FREE 2024 New Year’s Resolutions Worksheet for Middle School Students

Just updated for the 2024 New Year!

New Year’s Resolutions Worksheet – updated Wed Dec 27, 2023: This FREE Reading Comprehension activity has over 43,729 downloads!

This EASY NO PREP Critical Thinking and Social Emotional Learning activity includes:

  • “Anti-Motivational” Motivational letter for Middle School Students (New Year’s Resolution Reading Comprehension PDF)
  • Critical Thinking Discussion Questions
  • Brainstorming handouts
  • Writing activity + rubric
  • 20 motivational videos (for IN-PERSON or ONLINE learning.)

PRINT the PDF or EDIT the Google Docs or Microsoft Word files.

This 2024 New Year’s Resolution Reading Comprehension PDF might get through to your Middle School students…

It’s sarcastic. It’s witty. It’s here.

Here’s a FUNNY New Year’s Resolution Activity for Middle School and High School students.

Is this a motivational letter? Or an anti-motivational letter?

Lots of people think of New Year’s Resolutions as a joke.

(Actually, lot of people think of goal setting in general as wishy-washy. After all, we try to set goals, they don’t come true. Therefore goal setting doesn’t work. Right?)

So, here’s a 2024 New Year’s Resolution worksheet to use with your Middle School students in January 2024. (Or February… depending on when you find this webpage.)

Think of it from a Social-Emotional Learning skills perspective:

The real benefit of trying to keep New Year’s Resolutions is to build resilience

Trying to stick to that New Year’s goal create opportunities to level up our ability to bounce back (quicker) when we get knocked down.

(Read more in the introduction letter)


Chances are, you’re panicking about what to teach the first week back in 2024. The Sunday Scaries are always worse after you’re coming back from a break.

January is a chance to reboot your classroom. It’s a fresh start.

Hopefully, you get a chance to relax and recharge over the upcoming winter holidays.

Here’s a free, quick, and easy writing activity that you can do with your older elementary students, middle school students, and high school students.

It’s perfect for the last few days of school in 2023 or the first days in 2024!

All you have to do is print the PDF and give it to your students.

Psst. You also get a Google Doc version and a Microsoft WORD version so you can edit the handouts and the rubric to fit your specific classroom needs and teaching style.

And, for those of you who use Easel by TpT, you get that version as well!

The handouts will walk you through the brainstorming process and help your students write a paragraph about a New Year’s Resolution.

New Year’s Resolution 2024 Free Lesson Overview:

  1. Use this 2024 New Year Resolution Worksheet with your class. Print the handout package and teach. (Or, use the distance online learning version!)
  2. Show this quick 2 minute New Year’s Resolution Motivational Video to encourage them to JUST START!
  3. Use this Goal Setting for Students Slideshow lesson to walk them through how to work harder, and not smarter.
  4. Every day, show a different goal setting video from this YouTube play list.
  5. Look at the complete lesson plan below for more info.

2024 New Year’s Resolutions Worksheet Table of Contents

New Year’s Resolutions Worksheet
(PDF page 1)

Students brainstorm all of the great moments from 2023 as well as the tough obstacles they had to face…

We provide the students with 3 categories: In class, at school, and outside of school

But of course, you could modify this for other categories: academic moments, social moments, extracurricular moments, family moments

You could also split the categories based on subjects at school …

HELLO 2024!
New Year’s Resolutions Worksheet
(PDF page 2)

The New Year is a great time to set goals. We call these New Year’s Resolutions!

Students look back at the first handout and think about what happened in 2023… What do you want to improve? What do you wish you could change?

Students are then given space to brainstorm things they want to do more of and things they want to do less of in 2024…


. . . do MORE of this!

. . .do LESS OF THAT!

My 2024 goals brainstorming
New Year’s Resolutions Worksheet
(PDF page 3)

STEP 3: Brainstorm how to achieve one of your New Year’s Resolution Goals

Now that we have brainstormed a list of things we want to do more of and things we want to do less of, it’s time to develop an idea in detail.

Students have to choose to do one of these New Year’s resolution goals. The criteria is to decide which goal would improve their life the most year and to write that down:

This year, I will ___________________________________ .

