Resolved to make some changes? You’re not alone.

Mature couple in yellow shirtsNearly 50% of Americans make resolutions, with self-improvement at the top of the list. Many scoff at New Year’s resolutions, but according to,

“People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.”

Positive, achievable goals are the key to successful resolutions. Check out the list below for hints on practical resolution making.

• Select a reasonably- sized goal. Large goals are overwhelming.

• List reasons why you chose that goal. Do your reasons fill you with enthusiasm? If not, back to the drawing board for a positive goal that will motivate you.

• Organize your environment to support your goal. If you want to lose weight, stock your fridge with healthier foods. If you need time to take a class, consider what you can clear from your schedule.

• Use a journal or a simple yearly date book to track your accomplishments. Big or small, every step you take brings success closer.

• Take time once a week to review your progress. Look through your journal for any patterns. Tweak your habits to take advantage of the positive patterns and brainstorm how to reduce the negative ones.

• Take time to contemplate what you truly would like to achieve before choosing a New Year’s resolution. As my grandmother often said, “choose in haste, repent in leisure.”

• Once you achieve your goal, set another one. Each accomplishment is but a step down the path to a healthier lifestyle.