The New Year is a time of celebration and reflection. It allows you to look back over the past year and celebrate your successes as well as focus on the things in your life that need improvement.

Although making a New Year’s resolution is very popular, few individuals actually reach their goals. Of the 40% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions last year, only 8% actually achieved their goals.

The key to successfully achieving your goal is to develop productive habits that enhance your ability to stay on track. So as the New Year quickly approaches, here are some tips that you can use to ensure that you stay true to your resolution.

Plan Ahead

Instead of choosing a New Year’s resolution off the top of your head on January 1st, you should take some time to reflect and think about what you need to change in your life. Picking a resolution on New Year’s Eve will leave you with a goal that is fleeting, but if you take time to think about the best resolution you will most likely come up with a goal that is both meaningful. You have to remember to pick a resolution that is reasonable and that will add value to your life. This will keep you motivated and dedicated throughout the entire year.

Keep It Simple

More often than not, when people fail, it’s because they’ve set unrealistic goals for themselves. It is fine to want to lose weight, and it’s a very common resolution people make. However, if you set unattainable and unrealistic goals for yourself, like losing 50 pounds, working out every single day, and becoming a vegan overnight, chances are you’ll become overwhelmed and frustrated and give up. Instead of trying to make an extreme change to multiple aspects of your life, set more reasonable and simple goals like trying to lose 5 pounds a month by working out 3 or 4 days a week and maintaining a healthier and reasonable diet. People who achieve their New Years resolutions are usually the people who set more reasonable, manageable, and simple resolutions.

Measure Your Small, Manageable Achievements

Staying productive and on track toward achieving your goals is all about monitoring your progress along the way. Like most things in life, the journey is always the most rewarding. You should set small, manageable goals to keep you motivated along the way and reward yourself when you successfully reach each milestone. For example, if your resolution is to lose 30 pounds this year, you may want to try to lose 5 pounds a month. Then, you can track your progress and reward yourself for every 5 pounds that you lose.

Give Yourself a Break

Sometimes, we can be our own harshest critic and the fear of failure can keep us from actually trying. If you plan ahead, keep it simple, and measure your small, manageable achievements and you’re dedicated, focused, and most importantly, maintain a positive outlook, you are likely to achieve your goal.If you slip a few times, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s difficult to break bad habits and develop positive habits. Just stay positive, brush yourself off, and get back to business.