By the time we reach a certain age, we understand the real point behind our New Year’s resolutions. It’s admirable to make real efforts to improve yourself. Yet, for many, making it past February 1st with your resolution intact just doesn’t happen.

What can you do to ensure you follow through with your New Year’s resolution and ultimately achieve the results you seek?

Consider these suggestions:

1. Is your resolution realistic, specific and achievable? What about your strategy for achieving it? For example, if losing a certain amount of weight is your goal for the year, it may not be realistic for you to plan on doing it by eating only 1,200 calories per day.

* However, what if your resolution was something like, “Decrease my calorie intake by 10% each week?” Or “Eat 3 fruits daily, one before each meal.” These goals, as you can see, are more realistic, very specific in their plan and frankly, more do-able than simply saying, “Lose 50 pounds” or “Eat 1,200 calories a day.”

* If your resolution or method of achieving it isn’t realistic, change it today for better success.

2. Think about ways to keep your resolution in mind. Write down your resolution in your journal, jot it on a note, and place it on your refrigerator. Record it in your calendar. You can even keep your resolution written down on a paper on the front seat of your car. When your resolution is in your thoughts every day, you’re more likely to follow through with it.

3. Ask your spouse or friends to bring up your goal frequently. After all, people close to you want you to be successful in your goals. It can be as non-threatening as, “So, how are you doing on working toward your New Year’s resolution today?”

* Discuss your struggles, plans and daily successes with people who love you. There’s no way you can just forget about your New Year’s resolution when you discuss it often with those who matter.

4. Start early each day. Set up a resolution so you can do something related to the goal first thing in the morning. Since most people are at their freshest and most energetic in the morning, it’s good to be able to achieve something related to your resolution right after you get out of bed.

* If your resolution has something to do with your nutritional intake, eating a balanced breakfast will get your day off to a great start.

* In the event you’ve resolved to get more exercise, getting in 20 or 30 minutes of exercise would be a great start to your day and respect your resolution.

* Resolutions to delve more into a subject or learn a new language can be achieved by studying for a half-hour first thing in the morning.

* Plan to take a step toward your resolution in the mornings. This way, you’ll start the day off with your resolution in mind and feel positive and successful all day.

5. Be flexible about your New Year’s resolution. Give yourself permission to tweak your resolution as time goes by. Maybe you’re unable to drop calorie intake from 2,500 calories in a day down to 1,500. So, don’t beat yourself up if you consume 2,200 calories a day. In a few weeks, you can cut another 100 calories.

* Allow yourself to make desired changes related to your resolution gradually. The more flexible you are, the more likely you’ll achieve your resolution sometime during the year.

Staying with your New Year’s resolution as long as it takes to be successful is possible. Just apply the above strategies: make it realistic and specific, keep your resolution in mind, ask friends and family to talk to you about your goal, start first thing in the morning, and be flexible about your resolution to achieve your goal.

Stick to your New Year’s resolution to experience one of your most inspiring years ever!