Have you articulated your writing goals for this year? And written down a plan for how to achieve them? And (gasp) told anyone?

Some people aren’t fans of New Year’s resolutions. A study by the University of Scranton shows why: By July, only 46 percent of people are sustaining the formal resolutions they made in January. However, the same study also showed that of people who have ethereal goals—but don’t make formal resolutions—only 4 percent are successful by July.

Another study, from the University of Chicago, showed that people with the best self-control plan ahead as a technique for reducing temptation to stray from the path. Both studies are reported in a recent article in the New York Times. It seems that setting specific goals, tracking your progress, and “publicizing” your goals by sharing them with someone else are common keys to success.

I’ll go first: My goal is to have a rough draft of my current work-in-progress, a mg novel, by April. I’m starting with about 80 pages that I wrote while in the Hamline program and will now be putting aside. I’ll take it from the top with an outline that reflects what those first 80 pages taught me about the characters and the story.

How about you? Let’s be part of the 46 percent!