Experts say there’s a big difference between setting a goal and achieving it. To increase the probability that you’ll reach your goal, you need to create a practical plan. That means taking the timeline for your goal, dividing it into weeks, and planning exactly what you’ll do each week.

Your weekly activities need to be realistic and move you steadily toward the finish line.

Say, for example, your New Year’s resolution is to travel to Rome. Wishful thinking won’t get you there, but a good plan will. The first three weeks of that plan might look like this:

Week 1: Research travel to Rome, including flights, hotels and costs.

Week 2: Create a realistic budget. Figure out how much you’ll need to save each week. Open a no-fee savings account for this purpose.

Week 3: Borrow an Italian phrase book from the library and start practicing.

As you can see, weekly planning propels you towards your goal. Try this technique for your 2018 aspirations!