, we use small mistakes as an excuse to give up on big goals. Forgive yourself, move on and keep going. If you're willing to do that and not give up, you will get to where you want to be.

4. Don't go it alone. Whatever your pursuit, there is professional help out there, so seek it out.

For example, if fitness or weight loss is your goal, consult a Certified Personal Trainer to create a personalized plan that works for you, and to provide the professional guidance and accountability to ensure that you succeed.

Why struggle on your own, when you don't have to?

5. Be persistent. Don't give up so easily. Be patient with yourself and the process, but be intent on your goals. Perfection isn't required to achieve success, but persistence is.

When it comes right down to it, commitment is the most important key to making your resolution succeed.

Michelle Rogers is a Certified Personal Trainer who specializes in helping women over 40 improve their health and quality of life. Visit her healthy living blog at www.michellerogers.fit and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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