A new year, a new opportunity to take stock of our lives and vow to make positive changes, but does it really help?

We are typically creatures of habit. We like our routines so, maybe that's one reason why most of us have a hard time creating a new one that includes something like going to the gym and working out.

There are many reasons to do something you know you need to do, but maybe that's exactly why we don't stick to it, or even start, because of the pressure we put on ourselves.

A friend of mine once told me that they never start anything on a Monday. I took that advice when I quit smoking, and for some reason, it worked for me. Maybe it was planting the seed in my mind for several days before I quit, so when the time came, I was mentally prepared for it. Maybe it was just luck.

Obviously, there is no one answer for everybody, and in the big picture, it doesn't matter what time of year you start something that's going to lead to a change in your life. For me, the key is small steps. Plant the seed of the goal in your mind then, take steps toward that goal, a little at a time.