Seeing any New Year’s resolution through to completion is tough for many of us, but it’s a good way to push yourself towards important goals.

Whatever your resolution is this year, here are a few tips to help you stay on track:

Make a plan
Creating a realistic step-by-step action plan makes it easier to pursue your goal when the going gets tough. If you’re quitting smoking, for example, decide on the date of your last cigarette and choose tools and methods to manage cravings. Include your reasons for quitting to come back to for motivation. Plan out how you’ll avoid situations that will make you want to smoke again and come up with ideas of what you’ll do instead of reaching for a cigarette – maybe brushing your teeth or going for a brisk walk – so you don’t have to come up with an alternative action on the spot.

Ask for accountability and support
Tell someone about your goal and how you plan to achieve it. If you want to work out more often, you can enlist a gym buddy or send them a photo of every session you complete. If you’re quitting cigarettes, you can ask someone to remind you why you’re stopping or to help distract you from cravings.

Having someone to cheer you on and be proud of your accomplishments can go a long way to help you move any goal along. This support might look different for everyone. It could come from a friend, family member or a health professional like a counsellor or quit coach.

Try multiple methods
There probably isn’t one right way to achieve your goal, so why not try a few strategies at once? A combination of tools and support is actually proven to increase the chances of quitting smoking for good. Health Canada says quit aids like nicotine replacement gum and/or prescription medication alongside counselling can double your chances of triumph.

Know that every step is a success
If you’re like most people, you may not be able to stick to your resolution without a few hiccups the first time you try. But every step you take towards your goal is more experience under your belt and something worth being proud of. Learn from your slip ups to plan your next attempt.

When it comes to smoking, it’s common to need a few tries to quit. And that’s okay, it’s continuing to try that will get you there in the end. If your resolution is to quit smoking, know that it’s possible and that there are plenty of free quit-support services in communities across the country. You can find more information and advice from real people and their success stories at