NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Making resolutions for the new year is one thing, sticking to them is the hard part.

“It’s just the time of the year that you say, ‘I’m going to change. I’m going to do something better,’” Veronica Radice said.

“To appreciate the more positive things in life,” another told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.

“My resolution is to absolutely stick to all of my resolutions,” Long Island resident Jennifer Roalsen said.

And so lies the challenge—keeping those annual promises.

Dr. Judy Kuriansky said there are simple rules to success.

The first is don’t say “not.”

“I’m not going to eat. I’m not going to smoke, I’m not going to drink too much, because the brain actually hears ‘eat, drink, smoke’ and forgets about the not,” she said.

Second, be specific about the goal.

“Not ‘I’m going to be healthier,’ or ‘I’m going to be a better person.’ You can’t really figure that out. Say exactly what you’re going to do, write it down and check it off and then you’ll feel good about yourself,” she said.

The third tip is to always think in the present.

“’I am eating healthier,’ is much better than ‘I’m going to go on a diet,’ which is a negative thing. It puts pressure on you,” Kruiansky said.

Not sticking to past resolutions has prompted many CBS2 spoke with, to make what they believe are realistic resolutions.

Experts say a support system of family or friends is always helpful in reaching your annual goals. And of course, there are plenty of self-improvement apps for your smartphone or tablet.

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