How To Make The Most Out Of Your New Year’s Resolutions!

Pink 2017 agenda notebook from May Designs
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We’re days away from 2017, which means a year ripe with possibility and a brand new shiny New Year’s Resolution! Whether your resolution falls into the healthy lifestyle camp (think: lose weight, cut out sugar, quit smoking), the career + money camp (think: switch jobs, pay off credit cards, save for you child’s college), the self-betterment camp (think: volunteer, learn a new language, plan a trip), or the relationship camp (think: have a recurring monthly date with a friend, call your grandma every week, send a sweet text daily to your spouse), one thing all these resolutions have in common is they all have a much better chance of being successful if you hold yourself accountable. Below we’ve rounded up five simple ways to do this.


1. Join a group of like-minded people.

We live in perhaps the best city in the world when it comes to finding a group of like-minded people to hold you accountable to your New Year’s Resolution. If your goal is, say, to learn French, you can join a site like (for absolutely free) and find an array of French-speaking groups, ranging from very beginners waving “Bonjour!” to each other at French wine bar Happy Hours to advanced level French speaking book clubs. We use the French example here, but seriously has something for basically every resolution. Looking to run your first half marathon this year? Join a running Meetup! Hoping to finally take advantage of all the culture NYC has to offer this year? Join a museum Meetup! Aiming to finally finish your novel? Join a writing Meetup! Besides giving you added motivation, you’ll also expand your social circle and meet friends with similar interests…win/win!

May Books planners, agendas and notebooks scattered in a large pile
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2.  Track your progress.

We may live in the age of “there’s an app for that!”, but I’ve yet to find an app that can replace a good ol’ notebook and pen…especially if the notebooks are tailored to your New Year’s resolution. May Designs is by far my favorite selection of notebooks, because not only are they completely customizable and affordable, but they have several notebooks designed specifically to keep your goals on track. You can pick from pre-made models such as meal planning, fitness, and gratitude, or design your very own.

3. Give yourself scheduled reminders.

If “learning to play the ukulele” is your resolution this year, chances are it’s not going to be successful unless you pre-schedule time into your calendar to attend lessons and practice. Same with “drink more water.” I absolutely love the Alarmed app for this, because it lets you customize your reminders according to your goals. For example, maybe you want to schedule time to practice your uke every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (cue the alarms!), but you want your “drink water” reminders to go off every 45 minutes throughout the day, 8am until 8pm. The app easily lets you program as many reminders as you want, at whatever frequency suits your goals.

A hand holding up a smartphone with the Better App on the screen

4. Share your resolution with others.

Last year my New Year’s Resolution was to read 52 books. Now, I can promise you that there were several points throughout the year I fell behind my “one a week” marker, and then had to scramble to catch up. It would have been easy to let myself off the hook with the thought that “oh, well 39 books is better than no books!”, but you know what kept me going? Telling my spouse/friends/family about my goal last January, and having them ask me about my progress every month. Letting others in on your resolution is almost as good as a tool as tracking progress yourself. You can do this with your immediate circle, or jump on an app like Better: Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, which will connect you with a circle of people working on similar goals so you can cheerlead each other on.

5. Plan rewards for yourself.

My very favorite part of setting and working towards a resolution? Setting mini-milestone rewards that go along with your goal! For example, say your resolution is to “eat healthier.” At the end of each month, if you make progress towards your resolution, treat yourself to a reward, such as trying out a new vegan restaurant, or taking an Asian cooking class, or buying yourself a cool new water bottle to stay hydrated. You can find local inspiration for just about every resolution at Possibilities are endless, and the end goal will be so worth it.

What’s your New Year’s Resolution this year? Give us the inside scoop on Facebook and Twitter!

Posted in Glenwood News, manhattan living |