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Are You Making New Year’s Resolutions?

Nine New Year's Resolutions

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Every January, I make the same two resolutions: Quit biting my nails, and stop eating so much cheese FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY. And they’ve never worked. All year, I keep biting those nails and eating that delicious cheese. (Side note: For six glorious months, I actually quit biting my nails this year, but then started up again on election night. It could not be helped.)

Well, the other day, I came across a post by London-based writer Dolly Alderton, in which she shared nine everyday changes you might actually want to make. Here are a few favorites:


* Always carry a book in your bag. Trains will be delayed, post office queues will be long; you’ll be able to rattle through a book a week if you fill dead time with reading rather than scrolling through Instagram.

* If you hate the gym, give up your membership. Download a podcast, forgo buses and walk for 13,000 steps a day. It’s the same amount of time you’d spend in the gym, but it’s a method of transportation! And free!

* Invest in a good, easy-to-empty bin for your kitchen. A bad bin makes life difficult at least three times a week. And life is too short to be muttering and spluttering to yourself in anger three times a week. [Ed note: Yes to solving random problems at home! Like this.]

* Switch from black to navy. Black is chic, but navy is soft.

* Send your best friend a bunch of flowers to celebrate her achievements, from as big as getting a promotion to as small as standing up to a difficult boss. We owe moments of excitement and surprise to our dearest and oldest friends as much as we do to our partners and lovers.

* Continue to do as much good as you can.


Nine New Year's Resolutions

Thoughts? What large or small changes will you be making in 2017? What are you looking forward to?

P.S. Wise words, and five exercise classes I tried.

(Photo by Peter Stackpole in 1958 for Life Magazine, via Messy Nessy Chic. Illustration by Oliver Jeffers.)

  1. Nina says...

    A little tip to make the cheapest POS plastic bin easy to use: drill/hammer a small whole on two sides of the bin. This allows air to rush in to the bin while you’re taking the bag out so you don’t get the suction that makes it so impossible to pull it out.

  2. Allison B says...

    Maybe this is obvious or you’ve already tried, but do you get regular manicures? With polish always on your nails, maybe it would be easier? (Although, maybe not for the next 4 years…)

  3. Erin Mary says...

    I’m going to stop apologizing when I’m not actually sorry. I’ve already caught myself SO many times.

    I’m going to stop avoiding confrontation and taking on blame for things to “smooth it over”. Basically I’m going to stop coddling other people’s feelings over my own sense of self-worth.

    I’m going to go all out with radical honesty about my mental health, because stigmas are dumb and damaging. I met Carrie Fisher this past November and I’m doing my best to channel her every chance I get. She was my mental health hero and I’m going to take my heartbreak and turn it into something positive.

  4. Yulia says...

    I’ve read every single comment over the past day or two because I find this so interesting! I’ve been getting into new year’s resolutions more and more over the past few years, but I think of them as goals focusing on building/maintaining good habits rather than changes that will result in a “new me.” One thing that really helps me stick to my goals is monthly challenges. So for example: if I want to focus on strength or fitness I’ll set myself a goal of exercising every day for an entire month–whether it’s a long run, a YouTube workout, 15 or 20 minutes of Pilates, or even just a 30 minute walk during my lunch hour. I don’t focus on weight loss because my goal is be healthy and strong, and so I don’t get obsessed with checking the scale. All I have to do is check it off my calendar. I usually do a few small challenges a month (examples: daily journal writing, reading a poem a day, only eating food I cook all month, reading, flossing before bed, no sugar, etc.), and somehow the fact that these are challenges transforms them from ordinary items on a to do list to tasks that aren’t optional–they’re musts. I don’t want to say “no” to them because I feel like I can’t! At the end of the month it’s nice to give myself a break, but by then the habit has worn a groove and it’s easy to keep it up. Maybe not every day, but often enough. Does anyone else do monthly challenges? I think you could do almost anything daily for a month!

  5. I laughed out loud about the trash can and yelled to my mom, “IT’S A SIGN!” because we were *just* talking today about how frustrating our trash bin is as it was taking BOTH of us trying to get the trash out of the can. LOL! I love this list.

  6. 1. Read more “current” authors (aka something besides old mansplainy scifi (I love it)) .
    2. Run 10k without stopping or dying.
    3. Be more conscious about how I spend my money.

  7. I am baffled by people who wouldn’t bring a book on a commute. I bring a book literally everywhere. But to each their own.

    Yes to finding exercise you love (yoga!)

    I’ve resolved to contact my congress people on a daily (ok, weekly) basis, something I never did before. Living in a super-blue county in a super-blue state, I’m pretty much preaching to the choir, but I will do it regardless.

