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New year’s resolution template

Do you find yourself setting the same New Year’s resolutions each year? Break the cycle and finally reach your goals with our free New Year’s resolution templates and actionable success strategies!

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New Year’s Resolution Templates

Here is a free printable new year’s resolution template that you can type on or print.

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New Years ResolutionsPin

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Why not approach your New Year’s resolutions differently this year by focusing on who you want to become, rather than just what you want to do? As presented in “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, this method emphasizes aligning your actions with your identity, fostering habits that naturally evolve from the person you aspire to be.

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Using a New Year’s resolutions template is a great way to organize and track your goals for the upcoming year. Here are some elements that are included in the templates:

  1. Personal Development Goals: This section can include goals related to self-improvement, learning new skills, or personal growth. Examples might be reading a certain number of books, learning a new language, or practicing mindfulness.
  2. Career/Professional Goals: Here, you can focus on ambitions related to your career or professional life. This might include goals like earning a promotion, gaining a new qualification, or expanding your professional network.
  3. Health and Wellness Goals: Set goals for physical health, such as exercising regularly, eating healthier, or running a 5K. Mental health goals might include stress reduction techniques, therapy, or establishing a better work-life balance.
  4. Financial Goals: Include objectives related to your finances, such as saving a certain amount of money, investing, or cutting down on unnecessary expenses.
  5. Relationship Goals: Set targets for improving or maintaining relationships with family, friends, or a partner. This could involve scheduling regular family gatherings, making new friends, or working on communication skills in a relationship.
  6. Hobbies and Interests: Commit to spending time on activities you enjoy or want to explore more. This could be anything from painting, gardening, or playing a musical instrument.
  7. Travel and Experiences: If you’re interested in exploring new places or trying new things, include goals related to travel or unique experiences.
  8. Community and Volunteering: Set goals to give back to your community, whether through volunteering, participating in local events, or supporting local businesses.

How to Set Effective New Year’s Resolutions

Setting effective New Year’s resolutions involves a thoughtful approach that focuses on realistic, attainable goals and a clear plan for achieving them. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you set and achieve effective New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Reflect on the Past Year: Start by reflecting on the past year. Consider what worked well, what didn’t, and what lessons you learned. This reflection can provide valuable insights into what goals are meaningful and achievable for you.
  2. Define Clear, Specific Goals: Vague resolutions are hard to achieve. Instead of saying “I want to get fit,” specify what that means for you, e.g., “I want to go to the gym three times a week” or “I want to run a 5K by June.”
  3. Make Your Goals SMART: Use the SMART criteria to refine your resolutions:
      • Specific: Be clear about what you want to achieve.
      • Measurable: Ensure you can track your progress.
      • Achievable: Set goals that are realistic and attainable.
      • Relevant: Choose resolutions that are truly important to you, aligning with your values and long-term objectives.
      • Time-Bound: Set deadlines for your goals to keep you motivated.

    (See How to set SMART goals)

  4. Break Down Larger Goals: If you have big goals, break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. This makes it easier to track progress and maintain motivation.
  5. Plan for Obstacles: Consider potential challenges you might face and plan how you’ll deal with them. This proactive approach can help you stay on track even when difficulties arise.
  6. Create a Support System: Share your goals with friends or family who can offer support and accountability. You might also join groups or communities with similar goals.
  7. Track Your Progress: Regularly monitor your progress. This could be as simple as marking off days on a calendar, keeping a journal, or using apps designed for goal tracking.
  8. Celebrate Milestones: Recognize and celebrate your achievements along the way. This can boost your motivation and commitment to your goals.
  9. Be Flexible and Adjust as Needed: Be prepared to reassess and adjust your goals as needed. Life circumstances change, and your goals may need to evolve in response.
  10. Practice Self-Compassion: Understand that setbacks are a normal part of any journey. Be kind to yourself if things don’t go as planned, and use setbacks as learning opportunities.

Remember, the most effective resolutions are those that lead to lasting, positive change. It’s more about the journey and what you learn along the way than just ticking off a list of goals.


