How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Each year, we love the chance at a fresh start with an intentional strategy. Over the years, we have learned how to keep New Year’s resolutions as a couple. As ever engineers, the process involves tracking, checkpoints, and accountability. 

Now, setting New Year’s goals together as a couple is a ritual. In this article, we share our four steps for setting, tracking, and achieving your New Year’s resolutions for 2020. 

Since we have several years of data collected on our New Year’s resolutions, we’ll use our own goals to show you how we track and rate progress and goal completion. 

So, let’s start with how to keep your New Year’s Resolutions for 2020. 

how to keep new year’s resolutions for 2020

Let’s take a look at the hard facts. New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously challenging to keep. To keep goals for the new year as a couple is even harder. But, we know you are up for the challenge. Our process will help. 

The statistics say that 82% of people fail to keep their resolution’s by the second week of February. For couple’s specifically, 44% of men confessed to making a New Year’s Resolutions for the spouse. Thirty percent of women admitted the same.

So, what are these goals? The majority of them deal with getting healthier, in both fitness and nutrition.

But there’s hope. One statistic shows that when couples set goals together and work toward a combined goal, they’re 92% more likely to succeed than individuals. Wow!

Actually, we just fabricated that statistic. However, based on our experience working with hundreds of couples, we believe it’s true. 

Either way, we Duo Lifers aren’t the general public. We can beat the odds, together.

Step 1: New Year’s Resolutions 2020 Strategy

For years, we have sat down together and created, our New Year’s Resolutions together. We label each category, action item, frequency of checkpoints, accountability plan, and a column to rate ourselves at six and twelve months.

We usually set our goals with pen and paper. Then, we then create a shared Google Sheet so that we can refer to it throughout the year.

Additionally, we list our top 5 and top 10 goals on our Evernote to-do list so that we are reminded of our big-picture goals daily. If you don’t have a goal-oriented to-do list process that is driving your every day, we highly recommend you implement our method of creating and managing a to-do list in Evernote.

Write down your goals together, and start tracking your progress toward your New Year’s resolutions for 2020. Download the below PDF. It’s our exact New Year’s resolutions tracker for 2020 for the coming year:

New Year's Resolution Tracker for 2020

Start your new year not just with a bang, but with a plan. A tool that Ryan and Alex have used since 2016, document, track, and create an accountability system for your New Year's Resolutions for 2020. Don't be like the 80% who give up on their resolutions by January!

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Step 2: Create Meaningful and Specific Goals

While we often include stretch goals in our Tracker Sheet, we always make sure they’re grounded in reality. We’re not mixing up our dream board with our New Year’s Resolutions for 2020.

However, we do believe that the two are tied together. Therefore, at the top of our tracker sheet, we always write our year’s purpose. That way, the goals you create support your purpose and bring you closer to your goal.

An example of a meaningful and realistic goal is by making sure it is specific. Instead of writing, “Become fluent in Spanish,” you can instead list, “Watch one Spanish TV show episode a night and record new words.”

Firstly, that is a measurable goal that you can track. And, secondly, being more specific allows you to you look forward to completing your goal without giving yourself an overly daunting and intimidating task.

Ryan and I also believe in setting well-rounded goals as a couple. To achieve that, our tracker sheet includes a column to list goal categories. When you download the tracker sheet, you’ll see we’ve provided ideas for goal categories. For example, career, personal development, hobbies, and relationship.

Step 3: Build In Accountability

The goal of this article is to teach you how to keep your New Year’s resolutions in 2020. So, please take this step seriously. We believe this is an area many people overlook. It’s critical to your success in 2020.

Our 2020 New Year’s Resolution Tracker for couples requires an accountability plan. When looking at our prior years’ tracker sheets, we realize that we’re the most successful when there is accountability.

Fortunately, since you have a strategy to keep your 2020 New Year’s resolutions as a couple, you’re already at a huge advantage. For example, in this study 50% of women smokers successfully quit when their partner stopped smoking at the same time.

That’s a great success rate compared to only 17% whose partners didn’t smoke to start with, and 8% whose partners continued to smoke regularly. Working together toward a shared goal is where the magic happens. 

This accountability can take the form of Ryan checking in on Alex or creating an external pusher, such as signing up and committing to a paid race/competition.

Accountability works so well for us that we don’t need to list the more common resolutions on our tracker sheets anymore. Resolutions such as working out five days a week, losing 10 pounds, or eating healthy are now routine. However, it’s only that way after years of accountability, creating healthy habits. 

Think of ways to include accountability for your goals. It’s essential that you start utilizing the benefits of working out as a couple. In this article, we also provide you with a trick to help you manage your healthy diets as a couple.

