Most New Year’s resolutions fail within the first few weeks. How are you doing? Or do you skip making resolutions altogether, because you're afraid of failure?

Real, sustained change can be a challenge. Many of us start with a vision that ignites us. That momentum carries us for a little while, but pretty soon the momentum dwindles. Why? 

Momentum is sustained by success -- continued success. And you must acknowledge yourself for every little success that you have instead of wishing you were doing better.

I believe that almost everything we do can be broken down into at least five steps. For instance, making a doctor's appointment requires getting a phone directory, looking up the doctor's phone number, getting your calendar/schedule, picking up the phone and dialing the number.

Can you break your resolution down into 5 steps? Can those steps be broken down even further? Basically you want to break your resolution down to such small steps that a 4-year-old could understand it.

For instance, maybe your resolution is to lose weight. That might require 1) exercising; 2) eating healthier; 3) food journaling 4) eating less fast food; 5) having healthy food around the house.

Changing so much of your life on January 1st is daunting. Let's break exercising down a little further: 1) have comfortable exercise clothing/shoes; 2) schedule the time to exercise 3) have the equipment/membership for exercising; 4) muscle toning; 5) aerobics exercise.

Again, these can be broken down even further. And with each step, you want to acknowledge yourself (in writing) for moving forward. Examples: I acknowledge myself for buying a new pair of sweats. I acknowledge myself for setting aside 10 minutes to exercise tomorrow. I acknowledge myself for buying the sculpting DVD. I acknowledge myself for buying a new set of hand weights. Remember, success -- and acknowledging your success -- builds the momentum.

Then step into it slowly to continue the success. Maybe start by doing two arm exercises and two leg exercises. That's it! That's your goal, and it's something that you can succeed at! Then the next week, maybe you'll do two arm exercises, two leg exercises and two minutes of aerobics. Keep going at a rate that guarantees your success and keeps the momentum going strong.

And keep that journal of written acknowledgments to chart your success. The more you succeed, the better you will feel about yourself. Remember, you have all year to work on your resolution! No need to rush it or have unrealistic expectations Keep stepping toward your goals -- 5 steps by 5 steps at a time!

Author's Bio: 

JJ Frederickson is a Certified Coach and Trainer with the Fearless Living Institute ( She was formerly a newspaper reporter, local on-air personality and small-business owner. In 2005 she hired a Life Coach to balance motherhood and her career. The coaching experience completely transformed her life, and she's now a Life Coach with the mission of helping others bring ease into their homes ( and lives (