Nearly a month early may be the perfect time to jump on your New Year’s Resolution. It may be tempting to use the new year as a fresh start, but stick with me here. Starting a resolution January 1st has many downfalls. And a cold start to a new habit may be a recipe for disaster.

The most common resolutions revolve around health, like eating better and exercising more. But, by February around 80% of people have broken their resolutions. Why are these resolutions so elusive? The answer has less to do with will-power and more to do with the resolution itself.

Hard line problems

New year resolutions having an absolute connotation to them. You either eat healthier or you fail. You either make it to the gym every day or you’ve ruined the new year hype. The resolution is doomed to fail because there is hardly any room for error.

Now is the prefect time to get some practice in for your resolution. It’s a great opportunity to test some ideas. If your resolution was to go running 5 times a week, you might find that years of inactivity make that a near impossible challenge. It’s okay to build your way up to that and starting early gives you time.

Since it isn’t the new year yet, you can allow for some mistakes. No one is perfect. Don’t give up after missing one run or trip to the gym. It’s just the practice run after all. Even after the new year, a missed workout or indulgence shouldn’t be the end of your goals. Don’t sacrifice progress because of imperfection.

Setting SMART goals

The extra time also allows you to craft and tweak SMART goals. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. This system helps you create a better goal that allows for some mistakes and creates a plan to reach your goal.

It’s also important to reach out for help. You don’t have to do it all on your own. Whether its getting help from a professional or working out with a friend, other people will be a benefit in this journey.

Good luck! And happy, early, New Year!