By now, your decorations from the holidays are put away. The gifts you received, although wonderful, may have lost their glow. The excitement and hope that comes with ringing in the New Year has passed. And the goals you set, well, they were good in theory but aren’t being accomplished.

People from all walks of life have a hard time setting and keeping goals. Most people have done all they know how to do and find themselves stuck! They have committed to being different but are unable to do so for a variety of reasons. The most common reason being that they simply don’t know how. They have used all of their knowledge and find themselves at the end of their resources and their ropes.

Here are 5 tips to help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions.

Set SMART Goals: Successful goals have 5 main components. They are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Here’s a good example of a SMART goal: I will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 and 9 a.m. for twenty minutes to build my endurance for a relay race I am participating in for my kids fundraiser in four weeks.

Define Your Why. Oftentimes people set a goal because it sounds good. They want the result, but they don’t necessarily want to have to do the work that it takes to get there. When you define your WHY (your reason for wanting to make a change), you will be more likely to achieve it. To make your WHY is successful, make sure that your payoff is relevant to your life and big enough for you to be motivated by it.

Visualize. To be successful in reaching your goal, it’s important to visualize yourself on each step of the journey. While the end goal is important, knowing the steps you will have to take along the way to reach it is paramount to your success. Make sure you can really see yourself as you are now, and how you will be once you reach your destination. Make it real. How do you look? How do you feel? What did you have to let go of along the way? Who helped you get there? How is your life better because of this change? What made it hard? Who supported you?

Back Down (Take Baby Steps). When goals are too big, they become overwhelming. People often have many smaller goals that they need to hit in order to reach their ultimate goal. For instance, if someone says they are going to write a novel, it should be broken down into all of the steps that it might take to get there (write an outline, join a writing group, write a thousand words a day). For success, pick one mini goal at a time, achieve it, and then go on to the next one.

Get support. Breaking habits and patterns isn’t easy. It takes more than will power to do things differently. Make sure that you get support to reach the finish line. Whether you join a goal-setting group or have an accountability partner, be sure to surround yourself with people who can walk with you on your journey.

Make 2019 your year of intention!

Considered by many to be one of Los Angeles’s top coaches, Gretchen Hydo is a professional certified and credentialed life and business coach, keynote speaker, and thought leader, who has spent over ten years working, hands-on, with individual clients and notable companies, providing tools and practical tips to produce unprecedented results and meaningful life and business changes.