Learn How To Set 2024 Resolutions — Make This Year The Best Yet!

Have you thought about your 2024 resolutions yet? The new year can be an excellent occasion to think about what is possible in your near future. It’s an exciting time to make plans and challenge yourself in the new year.  Some people start planning their 2024 resolutions weeks or months in advance. They think about…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: December 12, 2023

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Have you thought about your 2024 resolutions yet?

The new year can be an excellent occasion to think about what is possible in your near future. It’s an exciting time to make plans and challenge yourself in the new year. 

Some people start planning their 2024 resolutions weeks or months in advance. They think about the failures and successes they’ve had this year and how they can do more in the new year. 

When people set resolutions for themselves, they can be big or small.

Remember, it’s all about doing things to better yourself, and nothing is too small for that. You may want to get serious about paying off your debt or finally start investing. Or, it can be something like taking up a new hobby, getting outside more, or cutting out soda.

Setting resolutions is a long standing tradition.

However, only about 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions each year. And, only 75% of those who are setting 2024 resolutions will follow through with them after the first week of the year.

It’s crazy that 25% of people will stop working towards their resolutions after just the first week! And by June, more than half of the people who set 2024 resolutions will have completely abandoned them.

Why will so many people fail to reach their resolutions?

There are a lot of reasons, and many have to do with how you set your New Year’s resolutions. Are they specific enough? Did you create a system to make the achievable? Did you turn it into a habit? Are you tracking your progress? 

Surprisingly, those things can have a big impact on whether or not you’re successful with your resolutions.

And, if you don’t set your resolutions the right way, you can feel overwhelmed and discouraged. This can affect future resolutions and other aspects of your life.

Making New Year’s resolutions is a great way to change your life for the better, but if you don’t learn how to make your resolutions achievable, it will be incredibly difficult to reach them.

Due to that, today, I’m going to help you learn how to reach your resolutions and become successful with them in the new year. Let’s make your New Year’s resolutions and goals a reality!

Posts related to New Year’s resolutions:

Here are my tips and advice to help you make and reach your resolutions.

Analyze last year’s resolutions.

When creating your resolutions, I highly recommend that you first think about how the previous went for you. You’ll want to think about things such as:

  • Did you reach your new year goals?
  • Where did you struggle?
  • What should you focus your attention on in the coming year?
  • What kept you motivated? What made you lose motivation?
  • What could you have done better?

By reflecting on the previous year’s resolutions, you’ll be able to see what did and didn’t work for you.

This is a crucial first step that will help you set resolutions will allow you to see success in the coming year.


Are your 2024 resolutions SMART?

Before you throw out the idea of New Year’s resolutions, or judge people who set them, please keep this quote from Statistic Brain in mind:

“People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.”

This is why I believe that setting goals for the new year is so important. Once you have a plan in place, setting resolutions and achieving them is something that you can realistically work towards.

And, you should ensure that the resolutions you set are SMART:

  • Specific – What is your resolution? Is it specific enough or is it too broad? What needs to be done to achieve it? Why do you want to reach it?
  • Measurable – How can you measure your progress? How will you know if you’re on track?
  • Attainable – Can your goal setting actually be achieved?
  • Realistic/relevant – Can you achieve your goal? Is the resolution worth it?
  • Time – What’s your time frame for reaching your goal?

This is extremely important to remember when setting resolutions and goals because a SMART goal is one that you have spent a lot of time thinking about. When you reflect on last year’s resolutions, see how they met the standards for a SMART goal.


Make your resolutions visual.

Being able to visualize your resolutions is a fun step, and it’s one that will help you stay motivated.

When you physically jot down your resolutions, you are more likely to commit them to memory. You should write down each of your resolutions and why they are important to you. 

For me, if I don’t write something down or have it in front of me on a regular basis, I tend to forget about it. And, this definitely goes for goals and resolutions.

If you can’t remember your resolutions, it would be very hard to achieve them. Here are some ways to remember them, beyond simply writing them down in a notebook (there’s nothing wrong with that either, though, these are just more options):

  • Start a blog to talk about your resolutions.
  • Design a vision board (this can be a fun project, and you can even invite friends over and turn it into a crafty get together).
  • Place post-its around your home that talk about your annual resolutions.
  • Set reminders on your phone, calendar, or whatever else you use for your to-do list.

Related tip: If you’re looking for a life planner or a goal planner, I highly recommend checking out Erin Condren to look at their variety of life planners and monthly planners. Planners are great for setting goals, because it will keep you motivated and on top of whatever you have coming up this year.


Create a plan to reach your resolutions.

One of the problems people have with keeping resolutions is that they don’t make a plan.

Without a plan, how would you know what steps to take to reach your resolutions and goals?

Your plan should detail the actions you need to take in order to reach and/or maintain your resolutions, what will happen as you complete each step, when and how you will track your progress, and more. Being detailed with your plan will help you reach your goal and be successful.

Related article: How To Stay Focused, Stay Concentrated, Get Stuff Done & Be Successful


Break your resolutions apart into smaller ones.

As you are setting resolutions, it can be really easy to think that you have an entire year to work on them. This might cause you to forget about them in the first place or become overwhelmed with the work it takes.

One way to approach your resolutions is to think of them as 12 separate resolutions that relate to an overall goal, one for each month of the year. Basically, each month you would complete a step that would get you closer to achieving your overall resolutions.

This is a great way to stay motivated, because each step will show you that you are making progress.

There are even some resolutions that feel too difficult because you don’t know where to start. When you break your resolution down into smaller steps, it will feel more manageable.

