There's nothing like the start of a new year to give you the motivation you need to examine areas of your life that you'd like to improve on. While you may have a few lofty ideas in mind, it will serve you better in the long run to drill down to tangible accomplishments you can make daily progress toward.

If all else fails, try out one of the following resolutions that these five entrepreneurs have set for themselves in the past -- and seen success. Just making a few small changes will pay dividends if you can commit yourself for the long haul.

Find a long-term to-do list solution.

You're setting lofty goals now, but how do you plan to track them and hold yourself accountable?

"I wanted to make sure I actually checked in regularly on a number of goals we had set at the beginning of the year, rather than getting lost in the day-to-day," says Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of millennial media and marketing company Her Campus Media.

"I started using the web app Wunderlist, which allows you to add items to your to-do list on a recurring basis. I added a monthly check-in to-do for each project/goal I didn't want to fall by the wayside."

Schedule workouts.

Once you've signed up for a workout, you may be less tempted to back out of it. Kim Kaupe, co-founder of custom publication company ZinePak, knows this all too well, and made it a point last year to schedule workouts in her calendar.

"In cases where I thought I might get lazy and not attend, I would sign up for paid classes knowing that skipping out on a $20 or $25 class is like burning money in a firepit -- something no entrepreneur likes to do!" she said.

"By implementing scheduled workouts I've lost weight and become more energized and in shape than ever before."

Keep a gratitude journal.

With so much happening in your day-to-day routine, it can be difficult to think back to the aspects of your life that you shouldn't take for granted.

"One of my most recent New Year's resolutions that I've not only kept, but has changed my life is gratitude journaling," says Kristopher Jones, founder of SEO company LSEO.com.

Jones keeps the journal nearby to ensure he'll refer to it regularly: "I think the key is that I've kept the process very simple and easy. I leave a journal on the nightstand next to my bed. My goal is to journal every morning, noting three things I'm most grateful for in that moment."

Write down 750 words every day...

Got a lot going on in your mind? Make a habit to free up space by getting those thoughts down on paper instead. Marcela De Vivo, CEO of digital marketing agency Gryffin, discovered her resolution after reading The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.

"[Cameron] encourages people to write 750 words every day in order to clear the mind of mental clutter," says De Vivo. "I kept this resolution in 2016 and have been astounded by my increase in productivity, mental clarity and ability to meet other goals."

...Or just pick one word.

If keeping a daily journal entry may prove too tough to commit to, consider picking one word that will set the tone for the rest of your 2017.

"Everyone at my company, myself included, picks one word that they want to embody in the coming year. For example, 'strong' or 'compassionate,'" says Ginger Jones, owner and director of therapy clinic Jones Therapy Services.

"We look for opportunities all year long to represent this word, instead of making a list of resolutions that will probably be abandoned by Feb. 1."

Published on: Jan 9, 2017