New Year’s Resolution Ideas For 2020 and How To Follow Through

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This January, millions of people across the globe will set goals as their New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, exercise more, and become a more productive individual.

But by the start of February, a majority of those people will regress to not exercising, eating like crap, and will have forgotten the goals they made in January.

In fact, only 8% of people actually commit to and accomplish their goals by the end of the year.

Pretty sad, right?

So why do so many people fail at committing to and accomplishing their goals?

Research says it’s because you are not using the S.M.A.R.T Model. 

The SMART Model stands for:

 (S) Specific(M) Measurable, (A) Attainable, (R) Relevant, and (T) Time-bound.

This method is meant to push your limits, give you a sense of direction, organize your goals and helps you develop a sense of urgency to accomplish your goals.

There is a major difference between having New Year’s resolutions and actually making them happen.

Let’s take a look at some New Year’s resolution ideas for 2020 and how to use the SMART Model to follow through with them.

This is YOUR year, baby!

1) Wake Up Early

Who the heck wants to wake up at 5 AM when they are nice and cozy snuggled up in their blankets? 

Hear me out though.

Science has shown that waking up early after a good night’s rest boosts your level of productivity – giving you the perfect opportunity to complete tasks before you are bombarded with distractions (e.g. emails, texts, work, other responsibilities).

Overall, waking up early gives you more time to yourself in the morning.

It’s honestly such a great feeling knowing you are getting ahead of other people (who are still snoozing in bed) by getting more things done.

Pro Tip: Start the New Year by setting an alarm clock to wake up early, increase your level of productivity, and start getting more done.

2) Practice Your Positive Affirmations Every Day

Practicing positive affirmations is the #1 way that people become happy, stay healthy, make money, and are successful.

Telling yourself something positive every day for at least 3 times a week can be truly life changing. 

You can say things like:

    • “I am beautiful, amazing, and always smiling everywhere I go.”
    • “I am rich, successful, and I earn money every single day.”
    • “Anything I set my mind to will become a reality.”

Practicing simple positive affirmations are proven to make a difference in how you view life and will enhance your level of confidence.

Start off by saying one in the morning, another in the afternoon, and the last one right before you go to bed.

Pro Tip: Practice your daily affirmations everyday (3x a day) to start building confidence, attracting your goals, and believe in everything you say.

3) Find 2 Motivational Podcasts to Listen To

Listening to inspirational podcasts and YouTube videos is something I do EVERY SINGLE morning.

I wake up, grab my phone, and instead of checking my notifications like most people do, I go to YouTube and type in “motivation for success”.

And BOOM – I am up, brushing my teeth, practicing my affirmations, eating a quick breakfast, and already out the door. Quick.

All while other people are still stuck in bed sleeping or scrolling through social media.

Feeding your brain with inspirational facts and stories will improve your self-confidence and (most importantly) how much you value yourself as a person.

Let’s say, for example, that your primary goal is to double your income, and you are interested in doing it through real estate.

I would follow someone who is making millions of dollars and killing it in real estate (like Grant Cardone) and spend some time understanding exactly how they do it.

So if you aren’t doing this already, try listening to motivational podcasts or YouTube videos so you can start feeding your brain with valuable information and inspiration to work diligently towards your aspirations.

Pro Tip: Find an inspirational podcasts that inspires you to chase after your dreams and another that is full of valuable content to learn more knowledge.

4) Smile When You Wake Up

“Why would I smile as soon as I wake up?”

That’s what I said to myself when I first heard about this.

Research studies show that every time you smile, dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are all released into your bloodstream. 

This makes your body relax and also works to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. 

Do yourself a favor and try it right now.

Did it work?

Hopefully you smiled because it does work.

Pro Tip: Smiling first thing in the morning activates your endorphins and dopamine, the chemicals that make you feel good. Start today.

5) Start the Side-Hustle You Want

Let’s be real with ourselves.

We all have a side-hustle idea that we have been wanting to start but for some reason we just haven’t had enough discipline to start it.

