“I’m going to lose so much weight this year!”

“I’m going to go to the gym every day!”

“I’m going to stop procrastinating this year!”

That’s not how New Year’s resolutions work. You’ll find yourself re-tweeting the meme that says, “My goal in 2018 is to accomplish goals of 2017 which I should have done in 2016 because I promised them in 2015 and planned in 2014.”

Every year, people boast about the things they’re going to do followed by #newyearnewme only to find themselves being the same people they were the prior year. According to studies, one reason why resolutions fail is due to their impracticality. Resolutions aren’t about flipping a page and pulling a 360. It doesn’t happen overnight like that. You see, change is good. We all know that. But change is hard and we all to a certain extent dislike the idea of change. That’s why resolutions have to happen gradually — so you don’t hate them and don't abandon them two weeks into the New Year.

Here are some tips to make your New Year’s resolutions stick.

1. Set realistic goals

This part cannot be stressed enough. Don’t expect yourself to go to the gym every day when you’re busy 15 hours a day. It’s doable, just not from the first take. Start off maybe once a week and then gradually find time to hit the gym.

2. Focus on one resolution

Writing a massive list of all the things you want to do is beyond discouraging. Once you find yourself missing a couple, you lose motivation to continue at all. If you want to decrease your debt, set a plan (realistically, of course) and follow through with it. Know exactly what you want to get done in exactly how much time.

3. Have an accountability buddy

Have a friend, family member, co-worker, etc., to support you through the process. Have someone hold you responsible if you’re lagging, or congratulate you when you’ve completed a milestone in your process.

4. Celebrate your successes throughout the journey

If your goal is to stop procrastinating, celebrate when you submit an assignment earlier than the due date, even if it’s just a minor assignment. Celebrating will only motivate you to keep going.

Make sure the resolutions you set are for yourself. Don’t promise yourself to go to the gym regularly when you don’t even care to do so. The goals you set for yourself are first and foremost for you, and only you. Remember that they’re supposed to make you a better version of yourself. Good luck on your New Year’s Resolutions! May 2018 be your year!