Raise your standards and develop a vision in order to achieve the goals of a healthier life.

(ARA) – A fresh cycle starts fresh every year on Jan. 1. We promise ourselves we’ll start eating better, work out, save more money, or otherwise improve upon the way we live our lives. However, statistics show that by mid-January, most people don’t follow through on their resolutions and give up. This happens often, but it’s not always easy to understand why.

Peak performance coach and human behavior expert Tony Robbins says that when someone isn’t achieving their goal, it’s often because they haven’t made it a “must.” “People give up on achieving their goals because they are ‘shoulds’ and not ‘musts,'” says Robbins. “But when something becomes an absolute must for you, when you cut off any other possibility in your mind, then you will do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.”

Too often, people set unrealistic ways to reach their goals, feel disappointed when they have a setback and give up too soon. If you need to lose 50 pounds but haven’t exercised in three years, going out for a 10-mile run isn’t a good way to get started – you’ll only be discouraged. Instead, start with goals that are achievable. You’ll enjoy consistent successes that add up to create the momentum needed to get you to your goal.

When faced with a setback, look at it as just a step along the way to your goal. When something doesn’t work, try another approach and always keep your end goal fresh in mind.

Getting started is the biggest step you’ll take. Having some guidelines can help you begin working toward your goals. Tony Robbins offers these tips from his popular personal development program, Ultimate Edge.

*Raise your standards. To find real personal fulfillment, you must continue to grow by challenging yourself and raising the standards by which you live your life. “Most people fail in life because they major in minor things,” says Robbins. Start by painting a mental picture: Who do you want to become as a person? Then, ask yourself what standards you would need to set to be that person – what would you have to believe or do; how would you have to dress, talk or walk?

*Drop the story and tell yourself the truth. Honest assessments can be hard to make, but it’s an essential step to lasting change. Write down, in detail, what your life is like right now in the area you want to change. Be specific. For example: “I can’t fit into any of my clothes and keep buying bigger sizes pretending I am not getting heavier.”

*Develop a vision that excites you and the habits you need to make it real. “Knowing what you want is important, but you need to know why you want it and to have a clear vision – that is what will keep pulling you toward your goal,” says Robbins. Instead of setting a goal to lose 10 pounds, make it more compelling by concentrating on the effects of losing weight, like transforming your body or feeling younger and stronger. Write it down, using language that excites you and the habits you will need to achieve your goal – again, be honest, specific and realistic.

*Find role models. Whether it’s friends, acquaintances or someone in the public eye, find role models who inspire you and are achieving the results you want. Often, by watching and following what they do, you’ll get the same results. This can be an intimidating step, but it can make a real difference – reach out to those people and tell them what you admire. Ask them about the steps they took to achieve success – this can provide you with a clearer idea of how to reach your goal.

Waiting for the calendar to turn to begin on your goals shouldn’t be part of your plan, get a head start now. If you’re starting out with questions, don’t worry – you’re not alone.