Step 4: Review and Success

We have one final tip for how to keep your New Year’s resolutions for 2020. That is, review your goals often as a couple. No less than twice a year. A mid-year review is essential because goals change over time. Additionally, you need to check in on your goals to make sure you haven’t forgotten about a critical goal category such as personal development. 

For example, last year, one of our goals was to practice Spanish at least an hour a day. However, by mid-year, we realized that our Spanish was serving us well. So, we modified that goal and allocated the time to our website. 

A mid-year review is also critical to remind you of your goals. Too often, these goals are out of our heads and out of our minds by the end of January. However, by printing our the tracker sheet and reviewing it periodically, you’re significantly more like to keep your New Year’s resolutions for 2020.

To ensure success, don’t focus on a big 2020 New Year’s Resolutions that are daunting. Instead, break down goals into small daily steps. This approach will keep you moving closer to a larger goal. 

For example, let’s use the goal of reading one book a month. We use our Monthly Habit Tracker to remind us to read at least 30 minutes a day. Having daily visibility to that goal helps us dramatically.

What’s more, is tackling these small daily steps gives you more opportunities to celebrate success together. Use our New Year’s resolutions tracker to record your big goals for 2020. Then print out our Monthly Habit Tracker to hold yourself accountable to the small daily steps necessary to achieve those big goals.

We prefer to print it the Monthly Habit Tracker, leave on our nightstand, and take pen to paper daily.

Monthly Habit Tracker (PDF)

Ever commit to a new habit yet find, just two days later, you can't stick with it - no matter how small? Download and print this free PDF to help you commit up to 15 new healthy habits a month. Leave it on your nightstand and track your accountability daily.

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how we’ve kept our new year’s resolutions as a couple

We have been tracking our New Year’s Resolutions since 2017. Here are the types of goals that we had on our list as well as our year-end success scores. We know, some seem vague but we’ve edited for privacy – we recommend that you write down specific goals. 

Our 2017 New Year’s Resolutions – 7.9/10

  • Fitness: Getting wedding ready with Body Beast – 10/10
  • Social: Host monthly dinner parties – 3/10
  • Hobby: One hour a week learning Spanish (through podcasts, Rosetta Stone, and apps) – 2/10
  • Health: Sleep at least 8-hours a night and research how to improve the quality of sleep – 10/10
  • Nutrition: Track intake regularly, focusing on eating more vegetables and only healthy carbs allowed – 8/10
  • Beauty: Research and perfect skincare routine (both Alex and Ryan) – 10/10
  • Mindfulness: Journal about three things we’re grateful for each night and write in our Q&A a Day: 3-Year Journal – 10/10
  • Career: Ask our business mentors for more personal development books to read – 2/10
  • Wedding Planning: Discussions on Friday nights only (to keep our sanity!) – 10/10
  • Relationship: Guilt-free, no-work Friday nights – 10/10
  • Fitness: Follow our individual physical therapy routines weekly (for Ryan’s Achilles tendon and Alex’s calf) – 10/10
  • Efficiency: Research and use grocery store apps to ensure healthy eating – 10/10

Our 2018 New Year’s Resolutions – 7.5/10

  • Fitness: Alex to be able to do seven pull-ups and Ryan to be able to do an extended handstand – 6/10
  • Social: Host monthly dinner parties with new South American friends – 2/10
  • Hobby: One hour daily of Spanish lessons or immersion – 2/10
  • Health: No electronics at least one hour before bed for higher quality sleep – 9/10
  • Personal Development: Ryan to read at least one book a month. Alex to read monthly finance books – 8/10
  • Business: Build our website and create an awesome free course for couples – 9/10
  • Efficiency: Work on using synced online calendars to communicate/share plans better – 9/10
  • Relationship: Better division of labor for chores – 10/10
  • Nutrition: Cook together and take cooking classes for healthy vegetarian meals – 10/10
  • Career: Create a 3-year goal and work towards career development – 10/10

Now it’s your turn!

Now that you have learned how to keep your New Year’s resolutions for 2020, take action and follow our 4-step process. Download the New Year’s Resolutions Tracker for 2020 (big goals) and the Monthly Habit Tracker (daily steps toward big goals). We also recommend you get your to-do list in Evernote and follow our to-do list method.

It’s amazing what you can achieve when you plan, track progress, and focus on baby steps. 

For the over-achievers, we highly recommend you sign up for our Just Duo It program below. We’ll be with you in you inbox every day for a year helping you engineer you best life.

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When you successfully complete Couple's Clean Week, your enrollment is refunded. Make a bet with yourself to stick to healthy habits for 7-days.

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Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “happiness engineers.” After eight years working as corporates engineers internationally, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — leading couples to engineer their best lives. The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship, as a couple.

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