Tell yourself early and often that you will keep your New Year’s resolutions, and guess what: You’ll probably succeed. Here are some tips to help you keep your promises:

Make your goals specific and attainable. You want to climb to the top of Mount Everest by the end of May? Sounds great — and specific — but it’s likely not gonna happen on that kind of deadline. And why Mount Everest, but not Colorado’s Mount Evans? It’s important for you to know what, specifically, you want to do; whether it’s actually do-able; and what, specifically, you hope to accomplish. Examples of specific and attainable goals are:
– “I want mostly As at the end of each month so I will have at least a 3.8 grand-point average by the end of the semester, so I can apply to the college of my choice.”
– “I want a job at the local mechanic’s shop by the end of February so I can have the money to pay for prom.”

Start small. It’s admirable that you’d like to become the best student ever overnight, but it’s smarter to try first for an A on that one, upcoming test. Break up your resolutions into smaller pledges because small things add up to be big things over time.

Write down your resolutions, and post them where you can see them. Even better: Share your resolutions with your parents, a close friend or trusted teacher, and invite them to check in with you occasionally to discuss your progress. If you’re off track, just say so — and ask for their advice about how to change course.

Enlist support. A lot of your friends probably are making resolutions a lot like yours. When you find someone who shares your goals, actively seek to work with them to make progress. Want to lose a few pounds? See who wants to walk with you after school or hike on weekends. Want to make a better grade in math? Find a study buddy. The road to success is much easier to navigate when you’re not alone.

Practice new behaviors that encourage success. If you know hanging around certain friends makes you want to study less, or if having your video game console in your room cuts down on your studying time, get rid of them. Then, set aside a time for studying each day, and reward yourself when you finish.

Free iPhone apps to keep you on track

Check ’em out — and share the apps you like for life management in the comments section below.

“Would you like to start the New Year with more energy? Join the club. The free Juice iPhone app is ready to help you on your road to well-being. Track your daily activity to maximize your energy sources. Just a few minutes a day, and you’ll be able to see what works best for you over time. The app also gives healthy tips for managing stress and sleep patterns.

Manage your time and tasks on the go with this to-do list and weekly planner rolled into one.
Sooner is great for people who like to visualize their time instead of just writing a few tasks on sticky notes. Set up projects for your resolutions, and manage them on a monthly, weekly or daily basis.