I stayed away from using the word "resolution" on purpose. We all know New Year's Resolutions last about as long the flavor off brand gum. For most of us they are not real resolutions they are simply something to say when someone asks us what our plans are for the new year. If you're like me you don't put a lot of stock in the resolution process.

However,you can keep some of those promises you've made to yourself if you do a few things in advance and while you're waiting for that new habit to form or the old habit to break.

Write yourself a letter this New Year’s and write down all of your goals of all the things you’d like to accomplish. And keep your goals small, keep them things that are manageable.

That's advice from Dr. Michelle Moore. Dr. Moore is a clinical psychologist with the LSU Health Center in New Orleans. Dr. Moore made he suggestions in an article published by the Louisiana Radio Network.  She is right by the way.

I have found that the act of writing a goal down increases my chances of reaching the goal I have set. Here's a tip from me, don't type your goal, use a pen or  pencil and write it out in longhand. There is something about writing things down that cements an idea or notion in our mind.

Another suggestion Dr. Moore offers is taking small steps. It's the old adage about how do you eat an elephant. If you're goal is to lose weight then maybe your first step should be to change your eating habits.

So maybe in January you start out with healthy eating. In February you can build on that. In February you start your exercise plan. In March, you switch something out with the diet.

Success breeds success. If you can hit these short term goals you will eventually make your long term goal. Don't set yourself up to fail by setting a goal that you can't reach.

Whatever you choose to be your resolution, make sure it’s something you can actually do. If it’s to go outside and exercise every single day, can you actually do that?

Self improvement works as long as it's fun. When you make it out to be a chore like cleaning toilets and sweeping you'll find a million excuses to avoid it. Don't do that. This is you and your life you're building don't build it on regret and  guilt build it on fun and forward progress.