Plotting out your new year’s resolutions? Don’t fall back on the same ones you make every year – think of ways to action your goals!

The key to a successful new year resolution is to keep it achievable and simple.  And don’t give up just because of one or two setbacks, says psychiatrist Gordon Parker.

“Find your incentive and play to it,” says the University of NSW professor. It could be betting lots of money with several people that you can stop smoking, he says. “The other principle is not to worry about the occasional failure along the road.

“Rather see it as a blip. Inch your way towards Bethlehem rather than driving onwards with a mission-impossible target.”

Eat more vegetables or decide to use the stairs at work, says Lauren McGuckin, an accredited practising dietitian. “It’s more than just diet, physical activity and perfect medical tests. It’s also about mental wellbeing,” adds McGuckin. “Set small, realistic goals.”

And there’s no magic bullet in diet fads, and absolute avoidance of any food group is a bad idea. 

“A healthy diet is a balanced diet and includes foods from all the core food groups,” says accredited dietitian Kate Gudorf. “Some people believe the myth that they should avoid bread, pasta or rice. Certain types of whole grain or wholemeal breads, pasta and brown or basmati rice have a moderate or low GI and provide fibre and B vitamins and energy to fuel us through our day.”

For healthy snacks turn to berries and yoghurt.

“Blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are potent sources of antioxidants and vitamin C,” says Gudorf. “They also contain very few kilojoules per serve and taste delicious stirred into muesli or yoghurt or on their own for dessert or a snack.”

“It’s easier to start your active routine in summer and head into 2014 having already developed a healthier habit,” says Heart Foundation’s Dr Robert Grenfell. Work out your regime now, start a food diary, and implement your plan to achieve success.

What are your new year’s resolutions? Let us know!