Every new year, we hear “new year, new you.”

People are finding ways to improve themselves by making New Year’s resolutions.

How about you? Did you make New Year’s resolutions?

It’s hard not to become caught up in the hype for change.

Fitness centers are advertising promotional rates.

Stores are advertising ways to get organized.

But with all this hype, it’s disappointing to learn less than 10 percent of people keep their New Year’s resolutions.

How many years have you made the same New Year’s resolutions?

The excuses for not keeping resolutions vary. It may be:

…loss of motivation

…change not happening as quickly as thought

…not enough time

…harder than initially thought

With such a low success rate, maybe our approach is wrong.

Yes, we should be excited about a new year and the opportunity to have 365 days to improve our lives.

But what if we changed our expectations – maybe we’re expecting too much too soon.

Instead of wanting to change many things, why not start by focusing on one item. And break down that one item into smaller steps. Here are some exmples:

If you need to lose weight, start by increasing your daily water intake to at least eight 8oz glasses of water. Once you’ve mastered that goal, then start reducing meal portions.

If you need to get your finances in order, start by hiring a CFP® to develop a financial plan to follow. Once you have a financial plan, then you can prioritize which item will be your next priority.

If you need to organize your home, start by changing one drawer or cabinet. Once you’ve finished that area, then start on another area.

If you need to reduce stress, start by getting more sleep. Once you have a new routine, then begin finding at least 2 minutes in your day to breathe deeply, gradually increasing that time.

What we’re doing is taking your big expectation and breaking it down into smaller targets. It may take longer to accomplish everything, but it will be easier to stay motivated.

Before giving-up on your New Year’s resolutions, re-evaluate your approach then recommit. Pick only one thing to address and focus your energy on that one item. Break it down into smaller steps to keep yourself motivated. Make 2017 your best year ever!

Yes – I want more tips about money + life   >

Niv PersaudNiv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”