New Years is a time when people decide to change habits or create new ones in hopes of becoming better versions of themselves. However, many fall short or don’t follow through with their goals. In fact, statistics show only 40 percent of people that made New Year’s resolutions are still following through with them six months later.

To be successful in your New Year’s resolutions, setting attainable goals is the first step. Gradually increase your activity level and start down the path of better health with the following resolution success tips:

  • Healthy eating. Cutting portions, boosting fruit and veggie intake, and reducing sugary treats and alcohol are dietary improvements that can decrease cancer risk without completely depriving you of your favorite foods. Consider transitioning to the Mediterranean diet plan by upping your intake of plant-based foods, nuts and whole grains.
  • Plan and prepare. Be sure to stock your kitchen with plenty of healthy, satisfying snacks. Hummus, almonds, air-popped popcorn, fruits, and veggies are all easy to keep on-hand and quick to grab when hunger strikes.
  • Keep workout goals reasonable. Look for ways to incorporate exercise into your current lifestyle by taking a brisk walk after dinner or 15 minutes of stretching while you enjoy your favorite TV program. Strive to eventually reach 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. To lower your risk of skin cancer, avoid the midday sun and stay in the shade as much as possible when outdoors. Opt for sun protective clothing and wide brimmed hats, and apply daily sunscreen year ‘round.
  • Get a handle on your stress. Some stress is inevitable, but it is how you handle it that makes a difference for your health. Lighten a jam-packed schedule by saying no to just one thing a week, or let someone pick-up the slack occasionally. Meditate or take a brief time-out to practice deep breathing and enjoy a few quiet moments.
  • Make time for routine health checks and screening exams. It is important to keep up with yearly health screenings and to be proactive in your health. Those with heightened health risk or family history may be advised to start screenings sooner. Click here for a comprehensive list of screening guidelines, broken down by age.
  • Prioritize bedtime. Sleep is so important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Getting adequate sleep boosts immunity, revs up metabolism, and sharpens memory. Set a reminder on your phone 30 minutes before bedtime to start winding down activities so you can get to sleep on time.

As a part of this year’s resolutions, implement some of these success tips to improve your health. Remember, even small changes can have a big impact.