  8. I restarted my nail-biting on election night, too! Woof…

    This year I’m going to make a point to give my love, appreciation, gratitude freely and without reservation.

    And I hope to write more about the books I read. :)

    • anne says...

      i love this and am going to copy it with gusto.

  9. Fiona says...

    I have a couple of resolutions this year, most prominent being http://bookriot.com/2016/12/15/book-riots-2017-read-harder-challenge/, along with some friends – where possible I also want to incorporate the 2016 and 2015 lists, which are amazing! I want to expose myself to as many new and interesting and diverse authors as possible, and this is a great way to start.

    I also really want to invest time, money and energy to supporting local art and culture since I believe firmly we are going to need them in the coming years. Finally, I want to share only inspiring, empowering and active things on my social media – i find activism can be very exhausting, so I want to discuss difficult things, but always with a call to action to counter the feeling of powerlessness, as well as always calling out people who are doing wonderful things. The good and possible deserves as much noise as the bad.

  10. I’d like to get back into blogging again. Seems like it’s been forever since I last write. And take more photos so that I have a collection of my life’s journey in photobooks.

  11. Melody says...

    These comments are so great.

    Honestly, my new years resolution or rather revelation is im a little too reactive. I would like to change that.

  12. Alice says...

    I love Dolly! So happy to see her featured here!

  13. Julie says...

    Have you heard of one little word? My guiding word this year is act! Not a specific goal but it’s helpful to have a guiding word.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love that concept!

  14. I never change anything, I just improve on what goals I had from the time before. I hate open ended promises to myself. That is how I feel a resolution is. I can do it in March or in August, I do not need the beginning of the year to change me. But I will say the whole sending things to friends is an idea that I do without thinking about it. I send friends and family things randomly.

  15. Ashley S. says...

    I’m starting a new “101 in 1001” aka 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days, which is around 2.75 years. November was the end of my last one, and it was amazing to see how many things I did during that time. There were big things accomplished (bought a house) and lots of awesome small things (tried 10 new recipes, watched a sunrise, met 5 new friends).

    I first heard about it through the Design Darling blog:
    http://www.mackenziehoran.com/?s=101+in+1001

  16. Elizabeth says...

    Rather than resolutions, I have a “theme” for 2017, based on this article I saw – http://www.seattletimes.com/nwshowcase/careers/whats-your-theme-for-2017/

    It makes it harder to fail since it’s not as specific, but also gives me more flexibility as to how I define my accomplishments.

    My theme is “intentional, focused and present” to encompass my goals (also using the book 52 Lists Project – http://www.moorea-seal.com/p/52-lists.html) that include finishing my PhD, being more mindful, strengthening my relationships with friends and family, and reducing use of social media

  17. Love the tip to always carry a book in your bag. I try to do this as often as I can because it’s true, it’s much more enjoyable/a better use of my time to read during moments of waiting (or on my commute, etc.) that scrolling through social media. Plus I feel much more relaxed.
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  18. Nadine says...

    I don’t make resolutions, so I’ll be continuing to work on two things I’m convicted about – my thought life & eating sweets.

  19. My big one this year is to spend less and do more… that means no more mindless shopping or spending on Amazon because it’s easy and cheap, more DIYing, more active time with family, more reading, more giving back to the community. I love to change things in my home so this will push me to be much more creative than I was in 2016. I am looking forward to it!

  20. Natalie says...

    I used to always make grand New Year’s resolutions and fail spectacularly at keeping them, so I started doing 5 smaller, more specific/manageable goals a month. January’s are: Complete the Whole30 challenge to find out exactly what is hurting my stomach every single time I eat, get some form of physical activity every single day no matter how small in order to ease my mental health issues, read at least one book (already halfway there, woo!), apply to 4 freelance writing jobs, abstain from eating out at all in order to save money (surprisingly easy, thanks to goal #1). If I had to pick one resolution for the whole year, what I hope all these little goals will add up to, it would be to be kinder — kinder to myself, kinder to my body, kinder to my husband, kinder to my family, kinder to strangers.

  21. Diana says...

    Two simple resolutions:
    1. Don’t be afraid of money. Understand my personal finances, investments vs savings.
    2. Don’t be afraid to ask for what I want – more time, more money, help, etc.

    • megan says...

      I think these are great.

