Four, three, two, one!! The room erupts into cheers and, caught up in the excitement, you decide to stop smoking, go to the gym, stop spending, insert your own New Years resolution here...

 

Sound familiar? The next part probably does too. The part where, within a week your determination has been whittled away and you're indulging in cake, smoking a pack a day, shopping up a storm, insert your own personal demon here.

You now have two choices. Write your resolution off as drunken whim and indulge for another 10 months or start again, tomorrow. If you'd like to turn your New Years resolution into New Years resolve read on for tips on how it can be done:

You now have two choices. Write your resolution off as drunken whim and indulge for another 10 months or start again, tomorrow. If you'd like to turn your New Years resolution into New Years resolve read on for tips on how it can be done:

Change one thing

If it's tough changing one thing you enjoy, imagine how hard it is to change more than one. It's the difference between taking a whole bag of sweets off a child as opposed to just one! Choose a change that will make the most difference to you and spend enough time on it that it becomes habit before you move onto the next.

Know why you're doing it

Imagine trying to motivate your kids to do something because they have to. Difficult, isn't it? The same goes for you. It's difficult trying to achieve change if your heart's not in it so you need to know why. Are you committing to change because it's something you should be doing? Is it for someone else or is it truly something you want?

It's also important to ensure the change you're aiming for best satisfies your need. If you want to feel confident do you need to lose weight or simply change the way you view yourself? Maybe you'll feel great if you rediscover an old hobby or start a business. If you don't isolate the ideal goal you may find you're still feeling unfulfilled at the finish.

Get specific

Give yourself something to work with by setting a date and target and then question if the goal is realistic and achievable. Are you trying to cut down on drinking in a month when you have two weddings? Are you trying to launch a business, raise kids and do all the housework? Think about your circumstances and whether they allow for the change you want.

Put together a plan

To be without a plan is like driving without a map, you could end up anywhere. You need to know your location and destination to plot your course. The advantage of a plan is being able to identify challenges in advance. When are the times you want a cigarette most? How will you counter these cravings? If you can't discern the challenges you might face then ask your friends, they will provide you with fresh insight.

Create a fan club

Share your goal with people you know will be supportive and ask them to help you get there. They could keep you on track, help you celebrate or even do it with you.

Review your progress

Set aside 15 minutes at the end of your week to review your successes and where you stumbled and why. Use this time to prepare for the week ahead and build what you have learnt into your plan.

Celebrate

Ever told a child to eat their vegetables because they're good for them? Not very motivating is it? But ice cream is! Set down incentive for yourself at intervals that give you something to look forward to. You don't need elaborate reward, something as simple as a bubble bath with a magazine could be perfect. The key is to treat yourself.

And don't forget to reward yourself when you get to the finish line. Celebrate the new you in a fitted dress or by climbing a mountain, something that reminds you of why you did it all in the first place.

There is no finish line

Ever lost the weight just to put it back on? Think of achievement of the goal as the beginning, not the end. Put as much thought into planning how you will maintain the new you as you did getting there.

Start tomorrow

If you really want to change then stop putting it off by waiting for a date 10 months in the future. Just think, rather than counting in New Year 2009 vowing to give up the ciggies, make more time for your kids, launch your business, you could be the smug one in the corner who has already achieved it. Make your New Years resolution your New Years resolve, start tomorrow.