Keeping your New Year's resolutions is easier than you think

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Did you know more than 80 percent of New Year's resolutions fail by the first week of February? Experts in Sioux Falls say, it doesn't have to be that way.

"Set goals instead of resolutions," Casey Franken, investment manager and CPA at Pinnacle Wealth Management in Sioux Falls said. "Setting realistic goals and tracking your progress along the way and having someone hold you accountable for them that really shows -- just improving the chance of success."

So step one? Setting goals you can actually attain. Then, step two, be SMART, about how to best achieve them.

"Break a bigger task into smaller steps, it makes it easier to accomplish,' Mary Michaels of the Sioux Falls Health Dept. said. "A lot of businesses and organizations use what are called 'SMART goals' and that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely and that can apply to whatever we want to accomplish in the new year as well."

So be specific -- if you want to buy a house this year, there are thing you should be doing.

"Making very small goals along the way, because it'll be easier to track that way," Franken said. "And if you know that you're coming up short maybe you need to adjust your goals or adjust a habit because you're not hitting those smaller goals along the way."

Speaking of adjusting habits, if you're looking to pad your wallet, or lose a few pounds, there's an app for that.

"There's a lot of programs that you go through and it'll go through your entire year's transactions and maybe you've been spending too much at Starbucks," Franken said.

And apps for fitness are great for tracking progress and setting goals, but sometimes, you need to rely on a professional to get you started.

"That's when you want to come see us," Brooks Little, fitness manager at Avera McKennan Fitness Center said. 'We can always sit down get you going right away as far as developing a plan that fits just you and not just everybody at the gym."

If you hate going to the gym, there are a variety of different classes designed to make you forget you're working out and no rules about how often to go ...

"You don't always have to to work out for 60 minutes every day if you don't have that time," Little said. "You can condense it down, you can do high intensity workouts [HIIT] in half the time."

If there's a trip you've been dying to take, make this the year you actually do it.

"It's always a good idea to visit with a travel agent and find out what your options are and what the costs of different packages are that way you can go ahead and pre-plan," Marilyn Buskohl of AAA South Dakota said.

But the best advice all of our experts have ...

"And really if you think about those smaller steps rather than that end goal, you'll find that you get there," Michaels said.

Some other goals to consider:

-If you're planning for retirement this year, Franken said it's best to enroll in your company's plan and contribute enough to get the employer match.

- If you want to get in shape, Avera is offering a special discount for memberships in the month of January, just $20.18 for the first month.

- If nutrition and fitness are a priority, the Sioux Falls Health Dept. has recipes on its website and will be offering up a special fitness challenge later in January -- so be on the look out!

- Many people think using a travel agent is more expensive, but they often have access to deals you might not find on your own, plus, pre-planning can allow you to pay for your dream trip in increments, rather than all at once.