  22. Well I’m not quite doing resolutions this year because they’d force me to work out and stop drinking wine, so… no. But I’ve decided that my word of the year will be STEADY. So i’ll do everything (yes, even being healthy) with that in mind. No need to go to the gym for an hour or quit wine cold turkey only to resume Netflix and chardonnay on day 5. But small changes I can do. Let’s see how that goes :)

  23. Jennifer says...

    My first resolution is to finish projects or little tasks that I either have already started or know that I need to complete – you know, those annoying little things that take all of ten minutes to do but you just never get around to them? Like for instance, I’ve had a bag of sewing repairs (fix my son’s stuffed animals that had a rip, put a button back on my husband’s suit coat, etc) to do that have been sitting in my sewing nook for almost a year, and just a few days ago I sat down and completed each one of them! So silly that it took me so long to get around to them, but it was a great feeling to get them done.

    My other resolution is to admit to myself that I will never ever pick up some of my old hobbies (making jewelry, etc), so I rounded up all of those extra craft materials and am in the process of selling/giving them away to others who will make good use of them! They were doing no one any good by sitting in my house all those years. It’s good to finally admit this and be able to say goodbye, and to declutter at the same time!

  24. Alina says...

    One year I made a vision board for my year ahead and it was AMAZING all the things on it that I accomplished. I have not been so disciplined since…. HOWEVER, this year I have made what I think is an attainable and worthy goal for myself: Try to buy only used/vintage clothing when possible. I’m becoming disgusted by fast/cheap fashion, and it’s incredible how much beautiful vintage wear you can find nowadays just through Instagram, Etsy, Depop, etc. It will be a challenge for me but I feel I will be doing a little good while indulging in one of my passions. I won’t be perfect, but it’s a goal.

    • Kerri says...

      A vision board is such a great idea! Off to Pinterest….

  25. I’ve always wanted to open a bookstore, so my goal for 2017 is to interview a bookstore owner or shopkeeper once a week! Fingers crossed I stick to this one!

  26. Quit biting my nails was my New Year’s Resolution for about 15 years. I stopped on 2015, a couple of months before my wedding and It was really a great achievement for me.
    This year I want to focus on getting my driver’s license once and for all! I’m turning 27 and, even though I don’t have car and walking/public transportation are good and healthy choices, I think I want to do it just to get that sense of accomplishment and getting it out of my list.
    Have a great year!
    Clara
    http://www.chenegrita.com

  27. Catie says...

    I’m also a nail-biter who has had trouble kicking the habit! In the last year or so, I’ve been able to stop a few times, but I always start back up again at times when I’m feeling particularly anxious (election night was one for me, too). I found the most helpful thing is knowing that I *can* do it, and having some reason to encourage myself not to–for example, I have a friend who is really into indie nail polishes, and so I’ve discovered that I actually like painting my nails and since they look even better when they’re a bit longer, that can be good incentive (also that once they’re painted, I don’t want to ruin them).

    Now when I slip up, though, I just let it be and start growing them again when the anxious episode has passed…life is long, and there are much more detrimental habits when it comes to dealing with anxiety then nail-biting!

  28. Emily says...

    I have dreams of opening my kitchen cabinet and taped to the inside door, lists and lists of “dinner ideas” and what cookbook to find them in (or Pinterest boards). I have other resolutions about continuing volunteer work, etc, etc, but wouldn’t it be heaven to have the mystery of “what’s for dinner?” not be so…mystery?

    • Jill says...

      This ^^^

  29. Sally says...

    My resolution is to read more. Granted, I’ve always “been a reader” (last year I read 25 books over the year). But specifically I want to read more non-fiction.
    I also want less screen time. I’m the worst for reaching for my phone when I need to fill a few minutes, and I feel like I’m getting zero from the experience.

    • Melody says...

      I am too. Honestly if im bored in the slightest i reach for my phone… i think ill practice some patience and try to let experiences unfold.

  30. Cazmina says...

    This year my goals (I feel like they seem more concrete than a resolution) are to save money, start a masters course, get back into exercise, and figure out how to procrastinate less.
    I’ve also been cutting down my meat consumption over time, and this year I’m going to try being a “weekday vegetarian” – vegetarian during the week, then eat whatever on the weekend

    • Angela says...

      I started this two years again and it made me more and more conscious and careful until last summer when I became fully vegan. Greatest healthy choice I ever made!

    • Christine says...

      I’ve been using the Productivity Planner from the same people that made the Five Minute Journal (I have no idea what the company is called but if you google that, it will come up) and it’s really helped me with procrastinating and getting sh*t done!

  31. Kimberley says...

    Thanks for introducing me to Dolly Alderton! What a great list.

    Mine for this year:
    1) Begin to learn some Arabic – because I recently visited Iraq and learned some basics; I have a feeling it’s going to become increasingly useful in times to come.
    2) Be a better vegetarian – I have become a flexatarian of late, and I really do want to give up altogether.

