How to Write A New Year’s Resolution: A Simple Guide With Examples

Discover how to write a New Year’s Resolution with specific examples and tips.

I spend a week or two before New Year’s reviewing the past year and figuring out what goals I want to set for the year ahead. I find starting the year with a clear set of objectives is empowering, but knowing how to articulate these resolutions is a process that changes from year to year.

For some years, I’ve had a general idea of what I want to achieve, such as writing a book, starting a blog, or running a marathon. In other years, writing a resolution requires more work and analysis. According to a study by the University of Scranton, only 8% of Americans achieve their resolutions. To increase those odds, it’s sensible to avoid picking broad aspirations. Instead, write actionable, realistic plans or resolutions for the year ahead.

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new year resolution

The Role of New Year Resolutions

Before the new year approaches, feeling excited and determined to improve your health, finances, or business is normal. When writing your resolutions, considering your motivations, and setting a plan that includes small, achievable steps, you can write resolutions that reflect your desires.

The tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions is a way for you to outline specific objectives or changes you want to implement in your life with the onset of a new year. Remember, resolutions are personal and should inspire progress rather than create pressure. They represent a firm decision to DO or STOP DOING something.

New Year’s resolutions symbolise your hopes and determination for self-improvement. Resolutions are fun because they allow you to set a direction for the year ahead. They’re also markers for personal growth. With a well-thought-out approach to writing resolutions, your New Year’s resolutions transform from thoughtful intentions into meaningful accomplishments.

Reflect on the Past Year

Look back at your previous year. Consider your achievements and setbacks. This isn’t about being hard on yourself. Ask yourself what did or didn’t work?. I often read back on old journal entries or free-write about my intentions for the year ahead. Learn how to write a journal. Determine key areas where you want to improve or achieve growth for the year ahead.

Identify Areas for Improvement

Spend a few days considering what a resolution means to you and what it matters. It’s helpful to pick a few areas of your life to create a resolution for, like health, finances, relationships, and work. Ideally, you’ll write three to five resolutions encompassing these areas.

Write a New Year Resolution That’s SMART

When writing resolutions, incorporate SMART goals. They’re Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. For example, our writing goals guide explains how creatives can do this.


Be specific about what you want to achieve. Instead of saying you want to “get fit,” commit to several weekly workouts or a specific fitness challenge, such as writing a non-fiction book by April 30th or participating in one local 5k run each month. For example, “I will run a 5k in the local Park every second Saturday morning at 09.00.”


Good goals and resolutions are measurable, so you can track progress. Decide how you’ll measure success, whether by the number of books read in a year or the amount saved each month towards a financial goal.


Ensure your resolutions are attainable. Assess your limits realistically and set milestones you feel confident about achieving. For example, if you aim to learn a new language, consider the level of proficiency you can reasonably achieve within the year. Similarly, it’s unrealistic to expect to write a book in a month if you don’t write much.


Pick resolutions relevant to your life and align with your long-term aspirations. If you want to land a big promotion, your goals might involve networking or skill development. Similarly, a creative could pick a resolution that helps them earn a side income, like an extra $500 per month, for their creative pursuits.


Finally, craft time-bound resolutions. Give yourself a deadline, like reading 12 of the best 21st-century authors by year’s end or achieving a monthly fitness goal. Deadlines work well for this. Get them on your Google or Apple calendar. These deadlines encourage persistence and accountability.

Achieving Your Resolutions

Successfully implementing and following through on your New Year’s resolutions hinges on building actionable steps that become part of your daily life.

Start Small

Begin by setting achievable targets that won’t overwhelm you. If your goal is to read 12 books a year, start by dedicating 15 minutes daily to reading ten pages daily. This approach reduces the pressure and incrementally builds towards your larger objective. I recommend this approach to aspiring authors as well. Anyone can write 200-300 words a day.

Create a Routine

Consistency is vital, so integrate your resolution into your daily routine. For example, if fitness is your goal, schedule your workout at the same time each day to establish it as a habitual part of your lifestyle. Similarly, a writer could pick a time of day when they will work on their first drafts.

Track Progress

Writing resolutions is one thing, but don’t stop there. Record your milestones, no matter how small. This could be a checklist in your journal or a digital writing tracker. If a resolution feels on track, celebrate your success. Here’s a basic template to help track progress on those resolutions you spent hours writing:


Weekly Target:

Achieved: Yes No


Use this structure to review and adjust your actions as necessary regularly. Reviewing progress on a resolution every Friday or Sunday evening is helpful.

Overcoming Challenges

Successfully achieving your New Year’s resolutions often means navigating through various challenges. Here are focused strategies to help you address obstacles, maintain motivation, and modify your goals.

Anticipate Obstacles

Don’t beat yourself up. Instead, acknowledge setbacks will occur. Identify potential hurdles in advance, such as time constraints or unexpected life events like a family member getting sick. By predicting these challenges, you can proactively develop a plan to navigate them without derailing your progress.

Stay Motivated

Keep your drive alive by setting milestones and celebrating small victories. For instance, if you resolve to read more books, reward yourself after finishing each one. Maintain a list of reasons why your resolution matters, and review it whenever your motivation wanes.