For example, if your resolution is to start a blog, your monthly resolutions may look like this:

  • January – Think of a blog idea and a name.
  • February – Start a blog and create a blogging plan.
  • March – Create an editorial calendar.
  • April – Find ways to monetize your blog, like learning about sponsored posts.
  • May – Reach X number of page views.
  • June – Attend a blogging conference.
  • July – Guest post on 10 websites.
  • August – Grow your email list to X subscribers.
  • September – Build an emergency fund for X months.
  • October – Reach X in blogging income.
  • November – Grow a social media account to X.
  • December – Become a blogger!

Related: The 10 Steps To A Successful Blog



Track your progress through the year.

To stay motivated with your resolutions and to see them through, you should review your progress regularly. You may want to check in daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on what type of resolutions you set and what works for you.

This is why writing down your resolutions or breaking them into smaller parts is an important part of setting resolutions. You can check in and see where you are at, and it helps if you make notes of your progress as you go.

Keeping track of your resolutions will tell you what still needs to be done to reach them, and if you are behind, it’s easier to see what you might need to change.

Changing your resolutions isn’t giving up on them either. It’s making sure that they are working for you.

Related: If you are setting resolutions that are related to your finances, then I highly recommend that you check out Personal Capital (a free service). 


Find small ways to stick to your resolutions.

Many will fall off track when it comes to setting resolutions because the steps it takes to achieve them just feel too big. This may cause you to ignore your resolutions, become overwhelmed, feel like you’re being lazy, lose confidence, and so on.

Unfortunately, all it takes is falling behind on one small part of your resolution to spiral out of control and completely fall off track.

To make big resolutions more achievable, think about small things you can do on a daily basis that will help you reach them. 

Remember, even small steps in the right direction can lead to successful resolutions.

Here are some examples of resolutions and how smaller steps can keep you on track:

  • If you are trying to eat healthier, start by focusing on one healthy meal a day. 
  • If your resolution is to start working out more, start with much shorter workout sessions. You can go for a 20 minute walk or bike ride or do strength training while you are cooking a meal, watching TV, getting ready, etc. 
  • If your resolutions are related to your finances, you can start by automating as much as possible. 

When you take small steps like this, you will find that your financial goals are less overwhelming and much easier to achieve. 


Create habits that will help you stay focused on your goal.

When you are setting resolutions, you are much more likely to succeed if they become part of your daily routine. This way they become regular habits, and we all know how hard habits are to break.

If your resolution is to start saving for retirement, then set a reminder on your phone that tells you to make a weekly contribution to your retirement fund. If you want to start exercising more, create a habit of going for a short walk on your lunch break.

Small actions repeated over time become habits, and you can build on them more and more until you achieve your resolutions.

Related article: 10 Statistics About The Money Habits Of The Average American


Find ways to stay motivated with your goals.

Motivation is what keeps you going when you want to quit, and it can be a huge help when trying to succeed with your resolutions. If you have some type of motivation in mind when you’re setting your resolutions, it will help you continue to work towards your goals even when it seems impossible. 

But, if you are having a hard time finding motivation, here are a few things you can do to get back on track so you don’t give up on your goals:

  • Create a vision board and keep it somewhere that you will see on a daily basis.
  • Make it a friendly competition (read more below).
  • Find ways to reward yourself as you get closer to your goal.

Related reading: How To Stay Motivated And Become Successful


Make reaching your resolutions a friendly fight.

One great way to stay on track with your resolutions is to turn them into a friendly rivalry between you and someone else.

Think of it as having an accountability partner, which can make things more fun and even easier.

This is because you won’t be working on your resolutions alone. Instead, you will have a person there who is going through the same thing. You can encourage each other to succeed, talk about why you’re struggling, and more.

When you start setting your resolutions, think about who else in your life might also be trying to work towards the same things. This can be someone you know, such as a partner, friend, family member, coworker, and so on. They can even be a stranger, such as someone you met online who has a similar goal in mind.

Related reading: When Was The Last Time You Did Something That Scared You?


Reward your success.

I know some of you might be thinking that succeeding with a resolution should be enough of a reward, and while that is true, it might be helpful to think of other ways to reward yourself.

Everyone loves a reward, and rewards might give you just a little more motivation to work towards your goals. You can even write your reward next to your resolution, put it on your vision board, etc.

Your reward doesn’t have to be related to your resolution either, and it shouldn’t be too big that it completely throws off all of the hard work you have done throughout the year. It could be something like a nice dinner out.

Or, it could even be something like taking a day off of work to do something fun you’ve been dying to try.

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

The majority of people who set New Year’s resolutions, even those who follow through with them for the entire year, will occasionally slip up. When this happens, don’t beat yourself up about it.

And, don’t quit because of a few mistakes.

No one is perfect, and that’s definitely true when it comes to resolutions. If they were easy, then everyone would stick to them!

Instead of telling yourself that you’re going to fail with your resolutions, think about why you slipped up. Let that reason help you stick to your resolution, not quit it altogether.

What are your resolutions? How did you do in the previous year?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. FinanceFTW

    Yes to vision boards! I’ve found that even if I don’t hit my targets exactly, I still end up making significant progress against my goals. Sometimes you’re surprised by how much you’ve grown and how much you’ve done in a year.

    1. I agree!

      What’s your big 2020 goal?

  2. Esther

    Hi thanks for sharing, your article is super rich on positive energy and motivation

  3. Share

    Let us celebrate this exciting, colorful, grand, magical New Year 2020 with a great big smile.

  4. Cheryl

    These are such great ideas! Thanks for sharing

  5. Happy New Year to you, Michelle, and your readers. May this new year bring you great health, happiness, success and prosperity!!!