Hi! How are you? How are your resolutions going this year?

If this question makes you squirm, fear not! It can be discouraging when your best intentions go off the rails after just a few weeks, but I promise it’s not too late to get back on track (sorry, not sorry, for two corny train references in one sentence). Anyway, here’s one thing I’m trying out this year to keep myself from feeling daunted by a lofty resolution:

Take that one big goal and break it down into small, manageable mini goals.

So simple, right? Once I thought about it, I realized that I’ve used this approach for practically everything but making resolutions and setting goals… Writing an essay? Create an outline first. Launching a business? Get your business plan on paper. Hosting friendsgiving? You’d better make a game plan for that turkey.

Every goal or resolution starts with the best intentions. But no matter how great your intentions are, you’re hurting yourself before you even start if you don’t have a plan. My personal big goal this year is to live more sustainably. It’d be daunting (and expensive) to overhaul everything at once, so I decided to tackle one habit each month. Here’s a snippet from my guide this year and some tricks to setting goals you can actually achieve…

January: Recycle glass

  • Notes: Marietta doesn’t accept glass in curbside recycling containers
  • Tools: Nothing new is needed! Designate a spot in the kitchen to collect glass; set calendar reminders to take glass to a recycling center every week until you’re in the habit

February: Say no to shopping bags

  • Notes: I pretty consistently remember my reusable bags at the grocery store, but I always forget them for other types of shopping
  • Tools: Any sort of small, compact, easy-to-transport bag will work. I especially like Baggu’s reusable totes.

March: Start composting

  • Notes: I live in a rental home, so something permanent in the backyard isn’t a great solution for me.
  • Tools: A compost tumbler as a birthday gift to myself! It moves when we do!

This approach definitely takes more time and investment up front, but my theory is that goals are easier to stick to when you have a plan in place.

Now that you have one big goal and lots of little steps to back it up, all that’s missing is accountability. Here’s how you keep yourself on track: Set calendar reminders each month; create a log to jot down your victories, missteps; and what you’ve learned along the way (dot journaling, anyone?), and ask a friend to check in with you (offer to do the same for them, too).

How are you hoping to do/be better this year? Let us know in the comments below so we can check in with each other. Also, as wonderful as online communities can be, if you’re interested in face-to-face check-ins and getting away from your screen (aren’t we all?), we’d love for you to tour our space and see if our coworking community might be a good fit for you!