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Four Steps to Write a New Year’s Resolution You’ll Keep

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Writing down any type of goal—including New Year’s resolutions—can help you stick with them! Below, we’ll go over why it helps and how to write the perfect resolutions.

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There are four easy steps you can follow if you want to write a New Year’s resolution you’ll stick with. 

Let’s state the obvious: Most people don’t fulfill their New Year’s resolutions.

So, don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t reach the goals you set for yourself last year. The fact that you’re here means you want this upcoming year to be different. And guess what? You’re already off to a good start.

Successfully setting resolutions involves much more than just jotting them down on a sticky note. Below, we’ll discuss the importance of writing down your goals and then outline four easy-to-follow steps that’ll help you craft a resolution you’ll truly stick with.

Graphic shows crying Peter Parker meme with text that reads "When it's the lady day of the year and you haven't achieved your resolutions"
Don’t worry—this year will be different!

Why You Should Write Down Your Goals

There are two major reasons why you should write down your goals.

It serves as a visual cue and daily reminder.

Having your goals written down gives you something you can easily refer to and access whenever you need to.

The daily hustle and bustle of life makes it easy to get distracted from our goals. Sometimes, things get so busy, we completely forget them. A paper with your goals written on them, whether tucked away in your wallet or purse or taped up on your refrigerator, works as a visual cue to get started or keep working on pursuing your goals.

A goal that lives solely in your mind is at risk of being forgotten.

It “encodes” the goal into your brain.

The “generation effect” explains that information is better memorized if generated in one’s own mind, compared to information that is only read. You can leverage this phenomenon by formulating goals in your mind and then writing them down to encourage your brain to deeply analyze, process, and internalize them.

Perfectly Pen Your Goals

Even if no one is going to see the goals you write down, they should still be written flawlessly. Why take effort to craft something so important only for it to be riddled with spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes?

Ensure your resolutions are flawless with LanguageTool—a multilingual writing assistant than ensures your text is error-free and styled to perfection.

How To Write a New Year’s Resolution

Now that you understand why you should write down your goals, let’s get to the good part! Here are the four easy steps to follow that’ll help you achieve your resolution.

1. Focus on one goal.

You might be tempted to work on two, three, or even five resolutions this upcoming year. But instead of giving a small percentage of your effort to several goals, it’s better to give 100% to just one. Ask yourself, “What is my priority?” Then, make that your resolution for the year.

And if you have numerous priorities you want to accomplish, at least focus on them one at a time. Once you’ve completed one, move on to the next. Remember, our brains aren’t great at multitasking.

2. Split the major goal into smaller goals.

Once you’ve decided on a resolution, split it into smaller, easier-to-achieve goals. For example, the thought of writing a book might stop you in your tracks. But it’ll seem much more attainable if you tell yourself to write one chapter a month.

Write a book. Write a chapter. The latter is infinitely less daunting.

3. Decide on which actions you’ll have to take.

Once you’ve decided on a goal, think about the specific actions you’ll have to take to help you reach it. Let’s stick to the writing example. There’s much more to writing a book than composing it. You also have to take time to brainstorm, research, outline, write drafts, edit, and proofread.

You can think of the actionable steps required for just about any goal. Do you want to run faster? You’ll have to also take time to stretch, eat an optimal diet, and strength train to support your leg muscles.

4. Set a schedule.

Now that you have a list of actions you can take to help you achieve your resolution, it’s time to create a detailed schedule. It should look something like this:

If I want to write a book by writing one chapter a month, I’ll have to write for one hour, two times a week. I’ll take one additional day of the week to brainstorm and research, and another day to edit and proofread.

In other words, break down your goal by action, and set a precise amount of time you want to be working on each action.

Goal Get ‘Em

We’re not here to provide any false sense of security. Life is going to get hectic. You’ll be surrounded by distractions. And there will be days when you’re not motivated at all. But when you follow the steps listed above, you’ll make yourself less susceptible to the chaos of everyday life, and more likely to fulfill your resolution.

So, goal get’ em!

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