Pick a side-hustle that you are passionate about or interested in, and simply do some research on it. Read an article, a book, or listen to someone who is already making money from that particular side-hustle.

Not sure where to start? Take a look at some of the following side-hustles people are doing to make money:

For the longest time, I’ve wanted to start a blog. Slowly but surely, I started reading articles about blogging, what mistakes to avoid, and things to focus on the most.

I finally started my blog in mid-to-late July of 2019. But just wait and see – this is only the beginning of Smart-Noodle (I plan to add more services soon so be sure to stick around).

After you pick a side-hustle you are passionate about and do some research, take the first steps to get it started. After you do that, you’ll find it gets a little easier to keep it going.

It’s just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said,

 Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Pro Tip: Find a side-hustle that solves a problem and a niche that you are passionate about. If you put these two together, you will bring abundance into your life.

6) Eliminate Procrastination and Improve Productivity

“You May Delay, But Time Will Not.” – Benjamin Franklin

This is one of the realest quotes I’ve heard about procrastinating. It’s definitely something most people don’t really think about.

You have to stop procrastinating and start taking action today. Yes, right now. Time stops for no one.

Need help eliminating procrastination and increasing productivity?

Check out my other post about “How To Boost Your Productivity and Achieve More (In Less Than 2 Weeks).

The truth is scientists cannot freeze time, and rich people can’t buy time to tackle more tasks.

So while you continue to procrastinate, time keeps going. Before you know it, 3 or more years will pass, and you’ll be wishing you started being productive today. 

The fact that you clicked on this blog for new year resolutions ideas to start in 2020 clearly indicates that you want to make a change in your lifestyle.

Baby steps. As long as you are taking some type of action, you are already that much closer to achieving your goals.

Pro Tip: Procrastination is your number #1 enemy. Stop procrastinating, eliminate distractions, and start tackling your goals first thing in the morning.

7) Learn New Skills

It’s almost 2020 – and this is the perfect time to start learning new skills.

We are so blessed to have unlimited resources at our fingertips to learn new skills – you know, through the power of our smart devices.

Google and YouTube are some of the most powerful platforms to learn a new skill.

The best thing about them is that they’re absolutely FREE and full of valuable information.

I taught myself how to make a website, write blogs, email marketing, affiliate marketing, and learned about other aspects pertaining to running a blog site – all through the power of Google and YouTube.

If you also check out Udemy, a website full of courses by individual experts, you can learn how to make money in different niches.

You can find online courses about: how to grow an Instagram account, Shopify, Amazon FBA, how to make ads, how to start a blog, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

A majority of these courses are FREE, and some cost as low as $12 dollars – maximum. A one time payment. Super cheap.

There’s no excuse for not knowing how to get started with something you’ve wanted to do.

If I can do it, I KNOW you can too.

Pro Tip: Learn new skills everyday and begin to implement them. You can learn everything for FREE through YouTube and Google. This is how everyone starts. 

8) Eliminate Bad Habits and Thoughts

Getting rid of old habits can be hard, but did you know it only takes 4-6 weeks to get rid of a bad habit?

Start the year off by eliminating bad habits and thoughts that have been affecting your lifestyle negatively.

Whether you’d like to stop drinking, eating fast food, or having self-doubts, these are things you can slowly (but surely) eliminate.

Eliminate all self-doubts that you have and start replacing them with positive thoughts instead.

Don’t worry about how things can go wrong.

Instead focus on how great your future will be once you eliminate negative thoughts.

Pro Tip: Get rid of any bad habits that suck the energy and money out of you. No more negative thoughts about why things won’t work out. Instead, start thinking why everything will go right.

9. Start Reading Self-Improvement Books

Reading self-development books is the safest investment anyone can do to become a better version of themselves.

I would suggest that you read a motivational book every morning – it could be as little as 15-20 pages per day.

You should try reading books that resonate with you and the goals you want to achieve. But also take time to learn about authors who have years of experience in your specific interests and study their strategies. 

For example, if you want to start your own company, read books from authors who own successful companies and learn from them.

