The New Year brings us hope and a renewed promise of limitless opportunities for each and everyone of us. But as we close yet another chapter in our lives, we can’t help but ponder on how we dealt with the year that has just passed. Certainly, we have had our fair share of both victories and defeats  – circumstances which may have in one way or the other, defined how well we face the dawning of another year.

For many of us, we always begin the New Year by going back to our drawing boards so we can once again draft our resolutions. Whether we have achieved or forgotten many of the ones we vowed to do in the past, we are all entitled to a fresh beginning. But if your list this year looks very similar to the ones you’ve made before, perhaps it’s time to strategize so you can achieve even just the most important resolutions on your list. Here are some of the most common resolutions that you need to take seriously:

1. Be money smart. If you think that your family’s finances are still not in order for the nth time,it may be because you haven’t really learned from your past mistakes. List down the items that you feel you have spent more the previous year, and try to buy them only when the need arises. Shopping for clothes, shoes, gadgets, and bags is surely fun, but think about the savings that these can translate into if you just adopt wise spending habits.

You may also save money by looking around for licensed, low-price homeowner and auto insurers. If you compare prices, you may find policies that offer the same coverage but at lower rates. It may also be good to review whether you are getting the best deals out of your phone and internet providers. And before you make any major purchases, check out consumer reports so that you will end up making well thought-out choices.

2. Live a healthier lifestyle. Many of us put off eating healthy and exercising after New Year or even after a big holiday. But if the kids are also leading unhealthy and sedentary lifestyles, it’s already an indication that you should immediately work on this goal as a family. Work out as a family by playing sports and by doing other forms of regular exercises together. Get the kids to help out in planning everyday activities or exercises and include them as well in the menu planning. It’s easier to stay motivated and to get everyone involved if you all work together towards a common goal. So don’t wait until the next year or so to start leading healthy lifestyles because by starting early, you can help prevent long-term and life-threatening repercussions brought about by an unhealthy lifestyle.

3. Stop smoking. Perhaps you have tried to quit smoking a couple of times before, but without support and a firmer resolve, you may fall short of your goal. Try to get in touch with smoking cessation counselors or any support group in your area so that you can be guided with your intention to quit. They may also offer valuable advice regarding resources and tools that may be of help in your resolve to stop smoking. It’s going to be a process, so prepare yourself for the long haul.

4. Look after yourself more. For you to be able to take care of your family, you should first focus on your own well-being. The everyday demands of work and your family is already a given so learn how to deal with these effectively. Learn to plan ahead and more importantly, give yourself some “YOU” time when you feel too overwhelmed. Short breaks and rest periods are definitely important because sometimes it’s really all you need so that you accomplish everything in any given day.

5. Be fearless. We all like to take calculated risks, but if you think that you can take your career to a new and better direction, then go ahead. Each year, we all set goals for ourselves and sometimes we tend to just pass up on opportunities because we are too afraid to go out of our comfort zones. But if you think you are already prepared to take your career to the next level, then waste no time and chase after those dreams.

What goes on top of your list of New Year’s resolutions this year? Do you think you will be able to meet your goals?