It’s almost a New Year, and with that comes the predictable New Year’s resolutions. Everyone got some resolutions. Maybe you want to quit smoking, drinking, or any bad addiction. Perhaps you wish to do something more challenging, like forgetting someone to add someone in life. You fervently set all those things in January within the 1st or 2nd month of the New Year. Most of us set resolutions but usually fail. Why is it so difficult to make a resolution that works?

Most resolutions fail not because you are deficient in good intentions, but the actual reason is that if you wanted to make a long-lasting change in your life, you wouldn’t have to wait for a special day to do it. You’d already be taking steps to attain your goal, and you wouldn’t allow one setback to wreck or overwhelm the other steps you’d already taken to accomplish that goal.

So, instead of thinking of a New Year’s resolution as an all-or-nothing proposition where one slip-up derails your entire effort,

create an approach that any progress toward your goal is laudable of reward. Rather than focusing on the negatives, focus on the progress you have made.

Here are some alternatives to the traditional New Year’s resolution and how they will truly help you change your life for the better. Everyone’s heard of lifelong bucket lists. However, when we think of bucket lists, we often think in very vague terms, like “Someday, I’d like to start learning Spanish, Derive a car and visit someplace, etc.”Making a list of things you want to do rather than setting one practically unachievable goal is far more enjoyable.

Additionally, looking forward to checking items from your list makes you encouraged to tackle the necessary steps you need to take.

We’re all familiar with the modus operandi that Rome wasn’t built in one day. And as with all cliches, there is a glisten of truth to that proclamation. When setting a long-term goal, such as quitting any bad habit or losing weight, or gaining weight, it’s crucial to celebrate every step of the journey to keep you motivated. Perhaps you are planning to achieve something big for that, and you have to go through a long process.

Then, make a list of some of the behaviors you can change to achieve your goal. Set it out every week and congratulate yourself for every positive action you have taken. By making the process something you can enjoy and celebrate, you will make lasting changes in your life.

Another great way to keep yourself accountable with your resolutions or goals is to write them down. Writing your goals helps make them more concrete and specific.

Also, use checklists to keep yourself on track. Each Sunday, for example, sit down and write a list of actions you can take that week that can help you achieve your goal. As you write down the schedule, include checkboxes next to the routines. As you accomplish and check off each routine, you get instant visual validation that you are on track.

Experts agree that the best goals have certain characteristics. They should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). These SMART goals are empowering because they focus on goals you can obtain and offer a specific time frame for completion. Many trainers would recommend that you make a training schedule on a calendar you see daily, such as a large wall calendar, to create a SMART goal. By seeing the number of miles you have completed, you’ll be able to measure your progress.

The problem with traditional New Year’s resolutions is they focus on your setbacks instead of celebrating the progress you’ve accomplished. So, for this year, create resolutions that will celebrate you.