Form Good HabitsThe New Year is always a time for new resolutions. For most people, the resolutions don’t stick.

But, with the right mindset, you can carry your resolutions past January and form good habits that stick. Try these little tricks–you’ll be surprised at the difference they can make.

First, did you set realistic goals? Oh good … now here’s how to form the habits you need to achieve those realistic goals.

1. Think Big, Act Small

Rome was not built in a day. Yes, work toward that massive goal (passing the CPA, CMA or CFA Exam, maybe?) but look at how that bigger goal is really comprised of dozens of smaller, more-achievable goals. Break huge projects down into manageable chunks and then prioritize how you’re going to tackle them.

Achieving these smaller goals will help you form good habits that will eventually lead to you achieving your dreams.

2. Start Slowly

You’re not going to lift 250 lbs your first day in the gym and you’re likely not going to knock out four chapters the first time you sit down to study for the CPA, CMA or CFA Exam. Work your way up slowly and diligently.

When it comes to studying, we highly recommend “bite-sized” sessions of 30-45 minutes at the most. This has been proven to help people learn faster and retain more of what they learn. We’re just sayin’ …

3. Involve Others

The more people you tell, the more people you have to answer to, and you don’t want to disappoint your friends and family, right? No one wants to disappoint their grandmother. So involve your friends and family in your quest to form good habits–whether it’s health related, for school or your career. You’d be surprised how helpful a little encouragement can be.

See if you can find a partner so you’re not doing it all on your own. This can be a person you know already, a stranger, or even someone you communicate with online. It’s easier to form good habits when you have someone there to egg you on.

4. Don’t Let Yourself Cheat

The “aww, forget it” attitude always tends to creep in. Who doesn’t want to blow off work and watch TV? Try to stay strong during these fleeting moments of weakness. They’ll become less and less frequent as you form good habits.

Like we said, “easy-ish steps.” We know these things are a lot easier to say than do for most people. Try to find some inspiration to keep you motivated, whether it’s from someone you know or someone you admire.

Good luck out there!