Whether you’re looking to loose weight, give up smoking or just get a little healthier 86% of adults set themselves a New Years Resolution on the 31st of December. But, did you know that only 15% manage to actually keep up with their resolution for longer than a month. That’s why we’ve spoken to some leading medical proffesionals to come up with a list of our 5 best tips and tricks for this year!

1. Get your priorities straight.

Every year, I set a few goals, but I use a tier-like system. At the top are goals I absolutely have to complete (this year, it’s being more mindful). Next are those I want to complete, and finally, I set a stretch goal that would be nice to complete by the end of the year (like completing a century ride or marathon). Often, I choose goals based on the previous year and how I can make my life easier or more enjoyable the next year. I recommend taking the time to write down what you want and why. (For example, being mindful helps me re-center and remember what counts in my busy life.) Keep that list somewhere visible, read or look at it daily, and remember the reason you’re taking this journey.

Brunilda Nazario, MD, associate medical director at WebMD

2. Go easy on yourself.

I view all new habits as an experiment rather than a judgment on my worthiness or skills. Meaning, I don’t beat myself up if something doesn’t stick the first time I try it. Instead, I ask myself: What worked? What didn’t work? And what could I do differently next time to achieve better results? I do this until I have a clear understanding of what stops me from doing something and what keeps me doing it, then I make sure those conditions are met. If I can make it so an action is easy and rewarding enough to do regularly, then I win.

Darya Rose, PhD, author of Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting

3. Take small steps.

Scheduling small steps toward goals is a key to success. For example, I have set the goal of having dessert only 2 times per week (down from 4 times!) and going to yoga twice per week. For yoga, I will look at my calendar at the beginning of the week and see where I can fit it in. Even though sometimes this is challenging as a working mum, I will try my hardest to get it done. The hope is that after several weeks, it will become a good habit.

Hansa Bhargava, MD, medical editor and expert pediatrician at WebMD

4. Remember the real goal.

People tend to forget what health is for. Health is not the prize — a better life is the prize. Healthy people have more fun: more vitality, more energy, more capability, more time. Once you understand how abundantly investments in health pay you back, staying motivated simply isn’t an issue.

David L. Katz, MD, founding director, Yale University Prevention Research Center

5. Track your progress daily.

I write my resolutions in a daily planner, then review and re-read them every day when I sit down to check my calendar. Each of my resolutions is quantifiable on a day-to-day basis, and I have direct control over my progress toward achieving them. For example, the common New Year’s resolution of “weight loss” is not actionable: You can’t wake up and “do” weight loss, but you can wake up and have eggs with a side of fruit.

 — Mike Roussell, PhD, nutritional consultant and author of The 6 Pillars of Nutrition