Did you forget to make a New Year’s resolution? You know it’s never too late to make a change for the good.

But, while making these annual promises to yourself, it’s important to keep your expectations in check. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Start small and remain adamant. Each positive change, no matter how minuscule, carries a cumulative effect — especially when the action remains consistent.

A living example of this: Weldon Long.

Long, who was once a poverty-stricken drug addict, spent more than 13 years behind bars. While incarcerated, he vowed — little by little — to change his ways.

He wrote down a list of goals and stuck them to the wall of his cell. He dreamt of the man he wanted to become, and continued to convince himself that his vision would someday be a reality. He spent his spare time immersed in motivational books by Stephen Covey, studied business, and began taking courses. Over time, he obtained a bachelor’s degree, and eventually a master’s in business administration.

Now, just eight years removed from prison, Long has a resume chock full of success: he’s become an educated man, started an HVACR contracting business that amassed more than $20 million in sales, purchased a home in Maui, established a relationship with his estranged son, and has remained law-abiding.

Little by little, bit by bit, his short-term actions led to long-term prosperity.

According to StatisticBrain.com, 71 percent of individuals who make resolutions fulfill them through the first two weeks; however, less than half stick with them beyond six months. The separation between winners and losers begins today.

In the words of the great Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” It’s time to show that you’re a leader. Don’t be a statistic. Your livelihood depends on it.