Statistically about half of the population make New Year's resolutions, but how many of us actually keep them? According to Psychology Today, setting a resolution is a form of "cultural procrastination" because people fail to set realistic goals and aren't ready to change their habits.

If you think about the most common resolutions such as reduce debt, lose weight, and stop smoking, they are all are fairly broad, and few of us actually take specific steps beyond defining what we’ve resolved to do. If you are really serious about making changes, or achieving specific goals in your life, there’s still time to get a strong start to the New Year.

Following, A to Z, is 26 strategies to help you start today to make this the year that you achieve serious progress on your goals.

A - Attainable goals – Your goal may be world peace, but you need to be honest with yourself about how much influence you personally can have on a goal. On the other hand, don’t be afraid of setting big realistic goals simply because they require more work or time to achieve. Establish smaller goals along the way that will help you grow and expand to a better position to be able to achieve the larger goals.

B - Believe that your goals can be accomplished – “The only thing that stands between man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe it is possible.” – Richard Devos

C – Celebrate your successes – No matter how small, over time many small accomplishments will build your bridge to success.

D – Do something every day – Once you’ve established your goals identify the information and knowledge you will need to be successful. “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” – Napoleon Hill

E – Establish your Major Definite Purpose - The more you think about your major definite purpose and how to achieve it, the more you activate the Law of Attraction in your life.

F – Focus - It can be challenging over the long haul, but if you can remain focused on the goal, work your plan daily, your drive and energy will help you succeed.

G – Garbage in. Garbage out – Do what you can to avoid negative people. They can be like human black holes sucking the life right out of you.

H – How badly do you really want it – Often we write out a goal, set it aside and soon it’s gathering dust. This means that either you don’t really want it all that badly, aren’t willing to do what it will take to achieve it, or you believe you aren’t actually capable of achieving it. Discipline yourself to write your goals down not just once, but every day until you believe you are truly capable and deserving of suceeding.

I – Imagine there are no limitations – Imagine you have all the time, talents and resources to achieve your goals and dreams. Then let your emotions take over and project yourself forward to the point where you’ve already succeeded. . . focus on that feeling!

J – Just be yourself - You are precious and one of a kind – learn to value all that you bring to this life!

K – Know what you really want in life. Most people never take the time to decide what they really want out of life and create goals that will achieve that outcome. This is one of the main reasons that in spite of so many books on success, many people are dissatisfied with their lives. They know they want more, deserve more, but they’re not really sure what it would take to achieve that feeling of accomplishment.

L – Learn to value yourself – Women in particular tend to put others needs before their own. As important as you are to your family and friends, you will be much happier and more fulfilled if you make time for yourself a priority each day.

M – Make your goals measurable – Include in you’re planning a way to measure your progress toward achieving your goals. This will help you to stay on track and experience the excitement of achievement.

N – No fear of failure – Most people never achieve a fraction of what they are capable of achieving because they are afraid they will fail. One of the best ways to overcome the fear of failure is through action. Why not make at least one of your goals something you’ve wanted to do for a long time but have been afraid to try. Imagine what it will do for your self esteem to achieve this goal!

O – Own your goals. Write down each goal and create your plan and the action steps. Somehow, writing down the goal, the plan and a timeline sets events in motion that may not have happened otherwise.

P – Positive Mindset – A positive mindset is critical to success. Positive thinking will make the difference and help you overcome challenges you experience toward achieving your goals. If you aren’t encountering any challenges, you're probably not stepping far enough outside your comfort zone to make any real progress.

Q – Quit negative self-talk - On a daily basis, we engage in self-talk; we review conversations and situations we’ve encountered. Negative thoughts and comments undermine our self-esteem and self-confidence, and negatively impact our ability to accomplish our goals.

R – Review your progress regularly. If you are making good progress – celebrate and reward yourself! If you are not making progress, don’t beat yourself up, and don’t allow the goal to just fade away. Figure out what you need to do to get on track.

S – Success is a journey, not a destination – There are going to be twists and turns, you’re going to fall down, just be sure to pick yourself up and move on. As important as it is to stay focused on the desired outcome, it’s even more important to feel good about each step you take along the way. Why not keep a “success journal” to document your journey. This can not only serve as a special place for memories, but can help you planning future goals!

T – Trust your intuition – Knowing and living in line with your true values is vital to achieving your goals and finding true peace, self-confidence and personal pride. Whenever you begin to feel stressed on your journey ask yourself if you are compromising your values in order to make progress.

U – Unlock your potential – Ever heard the saying, “fake it till you make it” . . . If you think you’re not especially smart or capable, or that failure is a given no matter how hard you try, you’re right. If you believe you’re brilliant and can accomplish anything you set your mind to, you are right.

V – Visualize yourself achieving the goal. What will your achievement feel like? How will your life be different? “Some gurus of goal setting recommend that you keep a picture of a goal where you can see and be reminded of it every day. If you can’t picture yourself achieving the goal, chances are – you won’t.” Lee Iacocca

W – Work your way backward. Break your goal down into steps that you can take to work your way toward success. Let’s say your fitness goal is to run a marathon next year, so begin working toward that goal, literally one step at a time. Using a pedometer to track your progress, start by walking just one mile a day for the next 30 days, at the end of that month you will have walked approximately 158,400 feet. A marathon is 26.21 miles, or 138,435 feet, that means you’ve walked more than the distance of a marathon. Steadily increase your endurance and speed over time and you’re on your way!

X – X marks the spot – A study strategy that encourages students who come across a word or thought they don’t understand to mark it with an “X” and then find out about it rather than just letting it go. There will be times during your journey that you come across something you don’t understand. Rather than just letting it go, X Mark that spot, word, thought or skill and make a point of increasing your knowledge by finding out about it.

Y – You create your own reality – Unsuccessful, unhappy people focus on what they don’t want, or what’s wrong with the world. Successful people keep their thoughts and conversations on the topics of their most intensely desired goals. They visualize their ideal life, and use goals to make that vision a reality.

Z – Zero in on your dreams and go for it!!!

Author's Bio: 

Marquita lives in Maui, Hawaii. Her professional background includes a successful 20 year career in travel industry sales and marketing. She is also an award winning coach in the direct sales industry, having worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs developing home based businesses.

She has a passion for solo entrepreneurship and is the founder of the blog Inspired Gift Giving. Taking a broader approach to self help by emphasizing the gifts of inspiration and creativity, focusing on three core areas of lifestyle, entrepreneurship and travel.