    Wishing you a happy, successful, calm and motivated new year :) xo

  32. Peem says...

    This weeks episode of the podcast called “How I Built This” with the founders of Zumba is really good!

  33. To live my most authentic self, whatever that entails.

  34. I love these tips! Small, everyday things that could have a big impact…love it!

    xx

    bombshell-to-be.blogspot.com

  35. Kate says...

    Oh, I love the one about sending your friends flowers to celebrate even the smallest of achievements! So sweet. :)

  36. I’m the sort of weirdo who is always tinkering with resolution-type things! ;) But nevertheless, January always gets me excited. I always have the same three things as my focus: present, positive, peaceful. Other than that, I’m trying to focus more on healthful habits and choosing to live in line with my values. (Which sometimes means take a nap with my kid instead of cleaning!) I also made a little list of things I’d like to do more of or “pick up” and things I’d like to “put down.” But they are more conceptual.

    http://www.thewefiles.com/blog/2016/12/27/make-your-list-what-to-leave-and-what-to-take-into-your-new-year

    P.S. Love to read what everyone is bringing into this year! Your community here is the best, Joanna. Cheers!

  37. LJ says...

    I’m going to put true effort into loving myself more. I’ve been pushing and trying to be the ultimate version of myself for years, but this always seems to get lost. And as my idol Ru Paul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else (can I get an amen?)” ;)

    I’ve also found the Nike training club app to be helpful for working out, so hopefully that will stick this year too. Oh and one more! Cultivate new and old friendships with girlfriends in really fun ways. So far we’ve planned: spa night hangs, rock climbing, self-defense classes, and at least one somewhat tropical vacation.

    • Catie says...

      (Amen!)

  38. These are great! I walk to work now and without the transit commute I hardly read as much as I used to. I am hoping to change that this year so I will be carrying a book in my bag! As much as I love scrolling through Instagram.

  39. I want to help out more people. In many different ways. I am currently helping my nephew to get back his life together. He is only 16 but dropped out of school about a year ago. This morning was his first day back. So proud of him! :)
    XX
    https://www.instagram.com/pret_a_teacher/

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That’s so wonderful and brave of him! It must have been hard to return after a year away. Congrats to him (and you)!

  40. Max says...

    I tend to do a to do list of a few things and a word for the year. Last year I did great with “joy” (got into grad school and left my job to go full time, traveled, laughed, ate so many amazing meals, fell madly in love)
    This year I’m doing “patience.” Trying to be more patient with my friends, family, sweetheart, and myself. More patient with queues, and response times to emails, and amazon packages, to just not be in such a hurry all the time. To stop and enjoy it all while I’m in it!

  41. Stacy says...

    I have one resolution this year and its not to have any resolutions. I dont want to disappoint myself, but rather celebrate who i am. Good or bad, they’re all parts of me, so I’ll just do the best i can and be the best person i can be. Happy New Year!

  42. I love the idea of always carrying a book.

  43. I hate the term resolution so instead set yearly goals, the term sounds much less intense and more manageable!
    My goals for this year include:
    Do some sort of regular exercise.
    Try not to snack too much, reduce my sugar intake and pick healthy options when I am able to.
    Put myself out there more – go to parties where I only know 1 person, do a fitness class (thinking ice skating at the moment!), say yes to more events while also being aware of my limits.
    Get a deeper understanding of my mental illness (anxiety) and mental health – read up on new treatments, find new ways to unwind and look into triggers and how they came about.
    Enjoy the little things in life more – the smell of rain, the cuddles with my cat, the first bite of a freshly baked good…
    Looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings my way!

    • Melody says...

      Those sound great. Good luck to you. Have an amazing year!

  44. Jenna says...

    I have a resolution buddy.
    We have kept this tradition alive for the past eight years and meet minimum twice a year specifically to review our annual resolutions and what we need to do to keep on or get back on track.
    We don’t always hit them out of the park – heck – sometimes we don’t even find the park! But we have done better having had each other for support and had more than one laugh along the way!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That’s so wonderful Jenna!

  45. Angela says...

    I’m not a resolution maker or keeper, but a thought to consider might be phrasing your resolutions differently. Rather than “Stop biting my nails.” you could say, “Take better, regular care of my hands.” Something along that line…

    Anyway, I do try to do a word of the year. My 2016 word was Content… This year my word is Kind. My tendency is toward sharp, biting humor and sarcastic commentary, which is often, unfortunately, at the expense of others. I’ve decided that this year kindness is what my family, my community, or my world needs. All the best to you, Joanna and team.

