That time of year is here again where everyone is creating their New Year's resolutions and deciding to “change their lives.” The majority of these resolutions will end up going unachieved and forgotten within weeks. The reason for this is that most people have a difficult time with change. Once you have a cemented routine, drastically changing daily habits can be difficult to do. That is why it is essential that when you set your goals and create your New Year's resolutions, they be realistic, achievable, specific and measurable. If you give yourself a general goal like “I want to get in shape” chances are, you won't even get close if you haven't already before. A better goal would be “I will eat 500 calories less per day than I normally consume”. This is something specific, measurable and far easier to plan because you can measure how many calories you're eating each day. If you just generally say that you want to be in shape, there's no specific target to shoot for each day, and you will more than likely get nowhere. Another example of a bad New Year's resolution would be saying “I want to lose 40 pounds this year”. This goal is specific, but doesn't have a plan of attack and doesn't sound very achievable. In other words, there are no baby steps to take because you just flat out want to lose 40 pounds. A better alternative would be “I want to lose 1 pound every week for the next year”. This is a much more achievable goal because you can take specific steps each week to achieve the larger goal (40 pounds in a year). Having smaller more manageable goals (1 pound per week) will eventually accrue to the overall goal. Instead of sitting down on your computer and formulating an elaborate plan to lose 40 pounds in 1 year, the smarter strategy would be to sit down for 15-20 minutes at the end of each week and adjust your plan as necessary to achieve your next step for the coming week. Doing this week after week will allow you to stay on top of your mini-goals, until your entire year goal is accomplished. Don't overload your brain with impossible to track goals and unachievable general concepts. Instead, take small steps on a daily basis which accumulate. Consistency and planning are the keys to achieving your long-term goal. To learn how to survive the holidays without getting fat, click here.