Millions of people around the world make New Year's resolutions for a fresh start. Studies have shown, however, that fewer than 20 percent of resolutions are kept throughout a single year. We can set goals and aim to achieve them, but no true success will come without a plan. To make the most of 2019, stop practicing old habits and start performing self-care. The time is right, and once you begin, you'll never look back.

While setting New Year's resolutions is not a bad idea, having short-term goals are far more important for success. Set milestones for yourself in order to achieve a long-term goal by breaking it down into actionable parts. In the case of weight loss, one may choose to focus on fitness and diet. Goal-setting should be driven by what you think is personally achievable, not what others think you should do. Start by writing down a plan of action and display your objectives somewhere that cannot be avoided. You'll want to challenge yourself, but make sure that your goals can be attainable.

There always comes a point, however, that we lose motivation and sight of our end results. The best way to overcome obstacles that distract us from reaching our goals is to prepare for them before they happen. By simply making a list of reasons we want to keep a New Year's resolution, we often find inspiration and are able to look past self-doubt for improvement. The most successful people are driven to see results when they have a clear understanding of what they want for success.

Take time every day to look over your realistic resolutions and analyze progress to retain focus. Pat yourself on the back for your successes and review any habits that need to be changed along the way. If you find yourself losing track of your goals, sit down to reset those objectives and make an effort to set attainable ones. Short term goals offer us a step-by-step system that paves a path towards our long-term goals.

One of my biggest regrets from this past year is procrastinating what I wanted to achieve because of making excuses. In 2019 I will make a commitment to myself to have detailed plans and be accountable for my own actions. I cannot be upset at myself for not achieving a goal if I am the one stopping myself from attaining success. In order for me to be productive, I plan to prioritize my tasks in order of importance to avoid multitasking. Effective results will only come by being consistent.

Looking for a fresh start to the New Year but don't know where to begin? Make sure you start small and set short-term goals in order to make resolutions that you can keep. Unhealthy behaviors can develop over the course of time, yet having an accountability partner can help resolve issues. Share your experiences with family and friends as a support system for your progress. Accepting help from those who care about you strengthens your resilience and ability to handle difficult situations over the course of the new year. It's never too late to start, so might as well start now.