Students then fill out the mind web graphic organizer and fill out thought bubbles to different prompts to help them think more about their goal:

  • Describe what you want to improve.
  • What can you do to improve this situation? Why will these actions were?
  • How will doing this make your life better? What would feel like if you achieve the school?

Pro tip: all of the prompts on this graphic organizer can be edited in the Google Doc or the Microsoft Word document.

My New Year’s Resolution Paragraph
New Year’s Resolutions Worksheet
(PDF page 4)

STEP 4: Write out a paragraph describing your New Year Resolution

Students are given space to write a paragraph about their New Year’s Resolution!

The handout gives prompts to help them organize their paragraph and to include enough supporting details to develop their idea

What is your goal?

  • Describe what you want to improve.
  • Describe what you can do to improve the situation and how this will help.
  • Explain how doing this resolution will make your life better and explain what it will feel like if you achieve this goal.
  • Summarize your goal.

For younger students…

  • you might decide this to do this as a class writing activity.

For older elementary students and middle school students…

  • this might be an opportunity to assess paragraph writing skills.

For older middle school students and high school students…

  • you might modify this to become a five paragraph essay.

Paragraph Writing Rubric
New Year’s Resolutions Worksheet
(PDF page 5)

STEP 5: Use the New Year’s Resolution Paragraph Rubric to assess the ideas, organization, and writing conventions.

We provide a rubric with four levels to assess three writing areas:

Level 4 (A, 80% – 100%)

Level 3 (B, 70% – 80%)

Level 2 (C, 60% – 70%)

Level 1 (D, 50% – 60%)


  • You answered all of the guiding questions. You very clearly explain your New Year’s resolution with strong support.
  • You answered all the guiding questions. Your New Year’s resolution is clear and you have good support.
  • You tried to answer the guiding questions. Your paragraph is a little bit confusing because there’s not enough support or there are irrelevant details.
  • You answered few of the guiding questions. There really isn’t a central idea in your paragraph. There’s not enough support or there are too many irrelevant details.


  • Your writing is effectively organized in a logical manner that really prove your point. Your ideas flow very well. You have an engaging introduction linked to your conclusion.
  • Your writing is organized and guides the reader through your support. Your ideas flow well. You have a clear introduction and summarize your point in your conclusion
  • The organization of your paragraph is mechanical. You have a list of facts or ideas that are not well connected. Your introduction or conclusion may not be well developed or make sense.
  • There isn’t a clear sense of direction with your ideas. Your ideas are loosely or randomly strung together. Ineffective or missing introduction and conclusion

Writing Conventions (capitalization, grammar usage, punctuation, spelling)

  • You have strong mastery of standard writing conventions. There may be a few errors due to experimentation.
  • You have good control of writing conventions. The work is generally correct.
  • There are several errors… but they don’t interfere with the readability
  • There are many errors… I have trouble reading your paragraph.

Any time Goal Setting Personal Resolution PDF Worksheet

A New Year resolution for students is a chance to start fresh in 2024.

But, let’s be honest. Most of us (including me) won’t achieve our New Year goals.

Does that mean we should wait until January 2024 to set any goals?

Of course, not.

We can choose to improve starting today. (The hard part is choosing to try to improve.)


Any time Goal Setting Personal Resolution handout
(PDF page 1)

Screenshot of Goal Setting Handout Page 1 - Good Bye Past!

Goodbye Past!

Sometimes, we wait until the end of the year to look back and reflect on our lives – who we are and where we want to be!

But, you can set goals any time you want! Use the table below to brainstorm all of the great moments you had in the past and the tough obstacles you had to face!

You could also split the categories based on subjects at school …


Any time Goal Setting Personal Resolution handout
(PDF page 2)

Screenshot of Goal Setting Handout Page 2 - Hello Future!

Hello Future!

Today is the first day of the rest of your life!

Think about that for a moment. We don’t have to wait until the New Year to set goals and resolutions! We can choose to get better starting today.

Look back at events in your past… We can’t always change what happens to us, but we can always change our attitude and our actions. What do you want to improve? Use the table below to brainstorm things you want to do more of and things you want to do less of…


. . . do MORE of this!

. . .do LESS OF THAT!

