The New Year is a week away.  Are you ready to make resolutions that you will actually keep this year?  Studies have shown that as many as 90% of people have abandoned their resolution within six months but it is possible to stack the deck in your favor.  You can be one of the 10% who actually keep their resolution and accomplish their goals.

Here are five top tips to make 2016 your most successful year:

1.) Be specific: The more specific your resolutions, the easier it is to set up strategies for success.  It is also easier to celebrate successes towards your goals.  For example, don’t settle for a resolution to get in shape.  Instead, set a goal to hit the gym three times a week for 45 minutes.

2.) Include your inputs as resolutions: As I tell my clients, the three most important words in accomplishing your goals are measure, measure and measured.  That have specific measurable goals, measure your efforts (inputs) and have reasonable measured steps to take along the way.  Inputs are the efforts you take to reach a larger goal.  For example, inputs for losing 30 pounds might be exercise three times a week, pack a healthy lunch four days a week and limit yourself to 1800 calories.  Inputs for building a home business might be make ten customer service calls a week, attend two networking events a month and place one ad a month.  By including the inputs in your resolutions, you are more likely to make progress.  It may be harder to get those five pounds off but you can definitely hit the gym.

3.) Create accountability:  External accountability is a powerful force.  This could be an exercise buddy, a business group or a life coach.  Making commitments to other people make it just that much harder back out of a resolution.  Some people have success making bets with competitive family members.  Message me before the New Year with your resolution and I’ll send you a daily email with strategies, advice and encouragement for each of the first 15 days of January.

4.) Focus on “the one”: While you may want to lose weight, double your business, write a novel, blog daily, find a spouse, etc., etc., etc. no one can do all of that well.  Figure out which of your goals is the most important and make that your resolution.  You can make progress toward your other goals but prioritize the big one.  Otherwise, it is too easy to become overwhelmed and accomplish none of them.

5.) Create your action plan: Very little gets done with out a good plan or, at least, a good strategy.  Don’t just say you are going to get a promotion, create a plan and identify what action steps are necessary to do.  Break down your goal into a series of smaller steps that you can accomplish.  Some times the big goal can feel a little daunting.

Make 2016 your best year yet.  You can do this.  Stay positive.  Understand that you will stumble and you are not alone.