UNITED STATES—Well in less than a week we will have to bid farewell to 2017 and say hello to 2018. With the New Year upon us, so many of us will begin to tackle what has become a tradition for so many people: resolutions! I have talked about this before and with good reason people, because so many of us falter on them within days or a week after the New Year kicks off. Why? We put a bit too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. That is the issue with any resolution; you have to have a bit of wiggle room.

Let’s kick off the conversation talking about the big one: losing weight, dieting or eating healthy. This has to be hands down the biggest resolution so many people set each year, and even I’m guilty of it. The thing about this resolution that is so troubling is that the level of pressure put on being healthy or losing weight is setting goals so epic no one can accomplish them even if they try, and if they did, it would be so difficult to keep things in order without hiccups.

The one thing I did without fault last year was give up fast-food. I literally went a good 3 months without it at all, and I saved a ton of money along the way doing it. However, all it took was that one week of me eating fast food 1-2 days and that resolution was out the window. I will start by saying the following: 1) If you plan to lose weight set a reasonable goal 2) Track your progress 3) Allow yourself a freebie day or week. Think of things this way; don’t just abandon the resolution if things do not go the way that you expect it to go. If you have to adjust the rules you’ve set in play for yourself, adjust them so they accommodate what you have in store.

Without a doubt, another common resolution is to quit smoking, drinking or a bad habit that has impacted your life in a way that you never expected. As a result, you need to REALLY have a calendar and tracker in place to help you reach your goal. Kicking a bad habit is NEVER easy because you are attempting to rid your life of something that has become common for you. When you take that element out, it creates an absolute uproar in your life that you never imagined or expected. That is no adjustment that anyone can accomplish without falling off the wagon once or twice people.

Perhaps your resolution is the one myself and most Americans tackle after the holidays: getting out of debt. Yes, it seems so much easier than you expect, but the problem with eliminating debt is that surprises always tend to pop up in your life when you least expect them to pop up. As a result you have to work harder to save money, pay off debt and limit the number of expenses going in and out of the household.

It’s always easy for one to say just get a second or third job to curb the debt, but the problem with such an analogy is that when you bring in more money you are tempted to spend more money because you have it. It is never as simple as limiting money spent, because we are human beings: by nature we will always want things. That never changes simply because we say it! Whatever resolution or resolutions you may have in store for 2018, don’t overload yourself with too much at once. Take baby steps because in due time it will have hiccups along the way, but if you get knocked down, you can always get back up.

Written By Kelsey Thomas