It's not uncommon for many of us to set unrealistic goals for ourselves heading into the New Year and then by the second week in January, we're already back to our old ways.

Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images
Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images

But, there are steps you can take to assure that you stick to your resolution.

"You really have to be realistic about your resolution. Take a small step. You don't want to set yourself up for failure. Sometimes people get very ambitious and think they're going to accomplish great things over the year, but if they haven't done these things before, it's very hard to do so in the future," said Dr. Steven Tobias, Director of the Center for Child and Family Development in Morristown. "If you set up a realistic small step, accomplish that and experience some success, then set another goal. I think the mistake people make is that they set it too long-term. Plan to accomplish something in a month rather than a year."

Set up a schedule. "Make it concrete. Tell yourself when you're going to do it. If your goal is to lose weight, to join the gym or something like that, look at your schedule and write it down," said Tobias. "If it's on the calendar, you're more likely to do it."

Tell other people and make it private. "When you keep it private, then you're only obligated to yourself. When you tell other people what your resolution is, there's that social pressure and people will ask you about it and follow up," said Tobias. "This can help you accomplish goals when you're doing it not just for yourself, but when you feel like you're accountable to other people as well. They'll hopefully give you a little supportive push in helping you fulfill the things you want to do for yourself."

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