When you make resolutions that are incrementally achievable, you may finally force one into reality.

A shiny new year — and a shiny new decade — have shot out of the starting blocks. It won’t take long for them to sprint out of sight.

It seems like it was about three weeks ago when I rousted a group of sleepy-heads out of bed so they could see the ball drop on a new century. Now, 10 percent of it is gone.

This weekend, there’s still time to make a New Year’s resolution, or hit the reset button on one that didn’t make it past the Rose Bowl. Most behavioral experts agree that about 90 percent of all well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions are buried in the recycling bin before Punxatawney Phil sticks his head out Feb. 2.

That’s why last year’s top 10 resolutions are pretty much the same as this year’s.

One big reason for resolute failure is that we set our sights on goals based on factors we can’t control. When we resolve that this is the year we will shoot the 160-inch buck, catch the 12-pound bass, or bring home 20 pounds of mushrooms or a 5-gallon bucket full of blackberries, Mother Nature has the final say in whether those are realistic goals.

What we can do is resolve to put ourselves in a position to succeed. When you make resolutions that are incrementally achievable, you may finally force one into reality. Resolving to get in shape is not going to happen overnight, but it could begin with a walk in the park this afternoon.

That big buck resolution can keep you occupied all winter. Go carefully in the fringe areas of the thickets and timbers where he might live, sit down and look around. Resolve to spend the non-NFL winter weekends learning about him. Maybe you’ll find his sheds.

Just like us, the critters in the wild places are creatures of habit. When you can find where that deer is living now, it’s a pretty good bet he’ll be living there next fall. While you are out there, look around for dead elms, and old hedgerows that might hold a mushroom or two in the middle of April.

You will have a better chance of netting that big bass when you resolve to spend time learning what it will take to find, then catch that fish. The first thing you might learn is that he is not likely to be swimming in the waters you are fishing. That information will open the door of a trip-planning opportunity. Planning a fishing trip can end up being more fun than the trip itself.

If you’re out of resolution ideas, this decade resolve to partner up with a young person. Teach young people what you know. Learn from them. Show them the wild country. If you never harvest a big buck or find the blackberry bonanza, you still might get to see their eyes light up with a fire that will last them a lifetime.

George Little can be reached at ccmglobal@aol.com.