Okay not a big surprise, many of you who made a New Year’s resolution are having trouble keeping them. However, the American Psychological Association (APA) offers a few strategies after releasing a new study.

The APA’s study titled “What You Need to Know about Willpower: The Psychological Science of Self-Control” shows the biggest barrier standing in most people’s way is lack of willpower. Psychologist, Dr. Steven Breckler says they believe part of the problem is that American’s are trying to take on too many things at once.

“We’re trying to lose weight and eat a better diet and exercise and save money and pay off our debt all at the same time and that takes a real mental toll.”

They’re advice, don’t focus on the long term goal. Breckler says, “for example losing 25 or 30 pounds, what’s more realistic is to set your sights on small attainable steps along the way. Focus on that first five pounds first, achieve that goal, reward yourself a little bit and then move on to the next five pounds. That’s one way of conquering and dividing these big goals.”

He also advises that you temptation-proof yourself first before heading into temptation-rich environments. “If you’re trying to control your intake of alcohol and you’ve been invited to a party tonight make a plan. Before you head out the door, tell yourself if somebody offers me something to drink, I’m going to ask for club soda and a lime. He goes on to say, In that way. when the temptation arises, you’ve already gone through the mental energy of deciding what you’re going to do and what you’re going to say and it really resolves that temptation dilemma.”

The APA says the survey was conducted online on behalf of the APA by Harris Interactive among 566 adults in December. To read the willpower report and findings from the Stress in America follow-up survey, visit www.apa.org