It's only natural that as we say 'goodbye' to 2012 and look ahead to the 'clean slate' of 2013 that we take stock of who we are, what we are, and what we want to be.  What we come up with become our new year's resolutions.

According to a new survey, the most popular for 2013 are:

1. Do more exercise

2. Lose weight

3. Eat more healthily

4. Take up or restart a hobby/activity

5. Learn a new skill

No real surprises there.  But while making new year's resolutions is easy, getting them to stick is a whole different story. According to the Huffington Post, there are some ways to make those resolutions more resolute this time around:

1) Quantify.Vague goals are very difficult to achieve. Examples of vague fitness goals include "run more," "lose weight," or "get stronger." Any of these goals could be made more specific by quantifying them: "Run a total of 30 minutes each week," "lose one pound every two weeks until I've lost 20 pounds," or "bench press five extra pounds each week until I can bench press my own body weight."


2) Set benchmarks. If there is no start date, end date, or end goal (benchmark) for your resolution, then it can be very hard to get started and very hard to complete. When you set a resolution, you must set a start date (e.g., first Monday in January I weigh myself) and an end date or end goal (I lose a pound every two weeks until May 31, or until I've lost 20 pounds).


3) Keep it simple. Despite the temptation to use New Year's as a motivation to get a lot done, it is better and more efficient to focus on just one big goal, and not to become distracted by other dreams.


4) Log. If you're not tracking or logging your progress, you can easily lose motivation, or easily forget your quantifiable goal. Whether it's stepping on the scale each day and writing down the number, taking a front and side photo at the end of each week, or checking how fast you can run a mile at the end of every week, you must have a way of checking in on your progress.


5) Share. Don't keep your New Year's resolution to yourself -- instead, tell the world! You can increase your accountability, motivation, and potential to stick to it if you share your workout goals and progress. You can also share your actual workouts by getting a workout buddy or even hiring a personal trainer to help keep you on track.


6) Let's face it, we're all human. There will be periods of time where your progress towards achieving your resolution doesn't go exactly as planned. Every little bit of progress you make toward your goal really does count, no matter how small it is. So even when the going gets tough and you don't get as much accomplished as you think you should, just keep on plugging away. The results will speak for themselves.

When all else fails, remember #6.  Happy New Year!