GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Many of us have the best of intentions when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.

The truth is, after a couple of weeks into our new commitments, our hopeful practices never become habit. Rae Green, the founder and president of Sanford Behavioral Health, said if you’re looking to keep your resolution, you should remember it takes 21 days to change a habit.

“At Sanford Behavioral Health, we’re in the business of resolutions. People who come through our doors are looking to make life changes. And that fresh calendar every year, you look inward and say, ‘All right, what are the things that maybe have been around for a while, some issues that I want to start to tackle?'” she said. “A resolution is really a process of change and it takes 21 days just to change a habit, six months to incorporate behavioral changes into our personality.”

Green said there are some things you should think about before setting a resolution.

“We know that over half, if not more, the resolutions that people set don’t work out,” she said. “So you have to ask yourself a couple of things. One, ‘What am I willing to give up?’ Two, ‘What is my motivation?’ And when you talk about motivation, what you’re really saying is ready, willing and able. Am I ready to make this commitment? Am I willing to make the behavioral changes that it’s going to take? And am I able to maintain those changes?”

Green said the next step is to ask yourself how you will maintain and carry out your goal.

“There are some strategies that you can look at. One is that you make measurable goals, and when you make those goals, you analyze, ‘Can I achieve these measurable goals?'” she explained.

It’s important to have someone keeping you accountable.

“It helps to tell someone about those goals because that adds to a little bit of accountability,” Green said. “That gives you a little extra push. And then you say, ‘You know what, is there a community of like-minded resolvers that I can join, people who will offer me social support and reinforcement and also serve as an inspiration?”

Along the way, it’s important to recognize your own achievements. Green suggested finding ways to reward yourself.

“It’s just generally good to feel a sense of being rewarded for it. But you also don’t want your brain to start perceiving these behavioral changes as punishment because it can push back against you. So by providing yourself those rewards, you will avoid that tendency for slipping into, ‘I’m a failure,'” she said. “There is no failure. Don’t wait for a fresh new year to start again. Just reset yourself. Change does not happen in a straight line. It’s a process. There’s stages, and you can move in and out of those stages, so don’t let that discourage you.”

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip, Green said.

“A slip is just a part of the process,” she said.