It’s a new year and resolutions are being made and broken once again.

Here are a couple of ways to help make changes that stick:

  1. Be realistic when setting goals. If your goals are too big, break them down into small pieces and work on them one at a time for the 21 days it takes to form a habit. If that doesn’t work, break the goal down into even smaller pieces.
  2. Replace your bad habits with new habits. Instead of biting my nails, a 40+ year habit I changed, add a new habit (in my case, I clip my nails with a clipper each Friday morning, and I started wearing gloves when driving after I realized I was biting nails during “boring” drives.)
  3. Respect the limits of willpower. People who are trying to give up drinking don’t surround themselves with alcohol. People who are trying to eat better don’t surround themselves with unhealthy foods. Find healthy snacks you enjoy and keep them around—almond butter on a whole wheat cracker, apples or other fruit—and empty your house of the bad stuff.
  4. Tell others about your goals. One of my business partners told me of his progress at the gym last year and it was very helpful to him.
  5. Remember you are not perfect. No one is. In fact, a goal of perfection is the only way to guarantee failure. Beating yourself up doesn’t help. Just get back on the horse and start again.

What are your ideas for changes that stick? Join the conversation with your comments…

Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2015!