5 Tricks to Writing Resolutions You Can Really Keep

There is nothing like the start of a new year to give an extra boost to your personal goals, but so many resolutions fall to pieces just weeks or even days into the new year. Own your goals this year with these simple resolution writing tips. It’ll help you beat the odds and maximize all that new year potential.

Write it down

Mark Murphy wrote in Forbes Magazine, “people who vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals.” This is one of the simplest tricks of all, but so many skip it. Don’t miss out, grab a pen and paper, or your favorite digital device, and learn to write down your goals with our next steps.

 



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Be specific

Write your goals in very specific terms. Instead of, “Get good grades,” specify when and how much you’d like to improve. There will be many hurdles and distractions on the way to your goal. When you make it specific, it is easier to stay on track.

Example Goal: Increase my GPA by one point by next term.

Create an action plan

Successful people pursue single steps, not their lofty results. One way to stay focused on small steps is to create an action plan. To do this, ask yourself, “What are the small daily tasks I need to accomplish to achieve my final goal?”

Example Action Plan for an Increased GPA:

  • Calculate the minimum grade I need in each class to raise my GPA one point
  • Speak to my teachers/instructors about my goal and why I want to achieve it
  • Add three pieces of advice from my teachers to my action plan
  • Read one article a week on studying until I find the best method for my mind
  • Review my progress with my teachers ¼, ½, and ¾ through the semester

Bonus Tip: If an action plan isn’t working, change it! Just be sure to write the new plan down too.

Mantra

A great tool to help you succeed is a mantra. A mantra is a short phrase that you can repeat to yourself in order to stay focused. Goal setters find them useful when inevitable negative or discouraging thoughts emerge. A mantra should be short, easy to remember and the words ought to be a powerful argument against negative thoughts. If you are having trouble writing one of your own, here are some easy universal mantras you can try:

  • “A little is better than nothing.”
  • “Small steps make big change.”
  • “I am the best at this.”

Rewards

The last part of your resolution should be your reward. Many people find this confusing because they believe that success is a reward in itself, but this reward serves another purpose. This reward is for showing up every day and doing the work no matter the outcome. The best type of reward is tied to your goal. As an example, if we want a higher GPA a reward could be $50 toward an app or program that makes studying easier.

Your final resolution should look something like this:

Increase My GPA by One Point by Next Term

Action Plan:

  • Calculate the minimum grade I need in each class to raise my GPA one point
  • Speak to my teachers/instructors about my goal and why I want to achieve it
  • Add three pieces of advice from my teachers to my action plan
  • Read one article a week on studying until I find the best method for my mind
  • Review my progress with my teachers ¼, ½, and ¾ through the semester

Mantra:

“A little is better than nothing.”

Reward:

$50 toward an app or program that makes studying easier

Bonus tip: forgive yourself

You don’t need to be perfect every day to reach your goals. Many people fail because they make one mistake and end up scrapping it all. Even if you miss an entire week or even a month, true success is about finding the resolve to try again tomorrow and the day after that.

 


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Works Cited

Murphy, Mark. “Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want To Achieve Them.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 15 Apr. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2018/04/15/neuroscience-explains-why-you-need-to-write-down-your-goals-if-you-actually-want-to-achieve-them/#37fe6aea7905.

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