The possibility of new beginnings makes New Year's Day magical. But are people setting themselves up for disaster when they vow to change their lifestyles on January 1st?

It's not hard to figure out where the tradition of New Year's resolutions came from. Starting a new year is exciting and there is no better way to measure progress than by starting new on the first day of the year.

Over several decades, the most common New Year's resolutions have basically stayed the same. People want to be happier, so they vow to:

  1. Eat healthier
  2. Improve relationships with friends and family
  3. Work out more
  4. Lose weight
  5. Be more organized
  6. Spend less money
  7. Stop smoking or drinking
  8. Be more charitable
  9. Go to church more often
  10. Take time to enjoy life

Some people need the opportunity of a new year to persuade them to make a change.

For the most part, however, New Year's resolutions are put in a cupboard and left to collect dust.

The reason so many resolutions fail is because they are not wanted enough. Too many people expect to wake up on January 1st a different person, one who knows how to be disciplined in a lifestyle they've never lived before.

Be prepared for the change. Don't go out and buy a gym membership if you can't make yourself go to the gym every day. Train yourself to want it. Stop ordering the fries with your hamburger, then stop ordering the Coke with your hamburger, then stop ordering the hamburger. Success happens in steps. If it happened all at once, there would be no reason for progress.

If your goal for 2016 is to change your life, then change it. The opportunity has always been there, so if you haven't taken it, do it now.

Most of all, have a safe and happy New Year. May this be the best year yet!