My Personal Resolution – Brainstorm Ideas

Any time Goal Setting Personal Resolution handout
(PDF page 3)

Screenshot of Goal Setting Handout Page 3 - My Personal Resolution Brainstorming Graphic Organizer

My Personal Resolution

Look back at your list of things you want to do more of and things you want to do less of.

Pretend you could only choose to do one of these goals. Which goal would improve your life the most? Write down that goal below. 

Starting today, I will _______________________________________________

Fill out the thought bubbles below to think more about this goal!

DESCRIBE what you want to improve.

WHAT can you do to improve this situation?
Why will these actions work?

HOW will doing this make your life better?
WHAT will it feel like if you achieve this goal?

My Personal Resolution – Paragraph

Any time Goal Setting Personal Resolution handout
(PDF page 4)

Screenshot of Goal Setting Handout Page 4 - My Personal Resolution paragraph writing activity

My Personal Resolution – Goals Paragraph

Write a paragraph about your Personal Resolution! Make sure to include the following:

  • What is your goal?
  • Describe what you want to improve.
  • Describe what you can do to improve the situation and how this will help.
  • Explain how doing this resolution will make your life better and explain what it will feel like if you achieve this goal.
  • Summarize your goal.

Paragraph Writing Rubric

Any time Goal Setting Personal Resolution handout
(PDF page 5)

Screenshot of Goal Setting Handout Page 5 - Paragraph Writing Rubric

My Personal Resolution Paragraph Rubric

This is the same paragraph writing rubric as the New Year’s Resolution Paragraph Rubric above.

First Week of January 2024 – New Year’s Resolution Lesson Plan

Here’s a free lesson plan to help your students figure out goals to work on in January.

Sometimes, the hardest part of writing is coming up with something to write about.

So, I’ve given a few examples of New Year’s resolutions for students and teachers.

This New Year’s resolution writing activity can be as hands-on or hands-off as you wanted to be.

Day 1: Setting New Year’s Resolution Worksheet

OPTION 1: Give your students the New Year’s Resolution PDF handout package.

  • Print the 2024 New Year Resolution handouts package
  • Students fill out the worksheet.
  • Done.

OPTION 2: Provide more structure in your class and guide students through each page of the handout.

Here’s are some ideas for a quick and easy New Years Resolution lesson plan:

  • Start with some teacher-modeled writing. Do a think aloud about a New Year Resolution that you would do as a teacher. (See resolution examples below to get the conversation going)
  • Do some shared writing. As a class, read through each page of the handout package. The class does the thinking and generates answers through a whole class discussion. The teacher does the writing on the board for the class. (Later on, when students are doing the independent work, if they get stuck, they can just use some ideas from the class conversation.
  • Think-pair-share. Students work in smaller groups or partners to brainstorm obstacles from 2023 and ways to overcome these challenges. The class then comes back together to share ideas as a larger group.
  • Students do independent writing. Now that we have a few examples as a class, students work independently and fill out their handout with their own ideas.
  • Depending on the writing abilities of your students, the availability of support teachers, or how well your students can work independently, you might also choose to do guided writing where you work in a small homogeneous group of students and do a targeted lesson.

Watch the New Year’s Resolution Motivational Video: 1. Just Start

Watch the SEOT Step to Success 1: Just Start video and discuss.

  1. According to this video, what stops people from achieving their goals or New Year’s resolutions?
  2. Why do you think those obstacles stop people from even trying?
  3. How might this strategy help people to achieve their goal or New Year’s resolutions?
  4. Why might this strategy not help people to achieve their goals?

Day 2-5: SMART Goal Setting Slideshow

Use this 100 slide Social-Emotional Learning Goal Setting slideshow lesson to teach your students HOW to work smarter, and not harder.

The Ultimate Guide to Achieving your Goals and Dreams

Part 1: Choose a Goal

Part 2: Why?

Part 3: Making SMART goals

Part 4: How do you Achieve your SMART Goal?

Part 5: Check-In on your Goals

Part 6: The Goal Setting Wheel of Success

Part 7: What Does Work Smarter Actually Mean?

