The New Year is almost here, and that means parties, champagne, and of course…New Year’s Resolutions! It’s a time to proclaim our hopes and dreams. Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Do you keep them? Here are 13 New Year Resolution No-Nos to avoid, so you can make your resolutions a reality this year:

1. Making a vague resolution. Your New Year’s Resolution should be considered a goal. If your goal isn’t specific, it’s going to be impossible to achieve. For example – instead of resolving to “lose weight” or “get in shape,” make it specific…”I resolve to lose 40 pounds.” or “I resolve to cut my body fat in half.”

2. Not setting a deadline.  Give yourself a set date to make your New Year’s Resolution a reality. If there’s no end date (or end goal) for your resolution, it can be very hard to get started and even harder to complete!

3. Not writing it down. Research shows that writing down your goals can help you achieve them faster. Write down your New Year’s Resolution, and keep it where you can see it every day!  Track your progress by writing down what you’ve done each day to help you reach your goal.

4. Not sharing. Don’t keep your New Year’s Resolution to yourself…tell the world! You are more likely to achieve your goals if you share your progress with others. Sharing your goals will increase your accountability and your motivation!

5. Not breaking it down.  If the resolution you enthusiastically made New Year’s Eve seems overwhelming in the light of New Year’s Day, try breaking down your goal into smaller chunks.  Set a goal for the year, and then break it down into weekly or monthly goals that are more achievable.  For example – if you resolved to lose 40 pounds this year, break it down like this: “I resolve to lose 1 pound a week until I reach my goal weight.”

6. Setting unrealistic goals. Your New Year’s Resolution should force you to make changes and step outside your comfort zone, but it also needs to be realistic. There’s a big difference between possible goals and those that are realistic and achievable.

7. Making too many resolutions. Enthusiasm is great, but if you make too many resolutions you can end up bouncing around from one goal to another like Tigger. Focus on your main goal first. Once you achieve it, move on to the next!

8. Choosing a goal that doesn’t mesh with your priorities. Ask yourself if your New Year’s Resolution could compromise your priorities in life.  One of the first steps in reaching your goals is setting ones that are a good fit for you!

9. Choosing a goal you’re not committed to. Choose a New Year’s Resolution that’s meaningful to you, not something that someone else thinks you should do. If your heart isn’t in it, you won’t stay committed to it. Choose something that you’re excited about!

10. Choosing a goal that doesn’t challenge you. Your New Year’s Resolution should be realistic, but don’t make a resolution that you’re already well on your way to achieving. No easy stuff…that’s cheating!

11. Choosing a goal that’s not SMART. The best way to make your New Year’s Resolution a reality is to choose a goal that’s SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding, and Time Sensitive.

12. Not expecting setbacks.  Let’s face it…there will be times when achieving your New Year’s Resolution gets off track. It’s easy to get discouraged and want to give up when things aren’t going exactly as planned, or you haven’t reached your goal as fast as you thought you would. Remember that every little bit of progress you make towards you goal counts, no matter how small.  Don’t give up!

13. Not believing in yourself!  The reason you haven’t kept your New Year’s Resolutions in the past is probably because you either didn’t really think you could do it, or you had no real intention of doing it in the first place.  Don’t fall into that old habit of not believing in yourself!  You can make positive changes in your life and reach your goals this year!

Inspired by Chalene Johnson’s PUSH