Now that Christmas is over, we're all looking forward to the new year. It feels like a fresh start, an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and make some changes in your life. Some people take this and run with it; they make a list of goals and "resolutions" and tell themselves they're going to start on January 1st.

This can be all well and good, not to mention very motivating, but how often do we actually stick to our resolutions? So many people eat healthy for a couple weeks and then lose that initial kick in the ass and soon revert back to their old habits. So many people organize their lives, get a planner, and start new healthy habits only to have it all disappear by February.

As much as I like new year's resolutions and participate in them, this year I'm looking for a change. I have been stuck in a cycle of making changes and taking care of myself only to fall off my theoretical wagon and plunge into a deep hole of depression and self-hatred after letting my inherent urge for immediate gratification control me once again.

My plan for 2019 is to break the cycle. Instead of trying to completely change my life overnight, it will be more effective to start taking small steps towards my goals and the healthy life I want to live. If you try to change everything at once, it won't stick for the long term. It's not a realistic expectation for any person and that is something I am trying to constantly remind myself.

I surely will make some resolutions and plan for my year. I will think about what I want my life to look like and break down the steps I can really take to get to that point. That's a great thing to do in the new year. However, I am going to take it one moment at a time. Every day is a new day and every day presents the opportunity to take those steps.

I have struggled in the past with wanting everything to be perfect right away and I think there are others out there that can relate. I still struggle with this sometimes. After losing my footing every time I slip up and making myself believe that everything is going to shit because I missed one work out or slept in one day, I have realized that that is just not the way to do it. Real progress will never be made if I stick to this pattern.

So this year, I encourage you to break the cycle. Step out of your comfort zone and push yourself, while taking it one step at a time, one day at a time. Be kind to yourself; it will take some time for habits to automate and for you to feel at home in your new, seemingly unfamiliar lifestyle. Don't rush. Small steps will make a huge difference.

Above all, forgive yourself for your mistakes and keep yourself in mind as you venture into the new year. Don't feel pressured to makeover your life in a day. Do what's right for you and keep moving forward.