We're about to embark on the start of a new year. For many of us, that means wiping the slate clean, saying good bye to the bad things that happened in 2011 and starting anew in 2012. As part of the new year, many of us will be making resolutions. Whether that means losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising more or what have you, these promises we make to ourselves aren't always so easy to keep. So, how can we make this year different? What can we do to make sure we follow through?

"First, tell people what your resolutions are. Just by making them public makes them more real," said Dr. Steven Tobias, a Morristown-based Psychologist. "It also adds social pressure and support at the same time. People will ask you how you're doing with your resolution and they'll pat you on the back when you're holding to it."

"You have to really know yourself, you have to use good self-awareness and critical self-judgement to know what's realistic for you," said Tobias. "The more realistic and obtainable your goals, the more likely you are to stick to them."

Tobias recommends starting small. "You may need to lose 100 pounds, but start with twenty. You also should break those goals down. You're not going to do it all at once. Set markers for yourself."

"The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior," he said. "When you are making a resolution, it often involves changing your behavior and going against your nature. The old habits were comfortable and known to you. When you change your behavior, there's a zone of discomfort and you often have to force yourself to do it before it becomes more natural. It takes a great deal of perseverance and motivation."