Think about how to make new year's resolutions that feel good to you.

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep

Eek, did you know fewer than 8 percent of people stick to their new year’s resolutions, according to one study? Yet we continue to make them, because on the cusp of a new year – or a new decade! – it feels good to think ahead to how you’d like to live differently in the coming year. The good news is that resolutions don’t have to fall by the wayside, as long as you make them right. Here are a few tips for making resolutions that are realistic to keep.

Think In Terms of Micro-Goals

Successful change, experts say, is more of a marathon than a sprint – people who keep their resolutions do it by breaking bigger goals down into smaller ones that are easier to check off the list. Hoping to have started a new relationship by the end of 2020? Maybe your resolution could be setting up an online profile. Want to lose 30 pounds? Break it into a series of steps: join a weight loss support group, upload a calorie-counting app, or cut your carb intake by a third, or even just stop buying a muffin everyday for breakfast and eat oatmeal instead.

Make Resolutions for the Right Reasons

What this comes down to is you – what do you want for yourself in the coming year? If you want to lose weight, eat healthier, or quit smoking, those are excellent goals. But sometimes we set goals that are expected, rather than what’s really in our hearts. Do you secretly wish you were more creative? Your resolution could be to sign up for a class or meetup. If you find yourself feeling lonely, is a partner the answer, or maybe in the meantime you could find a new social group to do things with?

Don’t Be Afraid to Consider Budget

It’s easy to get grandiose listening to friends’ plans to travel the world or go back to school, but if those goals are beyond your reach right now, that’s okay! You could resolve to plan more weekend getaways and explore nearby areas, or to sign up for classes or a certificate program at your local community college.

Make Joint Resolutions

Accountability is a huge factor in motivation, experts say. So if you and a friend share a goal, make it together (keeping it micro-manageable) and pledge to support each other. If you both hate your jobs, for example, you could agree to sign up for job search platforms and send each other leads when you see them.  If you and partner both want to get in shape, agree to join a group together, or buy fitness equipment you can both use.

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.