If you want to become a motivational speaker, find books written by influential motivational speakers and learn their techniques.

Below are some of the top-rated self-development books of the year that are recommended by successful entrepreneurs. Make sure you take a look!

Pro Tip: Reading books are great. However, it’s a waste of your time if you are not implementing everything that you are learning into your goals and aspirations. Read and implement.

10. Implement Gym Time Into Your Life

By now, we all understand that hitting the weights and getting a little sweaty is actually beneficial for us in multiple ways.

So why not start going to the gym every morning?

Exercising not only makes you look more physically appealing, it also enhances your level of confidence.

Once you begin seeing results, you start to gain confidence in yourself and value the person that you are becoming.

Not only that – exercising in the morning is a real energy booster that helps you start your day, can improve your level of happiness, and reduces levels in your body’s stress hormones.

Pro Tip: Build your confidence and boost your level of productivity by going to the gym. Th gym life overall increases your level of happiness and reduces stress. 

11) Meditate Every Day (for 15 minutes)

I have been meditating every day, 3 times a day, and I can’t exaggerate how much it has changed my life.

I don’t mean to say that I’m rich and living in a luxurious home, but I can say that it has drastically improved my level of concentration and self confidence.

In fact, over 80% of the world’s top class performers implement meditation into their lives.

It is a simple yet effective way to visualize your goals and manifest them into reality.

Simply start by finding a silent and calming environment free from any distractions and make it a daily spot that you always go to for meditating.

Pro Tip: Meditate. Everyday single day. Meditate to attract wealth, health, happiness, stress free and imagine the life you are working for everyday. Start with 15 minutes a day early in the morning. All high achieving performers implement this into their life schedule.

12) Write Down All Your Goals

“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.” – Jim Rohn

Think about that for a minute.

Too many people plan out their vacations way more carefully than they do with their lives.

When writing down your goals for your future should be your main priority.

Especially when writing down your goals is linked to higher achievements in life.

In fact, according to a recent study, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals by writing them down.

Think about it this way.

When you leave to go travel somewhere, you don’t just blindly leave and take off with your items, right?

Instead you decide on what to pack, eat, where to stop for gas, how much money you have, and also calculating your expenses.

Writing down your goals for the future is the same process as planning out the details before you set out to travel.

By setting and writing down your goals, you are creating a road map for where you are headed, and it holds you accountable to accomplish them.

Pro Tip: Writing down your goals is linked to higher achievement results and you are 42% more likely to accomplish them when you write them down. Write your goals down not your vacation destinations.

13) Practice Self-Care

Practicing self-care can go a long way for many people and can dramatically improve every single area of your life.

What does it mean to practice self-care?

Practicing self-care is going to the gym, eating healthy, reading self-development books, eliminating bad habits, feeding your brain with positivity, and stop making excuses about why you can’t do something.

Self-care is ultimately a combination of everything you read from above and implementing them into your life schedule.

I’m telling you, the moment you understand how important it is to practice self-care, your life will change completely.

It reduces stress, improves self-confidence, makes you value yourself, and challenges you to reach your goals and aspirations.

Pro Tip: You cannot help others if you can’t even help yourself. Practice self-care by taking care of your health, well-being, relationships, confidence, reading self-development books, going to the gym, and removing negativity out of your life.

How to Follow Through With Your Goals.

As you write down your new year resolution ideas for 2020, there are a couple things to keep in mind:

  • Set goals that motivate the hell out of you. But remember, motivation itself can ONLY help you get started. 

  • Understand that only Discipline and Consistency are going to help you achieve your goals.

  • Make small steps towards your goals every day, no matter how small of a step it is.

  • Mentally prepare yourself for the goals you are planning to accomplish – visualize them.

  • Outline your plan on how you are going to make it happen. Be as descriptive as possible.

  • Write down why you started in the first place to remind yourself why you can’t give up.

  • Understand that you are in control of your life.

  • Focus on one goal at a time. Quality over quantity.

  • Remember, change is slow so do not EXPECT immediate results. Things take time. There is no such thing as overnight success.