Here’s a second SEOT Step to Success video on YouTube that you can show your class

Sample New Year Resolutions

55 Examples of 2024 New Year Resolutions for Students

This year I’m going to…

  1. Read a new book once a month
  2. Spend 10 minutes every night reviewing my notes
  3. Ask more (or less) questions in class.
  4. Say hi to a new person every day
  5. Eat lunch with a different person every day
  6. Try a new sport
  7. Hang out at a different spot at recess
  8. Use my agenda more
  9. Come up with a way to remember due dates
  10. Get to class on time
  11. Go to class prepared with paper and pencils and all of my notes
  12. Try harder in gym/phys ed
  13. Check in on my New Year Resolution goals once a week (or even better, once a day) to give me the best chance of succeeding
  14. Try to stay 2m away from my friends while I’m at school
  15. Wash my hands (instead of just splashing water.)
  16. Listen first when I’m having a conversation with someone (instead of just sharing my ideas.)
  17. Raise my hand once per class to give an answer.
  18. Set aside homework time every day (and then actually work during that time. And, if I don’t have any work, then review my notes.)
  19. Use a calendar or agenda to write down homework.
  20. Try something new
  21. Choose to be brave
  22. Wonder. Just pause for a moment and wonder.
  23. Put away the technology an hour before bed.

Student resolutions about Character

Here are some New Year’s resolutions for students to help them work on Character and a Growth Mindset . (Psst. Here are some lesson plans about Character and teaching a Growth Mindset!)

This year, I’m going to…

  1. remind myself that how good I am at something is based on how hard I work (and not what I was born with.)
  2. Try to be better than who I was yesterday.
  3. Live life as though every day was a fresh start. I don’t have to be who I was yesterday.
  4. Try three times to restart my attitude when something goes bad (and try to find a bright side to the situation.)
  5. Try to not give up when things get tough by really trying three different things to solve a problem before I ask for help.
  6. Remind myself that I don’t have to constantly prove that I’m perfect (or the smartest/strongest/talented in the room.) If I make a mistake, it means that I can learn and become even better.
  7. Raise my hand and answer a teacher’s question at least once a day. (I may get the wrong answer, but I’m here to learn and grow better and the sooner I figure out my answer is wrong, the sooner I can try to figure out what the right answer is.)
  8. Try to choose to be in a growth mindset. Success is not based on what I was born with, but instead, success is based on how hard I work, how open I am to learning from my mistakes, how much I practice and train, and how often I don’t give up.
  9. Try to wonder how my mistakes and failure could be a good thing. Learning comes from failure so I need to think about what went wrong and what I could do differently next time.
  10. Try something else (a different strategy) when things don’t work (instead of just trying harder.)
  11. Do one thing at a time and focus on doing that task really well.
  12. Set a timer to remind myself to do my homework. I’m going to set aside 15 minutes every night to review my notes.
  13. Review instructions when I don’t understand something. I’m going to reread the handout slowly to see what I missed.
  14. Restart when I get frustrated or I can’t figure out the answer. (Sometimes a fresh start can help me see something that I didn’t see before.)
  15. Fail three times before I give up.
  16. Find a way to use the pain of hardship or failure to motivate myself to keep going
  17. Do things that other people aren’t willing to do. (That’s how you be extraordinary. Extra – ordinary.)
  18. Wake up early to do the important stuff.
  19. Work harder than the competition.
  20. Choose my attitude. This means when things go wrong (or things go right), I take a moment to think about two or three different ways that I could feel about the situation. I can’t always control what happens to me. But I can learn to control my attitude.
  21. Figure out how failing is critical to your personal growth. The more I try (legit try as opposed to fake try) and fail, the more opportunities I have to grow.
  22. Take it one step at a time (when things get tough.)
  23. Tell myself that is not over for me. I can pick myself up and keep going.
  24. Do things more from the heart.
  25. Live in the moment. This means thinking about what’s happening now (as opposed to always worrying or planning about the future.)
  26. Appreciate what I have. Find one thing to be thankful for every day.
  27. Work when I don’t want to.
  28. Take a risk.
  29. Have faith.
  30. Believe in yourself.
  31. Believe that you are okay.
  32. Take a chance and follow my passion.

