It’s the start of a new year, and if you’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions you are not alone. According Brain Statistic and Marist Poll, more than 40 percent of Americans make these annual pledges. However, only about  half of those who make resolutions end up sticking with them. So what’s the key to making your resolutions stick?

“Choosing to make positive changes in our lives is a good thing — whether you are committing to losing weight, exercising, quitting smoking, drinking less, sleeping more or just being a better person — but it is important to set goals that are attainable,” says Katie Cooney, ANP-BC. “Patients often come in with lofty plans, but I tell them that it’s better to work toward any lifestyle change one step at a time rather than trying to make sweeping changes that will leave you feeling overwhelmed or set you up for failure. By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year and incorporate them  into your everyday life.”

Resolutions can be a family affair

“Kids ages 7-12 are at the ideal stage to learn to make resolutions,” says Charlette Hines, FNP-BC. “Making resolutions with your children can be a fun opportunity for growth and family bonding, as long as resulotuions are realistic and age appropriate.”

It’s important for kids to take ownership of their goals, but parents and caregivers can help by going over the positive things the children accomplished in the past then asking what they would like to accomplish or improve to make their life better or happier in the coming year. It’s fine to check in periodically to see how they are doing and help them break down goals into easy steps, but don’t nag. “The point is to keep it positive.”

Cooney and Hines discussed New Year’s Resolutions with Quincy Access Television’s Joe Catalano on Friday’s Currently in Quincy. Watch QATV Channel 8 for the replay or listen to the podcast.