It’s a new year. There’s advertisement everywhere encouraging you to be a new you.

It’s on billboards, television commercials, and even social media ads. These advertisements push you into addressing your goal to lose weight, exercise more, or even become organized.

You may have already identified what you want to do this year. And you may have already fallen short of achieving that goal. Or you may have not even started steps towards your goal.

What do you do?

First, stop setting yourself up for failure. Re-evaluate what you want to achieve and make sure it’s realistic. Look at your current lifestyle and commitments.

If you have many things you want to change, just focus on one item. You may need to break your goal into smaller achievable steps, or you may need to extend how long it will take you to reach your goal.

For example, if you want to organize your home. Start with one item – may be a kitchen drawer. It’s a small project to accomplish even if your lifestyle is hectic.

It may take you one day, a weekend, or even a month. There’s no gold star to get it accomplished quickly. It’s your deadline. Once you’ve tackled one drawer then move on to the next one.

Sometimes if you pick a room to tackle, you may lose your momentum. How many times have you gone to the store to buy things to accomplish your project and those items are left unpacked? Do you have shelves still needing to be hung on the wall? Do you have boxes of file folders waiting for you to organize your office?

It’s common to be energized and buy everything and then lose momentum when it comes to doing the project. For that reason, it’s helpful to focus on one item in a room or break the project into smaller pieces. Making these changes to your expectations will help set you up for success instead of failure.

Another example is destressing your life. But your life is jam-packed with commitments. Where do you begin?

Start by looking at your day. Do you have five minutes to sit in silence and breathe deeply? Pausing your day – even if only for five minutes – does make a difference.

At first, your mind will wonder but force your self to envision a peaceful setting – sitting on a beach, near a waterfall, watching the sunset.  Your peaceful setting can be anywhere. If you need help, find a picture of a setting that takes your breath away.

If pausing every day for five minutes is too much, try every other day or once a week. Eventually, you’ll look forward to these pauses in life and find yourself refreshed enough to incorporate it into your daily routine. It’s a lot easier to find five minutes than committing to an hour meditation class.

Striving to change for a more positive you is commendable. We all begin with good intentions, especially when the new year begins. However, we lose momentum quickly when we’ve over-committed or picked a change that takes longer. Stop setting yourself up for failure and reframe your expectations. It’s your life. You control your deadlines. You control your happiness.

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Niv 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’.”