The bad news? It is likely that your New Year's resolutions might not pan out the way you planned, if at all. While 60 percent of people abandon their resolutions within six months, 25 percent of people abandon them within a mere 7 days.

If resolutions don't work, and you want to take your to-do lists to the next level, get serious about goal-setting.

Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, at the Dominican University in California, led a study on goal-setting with nearly 270 participants. The results? You are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.

Writing your goals down not only forces you to get clear on what, exactly, it is that you want to accomplish, but doing so plays a part in motivating you to complete the tasks necessary for your success. The process of putting your goals on paper will force you to strategize, to ask questions about your current progress, and to brainstorm your plan of attack.

This practice of writing down goals is not unheard of in the business community. In fact, some of the biggest entrepreneurial successes are very specific in the way in which they write their goals down. Grant Cardone, best-selling author of The 10X Rule and self-made millionaire has a special trick: he writes his goals down twice a day -- once in the morning, and then once again at night. He explains,

"I want to wake up to it. I want to go to sleep to it and I want to dream with it...I want to write my goals down before I go to sleep at night because they are important to me, they are valuable to me and I get to wake up to them again tomorrow."

If, like Cardone, you want to start "stretching yourself beyond good and mediocre and average and the way everybody else thinks," then project into your future. Just make sure you grab a pen first.