Every year we pick a New Year’s resolution and we’re convinced that this is the year we’re going to stick with it. Whether your goal is to read more or eat better foods, those new resolutions are usually hard to keep up with and eventually forgotten until next New Year’s Day.

Fortunately for those of us with plans to be a healthier person, sticking to those habits doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. We might want to integrate a few more pieces of fruit or go on a jog just once a week, but whatever our oncoming healthy plans are, there’s a method to making them stick.

When it comes down to it, convincing ourselves to do anything on a regular basis is really just about doing it. It might take a little work the first few times you have to get up in the cold morning for a run, but eventually our resolutions will turn to habit. Here are a few ways you can turn your new plans from hopes to habits.

Healthy Habits

Do Your Research

If you’re about to embark on a journey of getting yourself to do anything, you better learn why you should be doing it. Arming yourself with all the knowledge, statistics, and tips to move forward with your new healthy lifestyle will be your biggest ally when times get rough. Having trouble staying away from those candy bars? Reminding yourself of a nasty statistic might be just the trick that gets you to put down the sweets. Go online, connect with others, and talk to your doctor about whatever your health plans may be. The more you know, the more likely you are to succeed.

Set Goals

It helps to know what you’re working towards when attempting to integrate new activities or eating habits. If you’re looking to slim down, talk to a doctor about what your goal weight should be. If you’re attempting to cut down on red meat, give yourself a deadline. After you set your goals, give yourself incentives to work towards, as well. Incentivizing a tedious task is a surefire way to get one leg in front of the other. A beach getaway could be the perfect thing to look forward to while you’re lifting all those weights.

Set Reminders

When you’re making lifestyle changes, like exercising more or eating better, it’s okay to enlist the help of an age old trick: set reminders! Reminders can be made the old-fashioned way, such as leaving sticky notes around your computer monitor that encourage you to take a walk on your next break. Reminders can also be a little more hi-tech with the help of smartphones and computer programs. Use your calendar or get a productivity app that will send you messages when it’s time to go work out or eat a healthy snack. And if you really want to put a reminder right in front you, you can always tie a knot to your finger!

Plan Ahead

Don’t let your good habits get away from you because you’re in a time crunch. Planning ahead can keep you on track no matter what your day throws at you. This might mean setting aside specific workout times and blocking out all appointments, calls, and meetings during those times. This could also mean packing your lunch and some snacks the night before so you don’t have to settle for a hamburger because you were running late in the morning. Regardless of your health goals, put in a little time while you can to ensure your habits are here to stay.

Find A Friend

Staying motivated can’t get an easier when you have a friend working for the same goals. Not only will you have someone to keep you company in the gym or on those long runs, but you’ll have to be honest about how well you’re following through on your goals. Friends can be a great support system when it comes to creating healthy habits, and they’re also a great source for new ideas and methods. Work together to find something that works for the both of you and you’ll both be feeling great in no time.

Whether you’re trying to keep a New Year’s resolution or you’ve finally decided to try a more nutritional diet, keeping up with your new lifestyle can be difficult and stressful at times. However, sticking to your new goals can be as easy planning ahead, incentivizing, and asking your friends for a little motivation.

Forming new habits correctly, especially healthy ones that make you look good and feel good, can stick with you for years to come. The hard work you put in now will pay off in the future when you don’t have to think twice about going to the gym or picking up some carrots.