Resolution Stacking Is the Goal-Setting Hack You Didn’t Know You Needed

published Jan 6, 2022
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If you have trouble sticking to New Year’s resolutions, maybe “resolution stacking” is the method you need to help you commit to your goals for 2022. Resolution stacking is inspired by a trend in the travel space known as “trip stacking.” This is when someone books a huge trip alongside a plan B (or, if necessary, even a plan C) in case the first destination isn’t reachable due to a COVID-19 surge or other unforeseen personal reasons and circumstances. 

Trip stacking is helpful because it guarantees a vacation, even if it isn’t necessarily the very first pick on the traveler’s list. In a way, it acts as travel insurance — an amended “choose your own adventure.” It’s a way to still enjoy travel in an ever-changing, unpredictable world.

This format can also be applied to New Year’s resolutions (and just goal-setting in general, really). Think about the biggest, most ambitious resolution you’d love to accomplish this year. Maybe you want to run a marathon, adopt a daily walking habit, quit smoking, read 50 books, or something ambitious. 

Like with trip stacking, instead of putting all of your efforts into a singular goal, you spread the love and add smaller, more attainable goals to your resolutions list. You could keep the goals within the same vein (if I can’t run a marathon, make it a 5K, and if I can’t run a 5K, run X miles weekly) or shake things up and think about random accomplishments you’d like to conquer in 2022.

When trying to do big things, it’s important to remember that life happens and you aren’t a failure if you can’t get to everything you wanted to do in one year. If the past few years have taught people anything, it’s that stuff can happen, and it will happen. Planning for an alternative route is never a bad idea. Two steps forward is still forward, right? 

Ultimately, resolution stacking ensures you can still experience that sense of accomplishment you crave, without becoming overwhelmed and setting yourself up for failure. It gives wiggle room and space for grace, self-compassion, and humanity — arguably the most important elements for achieving big things.