COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Finding the right New Year’s resolution can be a challenge for some but sticking with that resolution is the difficult part for many.  

And while many people have been waiting for COVID to end, or for other things to happen before making that change in their life, one expert says it’s time to focus on the present. 

“A resolution is only as good as how often you practice it, you think about it, you stay aware of it,” warns Columbus Life Coach Julie Wilkes. 

As we flip the page to 2022, Wilkes says it’s time for a new approach to New Year’s resolutions. 

“I think that we realized throughout the past few years that there’s a lot of things that we really don’t need, but there’s a few things that we do,” says Wilkes. 

For Wilkes, she is encouraging her clients and resolvers alike, to start with their health — but that doesn’t have to mean the age-old resolution of losing weight.  

“For some of us it’s weight management, its nutritional choices, it’s sleep habits. For others, it might be how you move your body,” Wilkes encourages. “But for others, it’s even about how we practice mindfulness, how we manage our stress, and how we see ourselves.” 

Whether your resolution is to reduce screen time or form a better diet, Wilkes says these three keys will help keep you on track. 

“If you think of only three things: make it motivating, make it easy, and make sure you acknowledge the little wins along the way to hit that reward center,” Wilkes pushes. 

A Doctor of Psychology student, Wilkes says our brains play a crucial part in our successes. 

“The brain really loves those feelings and will say do it again,” says Wilkes. 

But she says our brains play an equally important role in our faults. 

“If we tell ourselves that it was a failure, then the problem with that is our brain creates all these chemicals that says, ‘I don’t want to feel that way ever again,’ so I’m not going to even try,” Wilkes describes. 

Though many people plan to start their resolutions on January 1st, Wilkes encourages it’s never too late in the year to start making lifestyle changes. 

“What I think we’ve really come to realize is we can’t wait. We have to find the joy today,” adds Wilkes. 

And for those that may feel overwhelmed, there is one easy place to begin. 

“Whatever it is that brings you more joy is a great way to start,” boosts Wilkes. 

Wilkes also encourages you to break your resolutions into four 90-day blocks and re-calibrate those goals at the end of each quarter. 

She says setting daily, weekly, and monthly goals that you can adjust along will help make them more achievable.