How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Ryan and I take setting our New Year’s Resolutions as a couple seriously. We love the chance at a not only a fresh start but as an intentional strategy. Ever the engineers, we document and track our progress as we work on engineering our best year.

Setting New Year’s goals as a couple has become a ritual, and we have several years of data. In this article, we share our three simple steps needed for setting, tracking, and achieving your goals as a couple.

how to keep your new year’s resolutions as a couple

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.

We hear all of the statistics 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.

Luckily, you Duo Lifers aren’t the general public. We can beat the odds, together.

Strategy and Tracking

For years, Ryan and I have sat down together and created, with pen and paper, our New Year’s Resolutions as a couple. We label each category, action item (noting frequency as needed), accountability plan, and a column to rate ourselves at the end of the year. We then create a shared Google Sheets document so that we can refer to it throughout the year.

Here is our exact spreadsheet for the coming year:

New Year's Resolution Tracker (PDF)

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. Don't be like the 80% who give up on their resolutions by January!

Free

Create Meaningful and Specific Goals

While Ryan and I 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!

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, like a resumé. Our tracker sheet includes a column to list each goal’s category. We provide ideas for goal categories like career, personal development, hobby, and relationship.

Read more: Creating and managing a to-do list with a goal achieving mentality.

Accountability

Our 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.

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

Accountability works so well for us that neither Ryan and I list the more common resolutions on our tracker sheets any more. Resolutions such as working out five days a week, losing 10 pounds, or eating better have now become routine. However, it’s only that way after years of accountability, turning our health into a habit. 

Read more: 

Why working out as a couple is a game-changer and how to get results working out together.

 How to manage your diets as a couple.

Think of ways to include accountability for your goals. If you need any help, just let us know and we can add you to our exclusive Duo Life Community.

Review and Success

Reviews your New Year’s Resolutions as a couple as often as you’d like. No less than twice a year. A mid-year review is essential because goals change over time.

For example, last year, one of our goal’s was to practice Spanish at least an hour a day. However, by the 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’ll make sure that you’re putting your year to good use.

Focusing a big New Year’s Resolutions as a couple can be daunting, so break down each goal into daily steps. This approach will keep you moving closer to a larger New Year’s Resolution. 

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.

Our habit tracker is yours for the taking! We prefer to print it, 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 this free PDF to help you commit up to 15 new habits a month.

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our new year’s resolutions as a couple

Ryan and I 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 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

Don’t worry. We won’t leave you hanging. Download our New Year’s Resolutions Tracker or sign up for our course below!

New Year's Resolution Tracker (PDF)

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. Don't be like the 80% who give up on their resolutions by January!

Free

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  • "Daily Duoables" to keep progress simple and easy
  • Access to our exclusive Duo Life Community app to stay accountable for your fitness and nutrition
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