HAPPY NEW YEAR

The new year is under way and that means a new list of – in far too many cases – the same old New Year's resolutions. Every year at around this time, millions of people around the world resolve to improve their lives  – and for most, their resolutions die sometime within the first few months, if they get off the ground at all.

What can you do to make 2017 different? What can you do to make sure your New Year's resolutions stick? Here is one way to keep your 2017 resolutions while avoiding some of the common pitfalls that have struck down your resolutions in years past.

Think It Through: One of the biggest mistakes resolvers make is jumping into a resolution without thinking it through. Sure, you can resolve to start working out, lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthier or be more patient with your kids – but words are just words unless they're supported by sensible actions. And sensible actions require a sensible plan. Resolving to exercise? Think about how many days per week, whether to go to the gym or work out at home, potential hurdles / challenges that may come up, and other factors. Resolving to be more patient? Map out a half-dozen specific ways to do it (think before you speak / act; give yourself a "time out" so you can refocus, etc.).

Whatever your resolution, you have to figure out how to make it work or it probably won't work, pure and simple.