Worst New Year's resolutions

Paying off all credit card debt

Resolving to pay off credit card debt in one year is not a realistic goal for many people, says Erica Sandberg, editor-at-large for Credit Card Guide. There's just too much debt to tackle in 365 days.

Indeed, the average cardholder carried a balance of $4,971 in 2012, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.

And remember, this resolution requires more than paying off existing balances. To be successful, you can't add any new debt.

Smart solution: Create a realistic plan.

Start by adding up all of your debt. Once you know how much you owe, consider your repayment options.

You might resolve to reduce your debt by 20% or pay off a specific credit card first. Once you have a goal, use a calculator to see how much you’ll need to apply to the debt each month. Sandberg suggests writing the repayment schedule on the calendar to help keep you focused on your goal.

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