As the new year unfolds, many people take the new calendar date as a symbol of starting over. Common new year resolutions such as losing weight, joining a gym and drinking less alcohol try to gain a foothold in many people's lives.

According to the U.S. Government, the twelve most common new year resolutions are as follows:

  1. Drink Less Alcohol
  2. Get a Better Education
  3. Get a Better Job
  4. Get Fit
  5. Lose Weight
  6. Manage Debt
  7. Manage Stress
  8. Quit Smoking Now
  9. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
  10. Save Money
  11. Take a Trip
  12. Volunteer to Help Others

These resolutions are filled with good intentions. However, since the failure rate of new year resolutions hovers between 50-97%, it makes one ask, “Is the overnight shift from one year to the next enough motivation to make real change happen?” Or, “Is it just positive thinking or wishful thinking that gets tossed aside when the going gets tough?”

While positive thinking can be a very effective tool for change, without the proper motivation, it is doomed to failure. Sadly, this deteriorates positive thinking's credibility.

So, how does one make a serious new year resolution and use sound positive thinking tools to actually catapult one's success? Simple, here are five easy steps:

STEP ONE--Reaffirm Your Commitment Often. Make your new year resolution a daily or weekly event so you stay committed to continual change through small incremental (and successful) progress. Add a reminder to your calendar to help you stay on track.

STEP TWO--Find Your True Internally Driven Motivation. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon destined for failure with the common new year resolutions mentioned above, ask yourself “Why” you want to accomplish a certain resolution. Then continue to ask “Why” until you run out of answers. Once you find a solid “only right for you” reason for initiating change, you are much more likely to see it through to success.

STEP THREE--Take Positive Thinking Seriously. Use solid positive thinking tools such as affirmations, hypnosis and subliminal work to take action that changes your thought patterns for success. Once your thoughts are reprogrammed, change becomes “automatically” motivated.

STEP FOUR--Be Specific About Your Goal. Many resolutions are too broad and vague to keep you motivated. Take “Losing weight” as an example and narrow it down to “Fitting into a favorite outfit for a special occasion” and you'll hook into a much deeper desire. (And if you don't have a special occasion to look forward to, then plan one.) Finding a specific reason that is intimately close to your heart will keep you going when you otherwise want to give up.

STEP FIVE--Find Accountability. Having to be accountable to someone (or something) gives you an edge in accomplishing your goal. Even if you must find accountability by promising your pet that you will do something special for it when you have attained a certain goal, you are more likely to achieve it. (After all, who wants to let down their little darling pet?) Also, finding a life coach at this juncture can give you a big boost and set you on the right course for success (whether or not you have a pet.)

Taking your dreams and desires seriously and initiating small steps (followed by more small steps) will get you farther in the long run than you are today. By next year, you will have made incremental progress and be onto another new year resolution.

So, throw out the common new year resolutions and use true desire and solid positive thinking tools to help you succeed.

Author's Bio: 

As a hypnotherapist, Suzanne Glover gives information and advice on solid positive thinking tools. She shares more information on how to keep new year resolutions and use positive thinking effectively at