We all know we can do better but it’s important to be realistic about your resolutions. Start with small habitual changes for long-term success.

You’ve probably kick-started the year full of healthy resolutions but, alarmingly, statistics show show only 12 per cent of us will fulfil our New Year goals says Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift.

“Our aim is to help Queenslanders keep their  on track to achieve better quality of life, establish new healthy habits and prevent cancer where possible,” says Katie.

“Queensland has the third-highest obesity rate in the nation, among the highest rates of daily smoking and one in five Queenslanders are facing the risk of long-term harm from alcohol use. We know we can do better, and now is the time for change. Up to one-third of all cancers in Queensland are preventable through simple lifestyle changes.”

So what’s on your list of goals for 2014? Perhaps you want to lose a bit of weight, take up a new type of exercise or stop eating unhealthy foods?  The key to keeping yourself on track is to make sure that you are setting realistic goals and not aiming too high with your changes.

“Unfortunately, making too many changes too quickly or becoming discouraged after initial setbacks can cause people to throw in the towel and resume old, unhealthy habits,” says Katie.

The key to success lies in planning and setting realistic expectations. It’s best to start with small habitual changes and develop a great support base of friends and family to encourage you to make long-term changes for your health.

Start by incorporating simple lifestyle changes including eating healthily, being SunSmart, moving more, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing alcohol intake, and progress from there.

Here are our top tips for keeping your 2014 New Year’s health and wellbeing resolutions:

•    Set a goal that’s achievable – be realistic about your resolution.
•    If you feel like giving up, remind yourself of why you decided to change and how your action will benefit your health in the short and long term (prevent cancer!)
•    Set a timeline and a healthy reward for your actions such as a massage or time with friends and family.
•    Identify obstacles –how will you handle the hard times when they arrive?
•    Get support – tell others about your resolution and ask for their ongoing encouragement.
•    Find something new and meaningful to get involved in, such as Relay For Life or I Can For Cancer.
•    Join the QUEST to reduce your risk of cancer at .

Find out more about making healthier choices and cancer prevention at Cancer Council Queensland.