Resolutions can point you in a new direction and give you a renewed sense of purpose, but if they are not well thought out, they might instead be torturous and defeating. An estimated 80 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions by February, due in large part to inconsistency.

Consistency is one of the hardest elements to master when trying to change or create a habit, especially as it relates to fitness: When goals are too ambitious or too vague, you quickly lose momentum. Here are six ways to duke it out with your former self, retrain your brain and build a lasting habit of consistency.

1. Size Matters. 

Setting a large goal is great, but the best way to reach that goal is by formulating several smaller goals that give you little wins along the way. For example, losing 10 pounds in a month — large goal — versus vowing to stretch for five minutes after each workout — small goal. Ten pounds is not an awful lot of weight to lose, but to achieve it within the time frame you’ve given yourself, you’ll have to change so many aspects of your life all at once — training, nutrition, accountability — it might be overwhelming. So yes, give yourself a lofty goal, but take baby steps to get there.