When the calendar turns over to January, many of us start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions can be a great way to jumpstart some positive personal changes. But at the same time, it’s easy to make overly ambitious goals, which will only set us up for failure.

A better approach is to make resolutions focused on small changes. Smaller resolutions are more manageable and increase our chances for success. And their real power is that you can chain several small resolutions together to make those bigger changes you might want to see.

Here are some examples of “small change” resolutions to help you get started.

Drink More Water
Identify one caloric drink (soda, flavored coffees, alcohol, etc.) per week that you can swap for water. Changing all at once is hard – but I bet you can do one drink a week! Slowly swap more drinks to water over time until you reach your desired balance.

Eat More Vegetables
Identify a small, sustainable way to add one more serving of vegetables to your week. Eat a handful of carrots with lunch, add some green chile to your scrambled eggs, or switch to cauliflower rice. Once that becomes a regular habit, add another serving. Repeat until you are happy with the balance.

If healthy eating goals are on your list and you want extra support, be sure to check out our LifeSteps Weight Management class starting in Feb.

Exercise More
The best exercise is the one you do consistently. Identify something you enjoy, and that feels good. Set a goal to do it for 10-15 minutes three to four days each week. It can be as simple as walking around your neighborhood, a 15-minute workout, or chair yoga. Give this a few weeks and then increase by a few minutes or add a day. And over time, you’ll reap all the benefits of exercise without having to sign up for an early morning boot camp.

Do More Good
Try volunteering more often – it’ll make you happier in the process! Visit VolunteerMatch to find opportunities. Start with something that is low commitment to build up your confidence. Each month, pick a new volunteer opportunity. Even a few hours per month will make a difference in your community, and you can add more hours over time if it fits your schedule.

Save More $$$
As prices increase, saving more might seem difficult – but you can start small. Use direct deposit to automatically send even just $5 a month to your savings account and let it build over time. Or use a supplemental retirement plan to help that money grow for future use.

Whatever resolutions you choose, remember that all significant changes are made up of small steps along the way. So, keep your goals simple and achievable at first, and let the momentum of these successes carry you to where you want to be.