3. Monitor your progress.
Every few days, or weekly at the very least, check in with how you're doing. Tracking goals in a planner and keeping a journal were two of the methods cited as being most helpful, according to FC survey respondents. You may also enlist a buddy who can keep you accountable. Just don't get down on yourself if you falter. "Be forgiving when you don't perform up to your expectations," says Danine Fruge, MD, associate medical director and women's health director at Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa in Miami.

4. Jump "back on the horse" immediately.
If you find that you've slipped from your plan, get back in the game immediately. "Don't wait until Monday to start again," says Fruge. Monday, after all, rarely comes for most people. Instead, reintroduce the new habit as soon as possible to avoid developing unhealthy, guilty emotions. Then take time to recognize your progress, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

5. Reward yourself.
Treat yourself for meeting goals, even small ones, says Carol Arvon, PhD, director of behavioral health and wellness at Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa in Miami. For instance, if you've committed to walking two or three times a week to improve long-term health, promise yourself a reward, such as a new workout top or mini-makeover, at the end of the week. Even better? Have a special reward in mind for when you reach your final goal, says Hoff.

Now that you know how to strengthen your resolve, here are refined sticking points for the most popular resolutions: