Did you make a new year’s resolution? Last year, the University of Scranton published a study showing only 8 percent of people are actually successful in meeting their resolutions. Eight?! That’s not very high. This year, let’s raise that percentage by employing two impactful strategies that can help you find success.

Be Realistic

When it comes to resolutions, the bar is often raised far too high. Think about past resolutions you weren’t able to keep. They probably sound like one of these:

• I will lose 100 pounds by summer.

• I will not spend any money on non-essential/luxury items.

• I will stop eating junk food.

• I will read (or write, clean, insert any verb…) for 1 hour every day.

All of these resolutions will become overwhelming because they are either unachievable or the end is too far down the road to see. It is important to set a goal or resolution that can be achieved. If something seems impossible, you will soon quit trying.

Is it realistic to think you will never eat another chip or slice of pizza? Probably not. On the other hand, setting a goal that says 80% of the food you eat during the week will be healthy, is much more realistic. This allows you to eat some things considered junk food without feeling you’ve completely failed. Plus, if 80% of the food you eat is healthy, you are much better off than you were last year.

Likewise, setting a goal that is realistic, but will take a long time to achieve, can be discouraging. If you want to lose 100 pounds, you can! Will it happen by summer? Probably not. Break down the ultimate goal of losing 100 pounds into pieces that are manageable. You’ll be fueled by success when you meet an initial goal of losing 10 pounds, making you more likely to continue toward the ultimate goal.

Expect Slip-Ups

Even if you set realistic resolutions, a time will come when you make a mistake. The key to succeeding in your goals is to accept these mistakes and move on.

Think about the example of eating healthy food 80 percent of the time. When the time comes (and it will) that you slip up and spend a week eating unhealthy food most of the time, how will you deal with it? What happens when you go on vacation and indulge a little too much?

When you face this situation, it is important to accept the fact it happened, but also to believe it doesn’t have to continue. One slip-up doesn’t mean your goal is beyond reach. You will feel better about yourself when you get back on track, continuing to work towards your goal.

One failure doesn’t have to mean ongoing failure. When you expect these slips, it’ll be easier to face them and move on in a positive direction, rather than giving up.

It’s still early. You can modify your new year’s resolution if the bar was set too high. This year, success can be yours. Restate your resolution in a realistic way. Expect slip-ups to happen. Then, get ready to find yourself looking back at 2015 with pride when you successfully achieve your goals.

Happy New Year!

Sheila Ray is a resident of Waxahachie and owner of Reforming U Fitness Studio.  Sheila provides personal and group fitness training, as well as motivation and inspiration for a healthy lifestyle.  Want tips and motivation for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight?  Grab her free ebook at http://www.reformingu.com, then check out the classes offered at her studio, which can be found at the same site.