Let’s face it, most of your New Year’s resolutions haven’t worked out so well, have they? For a few days, you stick to the new diet, or go to the gym, or avoid telling your friends what you really think about their new dress. But after a few weeks, it seems that you’re back to the same-old you.On the positive side, at least you can always try again next year.Well, this year give yourself a fighting chance to keep your resolutions.Here are five tips to get you going.1) Keep a journal. After you decide what you want to change, start keeping a journal for a few weeks of all the times that you do the behavior you want to change. If you are trying to avoid eating between meals, for example, keep track of all the times you do and what was going on.MORE: How to Keep a Journal2) Think about how to change your environment. The world around you is the most important thing that determines your behavior. If you make it hard to do something that you are trying to avoid, then figure out how to change your house and office to make it harder to do what you’re avoiding. For example, stop keeping snacks in your desk drawer.3) Spend time thinking about the obstacles. The big problem with keeping your New Year’s resolutions is that invariably something unexpected comes up. You want to stop eating between meals, and then suddenly a colleague has a baby and brings in sweet pink cupcakes. To handle these unexpected events, try to plan for them. What would you do if you suddenly found yourself surrounded by treats that you did not want to eat? By planning ahead, you can stick to your resolutions later.COLUMN: Change Habits Beautifully 4) Practice a little. It is hard to change a behavior cold turkey. (There’s probably a bad Thanksgiving joke in there somewhere.) So before New Year’s Day rolls around, try out the new behaviors. Get a feel for what goes right and what goes wrong. After all, a company wouldn’t launch a website without trying it out for a bit to find the bugs. Why should you expect that you could start a shiny new resolution without a few hiccups.5) Go easy on yourself. Behavior change is hard. There will be days where you blow it. You eat when you didn’t want to; you sneak a cigarette; you blow up at a friend. Don’t give up. In Psychology, there is a concept called the What the Hell effect. It happens when people are trying to stick to a diet. They go to a party and eat a bit more than they expected. After realizing they have blown their diet, they suddenly eat way more than they wanted to, and the diet is history.Instead, remember that mistakes are a part of life. Every difficult change requires two steps forward and one step back. Don’t make the step back a big one.RESEARCH: The What the Hell Effect, ExplainedJust follow these simple guidelines, and by the time New Year’s Day comes, you can make that resolution with confidence.