Stuck? Rewrite Your New Year Resolutions

Resolutions are fun, but recognize when a goal becomes unrealistic or too demanding. If this happens, revisit and refine it. Break down larger objectives into smaller, more manageable steps. Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection, so adjust your goals to be challenging and attainable.

Resources and Support

When setting New Year’s resolutions, consider what resources, support and systems you need. These can help sustain your motivation and track your progress throughout the year.

Accountability Partners

Accountability partners can significantly increase your chances of achieving your resolutions. They will hold you responsible for your commitments and encourage you. Reach out to friends or family with similar goals, as shared objectives can create a mutual support network. For example, joining a local or online writing group could help aspiring authors follow through on their resolutions.

Resolution Apps and Tools

Leverage technology to stay on track with your resolutions. Various apps and tools like Streaks can help with habit formation, tracking progress, and maintaining motivation:

  • Goal-setting apps: Set specific milestones and receive reminders.
  • Habit-tracking apps: Keep a daily log of your habits to visualize your consistency.
  • Fitness trackers: Use these for health-related goals to monitor your physical activity.
  • Writing tools: I use Grammarly and also a spreadsheet to track my daily and weekly progress on specific goals.

Commit to reviewing your progress in these apps frequently to adjust your strategies as needed.

Reflect on Your Resolutions

When crafting New Year’s resolutions, incorporate times for reflection on your progress and the flexibility to adapt your goals as needed. These steps are foundational to maintaining relevant and achievable resolutions throughout the year.

Hold Weekly Review Sessions

To ensure your resolutions stay on track, schedule regular review sessions. During these sessions, ask yourself key questions:

  • What progress have I made toward my goals?
  • Are my strategies effective?
  • What’s working?
  • What should I do more or less of?

Adapting Your Resolutions to Life Changes

Life is unpredictable, and your New Year’s resolutions may need to change accordingly. If you experience a significant life event, re-evaluate your goals to determine if they still fit into your life.

For example, if you resolve to run a marathon but injure your ankle, you could adapt this goal to something like swimming, which has a lower impact. Similarly, perhaps you suddenly get a new job. This could mean pushing back the deadline for writing a book.

New Year Resolution Examples

Here are some example New Year resolutions. Don’t forget to check yours with the help of a grammar checker like Grammarly.

Write 500 Words Daily For 365 Days: Commit to writing 500 words daily, focusing on quality over quantity.

Publish One Blog Post Weekly: Set a goal to publish a new, well-researched blog post every week.

Read One Writing-Related Book Per Month: Expand your skills by reading at least one book related to writing, blogging, or content creation each month.

Attend Two Writing Workshops This Year: Enhance your craft by participating in at least two writing workshops or webinars in the year.

Increase Email Subscribers by 20% by April: Aim to grow your email list by 20% through targeted content and promotions by the end of the year.

Collaborate with Five Influencers a Month: Plan collaborations with at least five influencers in your niche to expand your network and audience.

Complete a First Draft of Your Book: If you’re working on a book, set a realistic deadline for completing the first draft.

Start a Monthly Newsletter: Launch and consistently send a monthly newsletter to engage readers on Substack

Grow My X or Instagram Following by 15% Each Month: Aim to increase your followers on chosen social media platforms by 15% with consistent and engaging content.

Rebrand a Website Within 3 Months: Give your website a fresh look and update the logo and color schemes by a specific date.

Submit Articles to Five Publications: Aim to have your work featured in at least five different publications throughout the year.

Create a Content Calendar and Share With My Team In January: Plan and adhere to a content calendar to stay organized and consistent.

Take an SEO course by February 28th: Dedicate time to understand and implement SEO best practices to increase visibility.

Reduce Screen Time by One Hour Daily: Balance work and health by reducing screen time (outside of work) to one hour daily. Track this with a screen time app like RescueTime.

Increase Content Engagement by 30% Weekly: Set a measurable goal to boost engagement on your content through interactive and valuable posts.

Write and Publish a Book This Calendar Year: Plan, write, and publish a book related to your expertise or interest.

Attend Two Major Industry Conferences: Network and gain insights by attending a major conference in your field.

Start a Podcast by June with 10 Interviews: Launch a podcast series related to your niche with a set schedule for episodes.

Implement a Weekly Learning Hour Every Saturday Morning: Dedicate one hour weekly to learning a new skill or tool relevant to content creation.

Secure Three Guest Blogging Opportunities a Week: Aim to write guest posts for three different websites or blogs in your niche.

How to Use AI to Write A New Year Resolution

The right AI prompt can help you turn a general aspiration into a specific resolution. It can also help with brainstorming. Open up an app like GrammarlyGO and type in your aspiration. Then, ask it to turn that into a resolution. For example. I typed; “I want to write a book. Turn this into a resolution. AI gave me a sample resolution following the SMART goal framework.

I will commit to writing a book by December 31st of this year. To achieve this, I will dedicate at least 30 minutes every day to writing, and I will hold myself accountable by tracking my progress on a weekly basis. I will also seek feedback from a writing group or mentor to help me stay motivated and improve my writing skills. By the end of the year, I will have a completed manuscript that I can be proud of.

Consider using that prompt for various areas of your life you want to set resolutions for. Then, pick the 3-5 resolutions that excite you the most.

SMART Goals Printable

SMART GOALS printable
Use this SMART GOALS printable to brainstorm your resolutions