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Tips to Create a New Year's Resolution You Can Keep

Minutes before midnight on December 31, over half of Americans are motivated to create their next big New Year's resolution. But out of all those new hopes and dreams, how many resolutions are actually achieved? Eight percent! Only a handful of people who create New Year's resolutions actually cross their finish line.

When making a resolution, ask yourself how you can cross your finish line this year. The more specific your goal, the easier it will be to come out on top and join that small, coveted club of eight percent. When you think you have a resolution you want to tackle this year, step back and ask yourself:

Who am I doing this for?

Ultimately, your resolution should be what you want to do. Not what society, friends or even your family wants you to do. If you don't feel it's what you really, truly want to accomplish, then head back to the drawing board.

How can I get there?

No matter your goal, there are a number of ways to achieve it from simply reading informative articles to signing up for exciting activities or classes. The trick is to find something that complements your current lifestyle instead of trying to "fit it in." The more natural the activity feels within your schedule, the easier it will be to keep at it.

Where am I starting?

Let's say this year you want to lose weight, but you don't like to exercise. You might tell yourself, "If I just get new shoes, I'll go for walks more often." Unfortunately, new shoes won't change the fact you still don't like to exercise. Be honest with yourself about the difficulty or why you don't like the task. You'll be more likely to see and plan for any barriers ahead of time.

What obstacles will I overcome?

With any long-term goal, bumps are bound to happen. But not all bumps have to be surprises. Simply look ahead a week, a month or a year and make a list of any potential obstacles or schedule conflicts you might face. Are there any on the list that might cause you to give up on your goal or can you start making plans now to overcome them when they appear?

This year, create a resolution you can stick to as easily as pecan pie sticks to your waistline. And take heart, even if you feel like giving up, always be proud of what you've accomplished! One in three Americans never set resolutions in the first place, so just by deciding to create one puts you way ahead of the game.

Finally, just because it's not the beginning of the year doesn't mean you can't attempt the resolution again or create a new one. Whether it's the beginning of the day, week, month — perhaps another fresh start is all you need.