Whether you are successful at achieving them or not, chances are, every January 1, you start off with a new list of resolutions that you intend to keep this year.   Some of us are better at setting and reaching these resolutions then others. So what’s the trick to making sure the goals you set for yourself the first week of January don’t fall by the wayside in a few weeks? Good resolutions have three things in common. They are specific, timely and measurable.

Be Specific. How many times have you set a lofty goal, only to feel overwhelmed at where to start? Resolutions like “I will lose weight” or “I will eat healthier” are great sentiments. But there is nothing specific about them. When you set resolutions, make sure they answer the question- how? How will you lose weight? How will you eat healthier? Rather than setting a goal of losing weight, set a goal of losing a specific number of pounds and list a couple of ways you will do it (e.g. I won’t buy chips or eat out in the week).

Time is of the essence.  In theory, you have an entire year to reach your goal, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set some parameters to it.  If you don’t have a time frame, you likely won’t keep your resolution. You need to be accountable and giving yourself a schedule to work towards will make it easier to reach your overall goal.  If you want to be healthier, you should set some milestones. I like short term and long term milestones. Short term should be something achievable in a month or less and long term should be three months or more.

Measure up.  How do you know if you’re succeeding at your resolutions? You have to measure them.  Which means when you initially set the goals, you need to make them measurable.  Weight loss goals are easy – they are measurable by the number of pounds or inches you lose.  Fitness goals are trickier – you can measure it by the number of workouts you complete weekly, how fast you run a mile, or the number of push-ups you can do. Take a moment and figure out what your mode of measurement will be.

Whatever your resolutions are use this list to make yours more achievable. If all goes well, you’ll be setting new ones for next year.