It's easy to make a New Year's resolution, but it's much harder to stick with it, and the numbers prove it. According to research compiled by Statistic Brain, 45 percent of Americans regularly make New Year's resolutions, but only 8 percent report actually achieving them.
As you might expect, losing weight and getting in great shape are among the most common resolutions, which means that many people are giving up before they get the results they want. Setting a goal to improve your health this year can be life-changing, and it starts with making a resolution you can stick with. Here are a few ways to do just that:
Set a specific, realistic goal
The most common mistake people make when making a New Year's resolution is to make their goals way too big. To fix that, the American Psychological Association suggested picking something small and specific and really making it a habit throughout the year.
For example, don't just say "I'm going to go to the gym this year." Instead, commit to three or four days a week of gym time. This is more specific and, more importantly, measurable.
Talk about your goal
One way goals get derailed is that there's no accountability built into them. To keep yourself honest and on track, tell your friends and family about your goal. In doing so, you'll be more likely to stick with it knowing that people are cheering you on and waiting to see your results.
Track your progress
As discussed in the first point, if you've made a specific goal, you should be able to track and measure your progress. Time pointed out that the simple act of marking your progress can keep you on track, as it lets you see how far you've come and keeps you excited for more.
Shake off your failures
No matter how strong your willpower is, there will be some days - or even weeks - where you don't work toward your goal. This is enough to make some people quit altogether.
Don't let an occasional miss derail your entire effort. You should always remember that even if you slip once in awhile, you can always pick up where you left off.