To increase your chances of reaching your New Year’s resolutions, consider these additional strategies that complement the ones previously mentioned:

  1. Visualize Your Success: Spend time regularly visualizing yourself achieving your goals. This mental rehearsal can boost your confidence and motivation.
  2. Create a Routine: Build your goals into your daily or weekly routine. Consistency is key to forming new habits and reaching long-term objectives. See habits.
  3. Use Positive Affirmations: Positive affirmations can reinforce your commitment and belief in your ability to achieve your goals. Repeat affirmations that resonate with your objectives.
  4. Limit the Number of Resolutions: Focus on a few significant goals rather than a long list. Spreading yourself too thin can reduce your effectiveness and motivation.
  5. Focus on Who You Want to Become: In “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, the focus is shifted from what you want to do to who you want to become. Clear emphasizes the importance of identity-based habits, suggesting that true change starts with a change in self-perception. According to Clear, instead of merely setting goals based on what you want to do, it’s more effective to consider who you want to become. This approach is about aligning your actions with your identity. For example, instead of just saying, “I want to read more books,” you adopt the identity of someone who is a reader. This shift in perspective changes the focus from the outcome (reading more books) to becoming the kind of person who values reading and incorporates it into their lifestyle. By framing your habits around your desired identity, you’re not just ticking off tasks on a to-do list; you’re building a lifestyle that reflects the type of person you want to be. Each action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. This method makes habit formation more meaningful and sustainable, as it ties your habits to a deeper sense of self and purpose. In this way, “Atomic Habits” suggests a powerful paradigm shift: Don’t just focus on what you want to achieve, but rather on who you want to become through those achievements.
  6. Learn from Others: Seek out stories, books, or podcasts from people who have achieved similar goals. Learning from their experiences can provide valuable insights and inspiration. See the best self-help books.
  7. Focus on Process, Not Just Outcome: Enjoy the journey towards your goal, not just the destination. Celebrate small victories and the progress you make.
  8. Create a Conducive Environment: Modify your environment to support your goals. For example, if you want to eat healthier, stock your kitchen with healthy foods.
  9. Leverage Technology: Utilize apps and tools designed for goal setting and tracking. They can provide reminders, motivation, and a clear view of your progress.
  10. Practice Gratitude: Regularly acknowledge and appreciate the progress you’ve made. Gratitude can improve your mood and motivation.
  11. Mindfulness and Stress Management: Regularly practicing mindfulness can keep you grounded and focused, making it easier to stay committed to your goals.
  12. Invest in Your Goals: Sometimes, investing money in your goals (like buying a gym membership or a course) can increase your commitment to them.
  13. Reframe Negative Thoughts: When you encounter negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, or self-doubt, actively reframe them into something positive or constructive.
  14. Stay Flexible and Adapt: Be open to modifying your goals as your circumstances, interests, or priorities change throughout the year.
  15. Get Enough Rest: Ensure you are well-rested. Lack of sleep can affect your mood, energy levels, and motivation.

By incorporating these strategies into your approach to New Year’s resolutions, you can greatly enhance your chances of success. Remember, the key is to find what works best for you and to remain adaptable and patient throughout the process.

New Year’s Resolution Ideas

Personal Development Goals:

  1. Read 12 new books, one each month, from different genres.
  2. Complete an online course in a field of interest, like coding, photography, or creative writing.
  3. Practice mindfulness meditation for 10 minutes daily.
  4. Write a personal journal entry at least three times a week.
  5. Learn a new language to a conversational level using apps or classes.

Tip: Think about who you want to become! For example:

  1. Become a Lifelong Learner: Cultivate an identity centered around continuous learning and curiosity.
  2. Become a Mindful Individual: Embrace the identity of someone who practices mindfulness and self-awareness regularly.
  3. Become a Polyglot: Adopt the identity of someone who is multilingual and appreciates diverse cultures.

Career/Professional Goals:

  1. Aim for a specific promotion or role advancement within your company.
  2. Attend a professional workshop or conference in your field.
  3. Network by connecting with one new professional in your field each month.
  4. Improve a specific skill relevant to your job, such as public speaking or data analysis.
  5. Start a professional blog or LinkedIn articles to share your industry insights.

Tip: Think about who you want to become! For example:

  1. Become a Leader in Your Field: Identify as a professional poised for growth and leadership in your industry.
  2. Become a Lifelong Networker: Cultivate an identity as someone who continuously expands their professional network and connections.
  3. Become a Knowledge Sharer: Embrace the role of an industry thought leader who contributes insights and knowledge.

