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The one thing that’ll make your resolution happen

Is your New Year’s resolution to get to the gym more? What will you do to fulfill that promise? | PATRICK DODSON/AP

Most of us who come up with New Year’s resolutions don’t really start trying to achieve them until we return to our jobs.

That means the time to make them happen is now. And to make any resolution stick, there’s one thing you have to do: You’ve gotta have a plan.

I don’t care what your resolution is, a plan is a must. Without one, that’s where most of us get tripped up. We vow to do something without making a strategy for success. Oh, you might make it through today and a couple more days without one, but for the long term, you have to have a plan if you’re going to succeed.

If your goal is to exercise more, you have to pencil in that time on your calendar and stick with it. As the experts say, if you don’t plan when you will get fitness in it’s too easy to go without or to let something else be the priority. Get that calendar and start making those workout appointments now. And when you do that, make sure the times are doable. Don’t say you’re going to the gym at 6 if you know your job demands you stay there until 7 most days. Figure out a time that works for you and your commitments.

Maybe you decided you’d like to eat better in 2015. Well, then you have to figure out when you are going to shop for groceries; when will you cook? What will you cook? What will you do about lunches for work? You gotta have a plan.

Along those same lines, maybe you vowed to stop eating junk in the vending machine. That’s a fine idea, but you have to have a substitute ready. The reason you head to the vending machine in the first place is you are hungry and/or in need of energy. You’ll only succeed with this resolution if you bring along your own healthier treat (snack bag of nuts, veggies and/or fruit) or know where you can get one while at work. And that takes what? Planning!

Maybe you want to spend less money. Then you have to figure out where you’re wasting cash and — again — have a plan how to combat that. Is it buying an expensive coffee everyday? Well, then plan to buy a Thermos and make your own to tote along with you.

Whatever you are resolving to do, start writing out your plan for success. Look at it often, as inspiration and to remind yourself what you have to do to be a victor when it comes to resolutions.