If you’re NewYear health resolutions are already seeming more like good ideas rather than new habits being established, then you’re on track to yet another almost certain, likely future of exactly what you had at the end of last year – or maybe the years before that.  Resolutions are “big picture” possibilities. We’d like it if they became real, they’re usually a good idea, we know they’d make our lives better. If you’ve ever found yourself inspired about a ‘new you’ and soon realized you were feeling and doing all the things the ‘old you’ did, you’re not alone. It’s called being human. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

The New Year symbolizes a fresh start, and we’re all more motivated than usual—at least in our minds. The typical resolution cycle shows a steep incline in health-related goals during the first quarter of the year, followed by a rapid decline soon thereafter. We’ve all been there.

We do a lot of talking about what we plan to accomplish in the New Year, but the actual “doing” is what takes real effort. In fact, 78% of people break their resolutions because their goals are too aspirational and lofty.  Overly ambitious goals thwart the will to stick to and stay with a game plan.

Real change takes planning—if our goals are broken down into bite-size nuggets and are properly thought out, we’ll be a lot more successful at making a long-term commitment. Consider, if you’re overweight, you didn’t get that way overnight.  Don’t expect to get back overnight.  Scientists tell us weight gain is more calories consumed than burned.  True enough.  It’s the ‘consumed’ bit that matters.  It’s our actions, conscious or unconscious, in consuming that are responsible for our results.

This is particularly true as it pertains to our health and wellness plans.  When it comes to our health goals, success or failure comes from taking or not taking the discrete actions appropriate to the result. This is really good news because we’re already in action.  We breathe, move, think and feel!

Successful health-related programs can help people overcome struggles and reach their goals in incremental steps. They address the need for very targeted and specific daily goals, providing continuous motivation and short-term rewards that keep resolution-makers on track.

New Year’s resolutions are annual goals—and like all goals, they are best reached when they are measurable. There should be well- defined milestones during the year when metrics can be checked toward achievement of those goals.

The key to success in achieving our health goals is in focusing  our awareness on our behaviors in the moment. We only have right now, this moment to take action.  If we can make even very small improvements over time, we quickly build synergistic momentum as those improvements lead to expanded capacity to experience even more vibrant, energetic and radiant health.

Knowing what to do is the booby prize. If we don’t take action on what we know to do, we only have ourselves to blame for one more rationalization.  So what are you measuring today, this week, this month and this happy, healthy New Year?