With the New Year upon us, it’s good to look back on the year that’s passing with a critical eye. What were your New Year’s resolutions last year? Were you successful in achieving them? If not, why do you think that was?

Huffington Post has some great thoughts on why most resolutions fail and how we can hope to be more successful. Take a look:

Your Goals are Too Vague

A goal like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to try harder at work” can’t really be measured. And if you can’t provide specific benchmarks, you can’t measure your progress. So make your goals as specific as possible.

Inadequate Planning

If you state your resolution but have no plan for how you’re going to attain it, chances are that you won’t be very successful. So when you set your goal, think about specific sub-goals that you’ll need to hit along the way to achieving your actual goal. Also, think about how you’ll deal with setbacks and distractions (because they are bound to pop up)! In fact, studies found that thinking things through like this will increase your likelihood of success exponentially.

Unrealistic Goals

While we’d all love to do something big like write a book or start a successful business, unrealistic or highly improbable goals just set you up for failure.

Instead, focus on the aspect of the goal you would enjoy for its own sake and remove the unrealistic aspect of the resolution. Joining a writing group, starting a blog in your area of interest, or pursuing novel ideas for a start up are great goals as well as attainable ones (remember to choose only one of them).

Read more resolution advice over at Huffington Post’s 5 Common New Year’s Resolution Mistakes and How to Fix Them.