What are your dreams for 2013? Often we refer to our dreams as New Year’s Resolutions. This tends to provide inspiration for change as we tell our family members, friends and co-workers about them in early January. We may say we will get fit, reduce our spending, or improve our relationships this year. But what happens by February or March? Does that newly purchased gym membership card sit idly on the table? Are you afraid to look at your credit card statements? Does the e-book you purchased on improving communication with your partner remain bookmarked on Chapter 1?

For many of us, it’s difficult to stick to New Yea’s Resolutions because the brain is not wired to welcome big changes too quickly. A jump start often leads to sputtering out. To make long-lasting changes in your life this year, consider the following:

Take one small step every day toward your big dream. If your goal is to improve your fitness, don’t start out by trying to run an hour on the treadmill if you’ve never done that. Why would your body and mind want to go back to such discomfort? Instead, start out with a five-minute walk each day around the block  or five-minutes of walking on the treadmill at your gym. Then you can start doing a minute more each week while also slowly changing your speed (of course, always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program).

Get social support. Many of us are more motivated if we can be held accountable or have family or friends who can join us on our journey.

Don’t be afraid to use technology. The free app Mint can help with getting finances on track; other apps can help with staying motivated and on track to healthier living.