One of the most common reasons for New Year's resolutions gone awry is the lack of genuine motivation. If you continue to fall short of your commitment to read a new book every month, for example, consider your "why." Is it that you're hoping to meet the expectations of other people, do you harbor grand yet meaningless and shallow fantasies, or is there a deeply rooted motivation that drives you? Perhaps you've been looking to broaden your life outlook or learn to write a book of your own. You should always start with your intent and, from that plateau, build a step-by-step action plan.

If your plan is to lose weight, but you know you're not ready to give up those chocolate bars just yet, start by giving up something else. It may help you develop enough will power to eventually toss away those sugary treats. And don't expect to run a marathon on your first day. Instead, plan a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood each morning or maybe a 30-minute jog on the treadmill after work. The key is to avoid overwhelming yourself. Treat your goal like a expedition. Remember, you have all year to get this right. A guilty pleasure of mine is to check out The Rock’s Instagram and other accounts as motivation.

People who have been successful at setting goals understand the power of thinking quantitatively. In other words, attach an achievable number to your goals. Practicing manageable habits is an effective way to stay on track toward a year that ends with your resolutions still in tact. If your goal is to adopt more positive lifestyle, don't expect an attitude change over night. Otherwise, you'll give up within the first week. However, you can slowly build up to that personality makeover by gradually eliminating toxic words from your vocabulary. Along the way, you can keep a log that details your triumphs and failures, which can also be effective in helping you understand how often you spew negative commentary throughout the day.

According to an article in Forbes, success in following through on your resolutions is achieved by "setting smart, effective goals." The problem is most people are more emotional than they are strategic, which explains why they are driven by whatever feeling manifests itself. In an article published in success.com, Mel Robbins explains how to use the five-second rule to overcome procrastination. He challenges readers to, rather than sit there analyzing an idea, act on it within five seconds of its entrance into your thoughts. This is where many of us falter. We sit and ponder something we would like to accomplish until we find a YouTube video, Facebook post to distract us.

Your resolutions need to be meaningful enough to become a priority. Otherwise, how can you expect to sacrifice the things you enjoy in order to take steps toward accomplishing them? Think about what you are missing in your life, that thing that will provide the happiness you've been searching for. If you don't want to be among the 1 in 4 people who will fail at achieving their resolutions, avoid entering the new year blindly. Plan and follow through on goals that truly matter.

-Jason Gordon, USSsportsmachine.com

Jason hails from New York City where he is a marketing associate by day and blogger by night. He is a sports  and health fanatic who tries to marry the two in his writing. Please feel free to reach out to him at jason@usssportsmachine.com