The majority of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions, but there’s a simple way to keep on track.

What are the most common New Year’s resolutions?

The most common New Year’s Resolutions are health-based, including giving up smoking or alcohol, and getting fit. Other common resolutions include getting organised, setting aside more ‘me time’ and learning a new skill.

How long does the average person keep their New Year’s resolution?

A 2007 study from the University of Bristol found that 88 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail, with 66% failing in a month or less.

How can I stick to my New Year’s resolutions?

While most people fail to keep their resolutions, don’t let this put you off! Instead of giving up on resolutions all together, just tweak how you phrase them.

For example, instead of “I will make a budget and stick to it,” say, “For an hour a week, I will sit with the frustration of learning how to budget.” Instead of “I will quit alcohol,” you could say “Instead of having a glass of wine, I will take the dog for a walk every night.” or “Three times a week I will go to the gym, even for just twenty minutes.”

This rephrasing has two immediate benefits: First, you don’t have to master your resolution in the first month, you just have to commit to dedicating some time to getting better. And second, it acknowledges that many resolutions are difficult to keep because they can feel bad – especially at the beginning. This means that you won’t feel bad about feeling bad, which can make keeping a resolution even harder.

You can also do a couple of other things to up your chances of success. The first is to take a cue from people who study exercise motivation, and enlist a partner to commit to your resolution with you. Second, link your resolution with a nice task, like listening to podcasts on the treadmill or audiobooks while you cook healthy meals. Doing these things make carrying out your resolution easier and can only increase your chances for success.