It seems to happen every year, you make your New Year’s resolution(s) with nothing but the best intentions, and then a few weeks later it seems all you’re left with are those intentions.

Fortunately, the internet is loaded with free advice on how to stay in sight of the goals you set on the first day of January and ultimately achieve those goals before the end of the year.

Here are some of the more common ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions on track throughout the year.

Resolution No. 1: Lose Weight

Whether you want to lose 5 pounds or 50, losing weight is a popular New Year’s resolution. The prospect can be quite daunting, especially if you’re looking to lose a lot of weight. Make things easier by starting with small, detailed goals. Don’t just say you want to lose 20 pounds. Beware of crash diets, fads, and plans that exclude major food groups or are overly restrictive, as the majority of research on diets like these has shown that they do not work in the long-run. Meet with a registered dietitian for a personalized plan that fits your lifestyle.

Resolution No. 2: Eat Better

Do you want to cut back on sweets? Stop snacking? Say bye-bye to fast food? A healthy diet will help you achieve better health and a healthy weight. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains, as well as seafood and yogurt in your meals and snacks. Cut back on refined grains and starches, high-sodium foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, and other high-sugar foods. A nutritionist can help you put together a healthier diet and help you stay on track with healthy food options.

Resolution No. 3: Get Active & Stay ActiVe

When it comes to increasing your physical activity, the gradual step-by-step approach really is the better route toward success. Literally. You can’t expect to go from couch potato to marathoner overnight. If you’re currently sedentary, start with a daily walk around the block. Sample some fitness classes or programs to see what appeals to you most, then make your favorites a part of your routine. If you want to amp up your workouts, set a more courageous (but still achievable) goal, such as running a 5k. If you’d like to support a local business in this regard may we suggest one of our sponsors, Nicki Podworney at https://essenzatraining.com/

Resolution No. 4: Quit a Bad Habit

Quitting unhealthy habits — whether they’re detrimental like smoking, or drinking too much alcohol, or benign, like biting your nails — can be incredibly difficult. Start by increasing your self-awareness. Pay attention to when you indulge in these habits and what seems to trigger your cravings. Keeping a journal can be a great way to do that. Once you’ve identified what sets you off, try to replace the bad habit with a healthier alternative. Depending on the habit, you might need expert guidance, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your physician or a therapist for extra support.

Resolution No. 5: Stop Procrastinating

There’s a reason why we left this New Year’s resolution for last! All kidding aside, it can be tough to stick to a to-do list. Start off with small challenges: Don’t flip on the TV or get sucked into social media until after you wash the dishes or do your daily workout. Then work toward long-term tests, like not spending extra money until you pay off a debt. You might find that you enjoy the challenges as much as you do the rewards.

Most importantly: Resolve to cut yourself some slack. Making a major lifestyle change isn’t easy, so start small and don’t give up. Any positive change is worth the effort, and by putting plans in place, 2021 could be the year you finally keep your New Year’s resolutions.