Brooka Temple of Shrewsbury is trying to decide what her next New Year's resolution will be.

For the past five years, the 20-year-old has given up indulgences from chocolate to fast food, she said. Each year, she said she picks a new food group to quit cold turkey to prove that she can do it.

"I just want to show self-control," Temple said.

And the secret to beating those sugary cravings?

"With food, honestly, it's just willpower," she said. Last year's resolution to give up ice cream lasted until September: Temple works at Bonkey's Ice Cream in New Freedom.

About 45 percent of Americans usually make New Year's resolutions -- and only about 8 percent of those people successfully achieve their goals, according to research from the University of Scranton.

No wonder other Yorkers aren't as staunch when Jan. 1 comes.

Resolutions redefined: For Micah Heckert, 27, of York City, the new year isn't the best time to make big changes.

"It starts me off on the wrong foot knowing that I'm doing it at the same time as everybody else," he said.

Instead, Heckert said he makes them during the year, working on his relationships with other people and God.

He said he and his wife also sit down each year on their anniversary, Aug. 1, to reflect on the past year and make a plan for future changes.

"It's like our version of New Year's resolutions," he said.

And when Missi McLaren, 39, of York City makes hers, she sometimes has to start over in the middle of the year.

A published poet, McLaren wanted to make more time for writing last year, she said. But her drive didn't follow through until National Poetry Month in April, when she wrote 30 poems in 30 days.

"So I did eventually do it," McLaren said.

Then, she continued that habit by writing one haiku a day -- in the form of Facebook statuses.

"Find ways to keep doing it, even if they seem weird," she said.

Next year, she's resolved to print two finished books and finish two half-written books.

Small changes, big impact: When making resolutions, it's important to remember that habits don't change overnight, according to Deb Bixler, aka "the healthy chef." The health and wellness educator offered some tips for those striving to meet the No. 1 resolution of 2014: losing weight.

Goals don't need to be demanding. Simply making one small change at a time is the key to long-term success, said Bixler, who lives in Springettsbury Township. Habits tend to form after you do something for 51 days, she said.

"If you can stick with it, it's going to make a bigger impact," Bixler said.

For those trying to get healthy in the new year, try making small but significant changes, such as flossing every day or watching food labels for added sugars, she said.

"Small changes add up in the long-term. Your health is the same way," Bixler said.

-- Reach Mollie Durkin at