Once you have established your new year’s resolutions and understand the important details to keep in mind, you will be ready to use the SMART model.

Pro Tip: Read it again. These are NOT ideas that I magically thought of, this is knowledge that comes from wealthy and successful people that have made a difference in the world.

So What Does the SMART Model Stand For?

(S) Specific: A goal that is defined, clear and specific.

(M) Measurable: A goal that can be measured through your progress of completing your goal.

(A) Achievable/Attainable: A goal that is possible to reach.

(R) Relevant: A goal that is relevant to your life purpose.

(T) Time-based: A goal that has a clear timeline of the starting date and the end date. The reason for this is to establish a sense of urgency.

Let me break down each category and how it applies to your new year’s resolutions and goals: 

1. Specific

Your goal has to be clear and specific. Goals that are very specific can significantly be achieved more if done correctly.

Example of a specific goal:

  • I will cut down on junk food as a first step toward overall good health.

2. Measureable

When you are able to measure your progress it helps you stay focused, gives you inspiration, and lets you know that you are following through.

To make your goals measurable means you must have criteria for measuring and tracking your progress. 

Example of a measurable goal:

  • By February, I will only have organic foods and healthy snacks in my pantry.

3. Achievable/Attainable

This one can be a little tricky. When you set an achievable goal, you have to make it so it isn’t TOO easy to accomplish – you want the goal to challenge you.

But you also have to set the bar high enough to where you know you can actually achieve your goal.

(I don’t necessarily agree with this section of the SMART model because I believe people can achieve any goal they desire if they put 100% of their effort into making it happen. No matter how unrealistic or far-fetched it might sound.)

But for the purpose of getting started, set a goal that is challenging but that you know you can definitely accomplish.

Example of an achievable/attainable goal:

  • I will see a nutritionist to design a healthy eating plan that suits me.

4. Relevant

This is an important step to remember when you are goal-setting. Make sure that the goal you set is relevant to your life and that it truly matters to you. 

I mean do you really want to get a PhD? 

Do you actually want to be on TV, be famous, and own your own business?

The purpose of this section is to ask yourself: why do I want to accomplish this goal?

What’s the reason I chose this goal in the first place? What will it mean to me when I do accomplish it?

Set a goal that is relevant and meaningful to your life purpose.

Example of a relevant goal:

  • This will cure some of my nagging ailments (fatigue, lower back pain, etc.)

5. Time-Bound

Every goal needs to have a deadline. Having a deadline creates a sense of urgency.

Developing a sense of urgency when there is a deadline to be met makes people take significantly greater action towards achieving that goal.

We’ve all experienced times when an assignment or project was due within 2 months, but we waited until the last 2 or 3 days to start it and struggled to get it done.

Setting realistic deadlines helps you prevent every day distractions from taking priority over your real goals.

Example of a time-bound goal: 

  • In December, I will change my eating habits. In January, I will start walking more. By this time next year, I’ll be able to indulge a little without ruining my new healthy habits.

One thing you might have noticed in each of the examples is the use of “I will” instead of “I want to”.

You have to keep telling yourself that you will and can do this, not just that you’d like or want to. The more you tell yourself you will do something, the more you believe it and begin to manifest it into reality. 

Food for thought.


Making New Year’s resolutions is great. I love seeing people become ambitious about things they want to change in their lives.

But you will only accomplish these goals if you start taking action and stay committed during times when your mind and body normally say no.

When choosing all of your New Year’s resolutions, be sure to hold yourself accountable. Remind yourself why you are starting in the first place and above all, don’t give up.

So, what are your New Year’s resolutions ideas for 2020?

Did any of the New Year’s resolutions above give you any inspiration or ideas that you are going to tackle on next year?

That’s it for today, I’m rooting for you.

You got this!

Happy Holidays!


Yo! We are Marcos & Mayra

We help college students and millennials with ways to save & make money, eliminate debt, scholarship advice, resume & interview tips, and to achieve financial freedom to help you
 live the life you want.