The new year is seen the ideal time to begin working on positive changes in our lives.

In fact, 45% of Americans typically make a New Years Resolutions and online polls show that one of the most commonly made resolutions is to lose weight and get healthier. That's why Kari Stuart is sharing tips for your 2017 New Years Resolutions.

"I love New Year’s Resolutions. It’s fun and exciting to think the ways that you can grow as a person throughout the next year. There’s something about a new calendar that creates motivation. And if you feel that motivation, run with it!" said Kari.

"However, I want to be real with you, and resolutions have gotten a bad rap. Only 8% of people achieve their resolutions. That statistic is grim, but there are steps we can take to make sure your resolutions stick!"

Why do so many people fail?

Change is hard. We tend to choose complex goals with unrealistic expectations, and that big of a change creates so much stress. Our bodies are programmed to avoid stress, so when our major resolution goals become overwhelming, it’s easiest to just quit.

What is the best thing to avoid the resolution stress?

Follow the KISS Method - Keep it simple, stupid. Extremely detailed and strict resolutions are destined to fail. Pick one thing and think small. Small changes over time will lead to monumental results.

Say, someone has a big health goal that will require a major lifestyle change. Where should they start? Does your list look something like this: In 2017, I will get more organized, lose 10 lbs, drink more water, drink less wine, exercise daily, eat more vegetables, get more rest, stop snacking at night and start writing a journal. Wow! In a perfect world, that’s awesome, but WAY too complex!

I’d suggest starting with nutrition. You’ll get the most bang for your buck. The foods we eat control our hormones and moving towards a cleaner way of eating will do wonders to many areas in your life. You’ll feel better, get better sleep, find more focus AND lose weight by eating a cleaner diet. A simple and effective goal would be to replace all processed snacks with fresh fruit or vegetables.

What else can we do to keep our resolutions? Fail to Plan and you can Plan to Fail. Take the time to research what it will take to achieve your goal. Don’t just keep your plan in your head, go old school and write it down. Chart out your map for success and choose SMART steps: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely! If that feels overwhelming to you, then consult with a trainer or nutritionist. They can break it down into simple steps. There’s plenty of books out there that can help too.

Most resolutions fail within a month, the excitement of something new turns into stress and work sets in -- it begins to feel challenging. By planning your strategy for when the going gets rough, you’ll feel less stress and be able to get through it. Soon, you’ll be establishing new habits and it won’t feel so hard. The more you can plan for other hiccups too such as trips, stressful times at work or having company over, the better off you’ll be!

If you really want to stay accountable, find a workout buddy and plan several workouts together each week! At the very least, tell your friends and family what you are aiming for and let them know how they can help you. Maybe you’ll even motivate them to join you! It’s great to have a strong support system, but it’s up to you to put that support system in place.