Remember the story of The Little Engine That Could? He decided to pull a heavy train up a mountain, and he did it. He just kept telling himself over and over again, with a big smile on his engine-face, "I think I can. I think I can." That sounds so appealing, doesn't it -- just choose your goal and "I-think-I-can" your way up the mountain? The problem is it doesn't work too well in real life, and that's why Februaries (and even late Januaries) are littered with cast-off New Year's resolutions. But it doesn't have to be that way, not if you're willing to ask yourself a few simple up-front questions. Let's say your resolution is to stay in closer touch with people in your family. OK, which ones? If you listed eight or ten, how about choosing one or two for starters so you don't over-commit? Now, how will you stay in touch -- emails or texts or phone calls or letters or visits? How often -- once a week with each person, or maybe once a month? (Remember, it's better to under-commit now so you can surprise yourself by doing more than you said you would.) And when will you do these calls or emails or whatever -- every Saturday morning over coffee or every Sunday evening before dinner? What reminders will you use to help you stay on track -- a note on the frig or the calendar on your phone or a buddy-check email to a friend every Friday morning? With these questions answered, you'll be chugging right up that mountainside before you know it.