Health and Wellness Goals:

  1. Exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
  2. Incorporate a plant-based meal into your diet at least twice a week.
  3. Run a 5K or participate in a fitness challenge.
  4. Schedule regular mental health check-ins with a therapist.
  5. Establish a nightly routine for better sleep, aiming for 7-8 hours.

Tip: Think about who you want to become! For example:

  1. Become a Fitness Enthusiast: Identify as someone who prioritizes physical fitness and health.
  2. Become a Wellness Advocate: Embrace a lifestyle that balances physical and mental health, advocating for self-care.
  3. Become a Healthy Eater: Adopt the identity of someone who is conscious about their diet and nutrition.

Financial Goals:

  1. Save a specific amount each month for an emergency fund.
  2. Create and stick to a monthly budget, reducing unnecessary expenses.
  3. Invest in a retirement plan or start a personal investment portfolio.
  4. Learn about personal finance management through books or courses.
  5. Pay off a significant portion of any debts or loans.

Tip: Think about who you want to become! For example:

  1. Become a Savvy Saver: Cultivate an identity as someone who is financially responsible and savings-oriented.
  2. Become an Investment-Minded Individual: Embrace the role of someone knowledgeable and proactive about investments and financial growth.
  3. Become Debt-Free: Adopt an identity focused on financial freedom and independence.

Relationship Goals:

  1. Organize a monthly family game or movie night.
  2. Start a new tradition with friends, like a monthly dinner or outing.
  3. Attend couples counseling or relationship workshops for strengthening bonds.
  4. Regularly call or visit distant family members or friends.
  5. Volunteer together with a partner or family to build shared experiences.

Tip: Think about who you want to become! For example:

  1. Become a Family Connector: Cultivate an identity as someone who values and nurtures family bonds.
  2. Become a Social Builder: Embrace the role of someone who actively invests in friendships and social connections.
  3. Become a Community Contributor: Identify as someone who actively participates and contributes to their community and relationships.

Hobbies and Interests:

  1. Take up a new hobby like painting, knitting, or gardening.
  2. Join a club or group related to your interest, like a book club or hiking group.
  3. Dedicate time each week to practice a musical instrument.
  4. Participate in a local amateur sports team or league.
  5. Create a personal project, like building a piece of furniture or starting a blog.

Tip: Think about who you want to become! For example:

  1. Become a Creative Explorer: Adopt the identity of someone who regularly engages in and explores creative outlets.
  2. Become a Club Enthusiast: Embrace the role of an active member in clubs or groups that align with your interests.
  3. Become an Artistic Hobbyist: Cultivate an identity as someone who consistently dedicates time to their hobbies and crafts.

Travel and Experiences:

  1. Plan and go on a dream vacation to a new country.
  2. Explore local tourist attractions in your own city or region.
  3. Try new experiences like skydiving, scuba diving, or cooking classes.
  4. Attend a cultural festival or event different from your own culture.
  5. Go on a wilderness camping trip or a guided nature trek.

Tip: Think about who you want to become! For example:

  1. Become a Global Explorer: Embrace the identity of a person who seeks out new cultures and experiences through travel.
  2. Become a Local Adventurer: Identify as someone who actively explores and appreciates the local environment and attractions.
  3. Become an Experience Seeker: Cultivate an identity as someone who is always open to trying new and diverse experiences.

Community and Volunteering:

  1. Volunteer regularly at a local charity, shelter, or community center.
  2. Participate in community clean-up or tree-planting events.
  3. Join a local community board or council.
  4. Organize or participate in a fundraiser for a local cause.
  5. Support local businesses and artisans by buying locally.

Tip: Think about who you want to become! For example:

  1. Become a Community Helper: Embrace the role of someone who regularly contributes to community welfare through volunteering.
  2. Become an Environmental Steward: Adopt an identity focused on environmental conservation and community beautification.
  3. Become a Local Advocate: Cultivate an identity as someone who supports and promotes local causes and businesses.

These ideas can be customized to fit your personal interests and lifestyle. The key is to set goals that are meaningful and achievable for you.

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About the Author
Photo of NicoleMy name is Nicole and I created this website to share the tools that keep me organized and productive and help me reach my goals. I hope that you will find them helpful too.

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