25 Examples of 2024 New Year Resolutions for Teachers

  1. Go to sleep on time
  2. Stop procrastinating
  3. Show up to duty on time
  4. Be positive at staff meetings or speak up at staff meetings
  5. Say no. (It’s okay to say no. As good teachers we get caught up with helping everyone, everywhere. – It’s okay to set boundaries about what you can do or help out with over the school year. Be assertive and say no!)
  6. Keep up on the marking pile
  7. Mark less. Not everything needs a grade.
  8. Smile more (especially at the photocopier)
  9. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  10. Photocopy less
  11. Clean up my desk a little bit every day
  12. Communicate with parents more – send home sunshine information instead of only when there’s a problem
  13. Keep on top of my marking
  14. Finish my report cards on time
  15. Spend time with friends more
  16. Park 10 minutes away from school so I have to walk
  17. Only stay ____ min after the day ends (or whatever time is reasonable for you.)
  18. Make sure tomorrow’s lesson is ready before I leave school the day before
  19. Leave the school work at school.
  20. Go to the staff room and actually eat lunch with people
  21. Avoid the staff room because people vent in there (and it’s a toxic environment.)
  22. Drink more water.
  23. Use the bathroom more.
  24. Remind yourself you don’t need to be perfect – especially since we have all of these distance learning digital tools that we have to figure out!
  25. Ask for help.
  26. Offer help to someone before they ask.
  27. Be aware of your mental health. So many of us are burning out right now – especially now that we have to do so much more in our jobs!

Using a 2024 New Year’s Resolutions worksheet is a great way to start the new year. That’s because most of us think of January as a fresh start.

But we can set goals at any time.

Here’s a FREE no-prep goal setting worksheet for your students that will walk them through the brainstorming process. You can also modify the Google Docs or the Microsoft Word docs for your specific needs.

Study skills are more than just how to study. It’s about HOW to set goals and figuring out the “WHY” behind why we need to achieve this goal. It’s about the BIG PICTURE.

I may know HOW to study, but if I’m not motivated, or I’m just told I have to study, it may not mean anything. Achieving goals (like studying for a hard test) takes EFFORT so you need a solid “WHY” to pull you through.

Help students set New Year’s Resolutions for 2024, study goals, or any sort of Personal Resolutions (goals), any time of the year using this FREE writing assignment.


  • I added a generic, works-any-time-of-the-year Personal Resolutions (goal setting) version of the 2024 New Year’s Resolution handout.
  • We don’t have to wait until the New Year to set goals and improve. This FREE writing assignment helps students recognize that they can choose to get better starting today! 
  • This Personal Resolutions handout is the exact same activity as the New Year’s 2024 Resolutions handout with a few minor changes.
  • The handouts are identical on purpose. The point is, we can set goals anytime in the year. At the start of the school year or semester. After you get back a major assignment or report card. And yes, after New Year’s Eve!

Just because you set a New Year’s Resolution doesn’t mean you’ll achieve your goals…

I made this New Year’s Resolutions worksheet two years ago.

And, I kept up with my goals for a few weeks.

Then, I failed.

And even though, I could have re-started, I didn’t.

Now, if the guy making this free New Year’s Resolutions worksheet activity failed, what does that mean for you?

Nothing. You do you.

Whether or not, I fail or you fail (or lots of people fail their New Year’s goals) says nothing about your ability to achieve your goal next time.

But, chances are, if you do the same thing that you did last time, you’ll probably get a similar result.

Stay tuned. This post is a work in progress.

For now, just get the free worksheet package.

Here’s the rest of my post from 2020.

By the way, we’re also having a BONUS “I already failed my New Year’s Resolution” CONTEST (until Feb 14, 2019):

By the way, this new year’s resolution 2024 handout won’t help most of your students achieve their goals.

No, the title wasn’t click-bait.

We really are offering a free resource package to do with your students to walk them through the goal setting process for the 2024 New Year.

(Just click the red button below to download it right away.)

The problem with these New Year Resolution Goal handouts (and every other worksheet like it) is that it’s a one-off. You do it with your class, and then you’re done.

Very few people (students or teachers) actually review their goals on a regular basis to see if they’re on track.

Most of us won’t think about our New Year Resolution goals again until the end of the year when we have to make a new year’s resolution for 2024.

It’s nothing personal – just human nature. Achieving goals (or anything worth achieving) takes hard work.

Okay. Now back to this post about our completely FREE NEW YEAR’s RESOLUTION 2024 Paragraph Writing Activity!