Every year offers a fresh start. New Year’s resolutions are so common, but people often have a hard time keeping them. You can avoid this issue by carefully thinking about your resolutions and planning how to accomplish them. The most important part of working toward a goal is choosing one that’s realistic and then taking time to make a game plan about how to achieve that goal. Take charge of your life and make a resolution to start the year off right!

Review the last year

Before making plans for the upcoming year, sit down and spend a significant amount of time evaluating your last year. Think about mistakes and what you learned from them and what experiences you had that helped you grow. What decisions did you make that made you feel happy? Did you learn anything new about yourself? Are you currently where you thought you would be a year ago? Make a list of areas you’d like to improve in or what you feel particularly passionate about.

Set realistic goals

After evaluating your last year, take time to set your goals. Based off of your review of the year, set realistic goals that you could reasonably accomplish, or at least make progress toward, in the upcoming year. These goals should focus on areas you’re passionate about or ways that will help you improve personally.

Break down your goals

Once you’ve identified your goals, begin breaking them down into small steps so they don’t seem like huge tasks to tackle. With individual steps you can take to work toward your end goal, you’ll be more likely to accomplish it because you can focus on each step instead of the big picture, which might feel intimidating.

Tie up any loose ends

Is there anything you started this past year that you didn’t have a chance to finish? Are there any issues you need to resolve to give yourself peace of mind? If these tasks are fairly minor and will only take a few hours to complete, do them. Stop putting them off and declutter your mind and space. If you wanted to clean your closet last spring, do it now before you push it back any further. Did you start a craft project and not finish it? Complete it before the new year.

Cleanse the last year

Each year can be a time of intense stress, which is why you should take time for yourself and cleanse the last year. Schedule a massage and take a day to unwind and let the stress and concerns from the past year slip away. You’ll feel more relaxed and can focus on the future instead of the last few months.