    • I just wanted to say I appreciate your aim in kinder humor….I’ve always been surrounded by people who have biting wit in one way or another, and while i admire the knack and it IS funny, I’ve always been a little saddened by it. Not wanting to criticize anyone, but I felt compelled to say it makes a difference and I’m glad you see that!

    • SFORD says...

      I also have a word, rather than a resolution. Last year was ‘new’ (trying new things, meeting new people, going to new places). This year its ‘Edit’ – whether that’s editing my home (ie- getting rid of things I don’t use or need), editing workload (saying no more often) or editing people I know who have a negative effect on my life.

    • Angela says...

      Thanks, Cait! I really appreciate your encouragement. Happy New Year to you. :)

  46. Dora (from Belgium) says...

    I’m reframing my resolutions as ‘personal research’, which makes them more stimulating and mindful for me than ambitious goals or very precise and unrealistic regimes or bans. I’m a journalist and have done a lot of research on nutrition in the last six years, which continues to improve my diet, without any resolutions or harsh measures involved. I made a lot of new year’s resolutions about more exercise in the past, but my habits only improved after I wrote an in-depth story about it that really made me look into what was holding me back and what could be a realistic way out (= a fun way out). Same for friendship or relationship issues: it never helps to just tell myself that I should be more generous, less controlling, more patient etcetera. What does help is have a good chat about a specific issue with a friend (preferably someone who also likes to investigate things), unravell what’s making things tense, look at it from different angles in a non-judging way.
    Research topics for this year are ‘new ways to have fun with my mother’, ‘make my social media use more rewarding/less distracting’, ‘how to contribute more to societal change’ and ‘finding the right answer to my recurring stomach pains’. Apart from the more scary, unsollicited research topics that life will throw in my face anyway.

  47. Kaitlin says...

    I know exercising is at the top of a lot of Resolution lists, but I hate the implication here that walking can replace a gym membership. Yes, walking is good compared to being completely sedentary, but if you don’t like you gym or don’t feel motivated to go – find a new gym! Or join ClassPass. And if the cost of a gym membership really is the only hinderance, join a neighborhood running club or groups that get together to exercise in parks. Exercising should be for your health (not just to lose a few pounds), and it should be a lifelong habit. Let’s focus on heart health, eliminating back pain, boosting your immune system and your energy levels, and living an overall healthy lifestyle.

    • Lilly says...

      But walking is something that promotes all those good things and _is_ a form of exercise, even if you don’t personally think it counts. Where did you draw the conclusion that walking more was ‘just to lose a few pounds’? If people ‘join a neighbourhood group’ that walks around parks with their podcasts on does that make it more legitimate as an exercise?

  48. Colleen says...

    I like the navy, book and flower ideas. Even cards to replace the flowers if you’re budgeting ;)

    • Melody says...

      Awesome alternative!

  49. molly says...

    Another resolution is to celebrate the little every day wins. My boyfriend and I have always celebrated each other’s accomplishments, but not in the way we have been recently. Lately, if we have a really kick ass day, the other will bring home a bottle of champagne and toast the other. We save the corks and turn them into ornaments (we also write the accomplishment and the date on them) Come the holidays and the end of the year its fun to go through all the celebrations!

    • Angela says...

      We do this too, dating back to the champagne we had the afternoon we got engaged!

    • Dora says...

      Love this! A family I know has a ‘nice things’ box. Throughout the year, all of them write down the nice things they do or encounter, and put their notes in the box. As a new year’s ritual, they empty the box together and go through all the notes.

    • molly says...

      @Dora That is such a great idea! I love that!!

  50. molly says...

    I have been a lifelong nail biter as well and painting them and keeping them on the shorter side have been two things that have helped me immensley. I have also found that carrying a small nail file in my wallet has helped. For me, the second I chip, break or crack a nail I cannot NOT try to bite them. So having the nail file to buff out the jagged edges have helped so they will not catch on my clothes. Stress is another reason I resort to biting so I have tried to work on recognizing I am stressed and find a better coping mechanism (classical music helps).

    As far as resolutions go, I find that putting my resolutions into a task-like list with measurable goals helps. i.e. read 12 enjoyable books and 6 professional/personal development books. Plan two (minimum) girls weekends with friends and focus on improving my relationship with my mom.

    • Natalie says...

      Keeping a nail file in my purse saved me too! I had the exact same problem — one chip or break and I was back to biting. I started keeping a file in my purse like 2 years ago and have (almost completely) stopped biting my nails since!

  51. Nectar says...

    Resolution: Relax! I went back to school, worked 2, sometimes 3 jobs to pay it out of pocket in 2015/2016, and now I want to experience the world around me again.

    Also learn to do a proper pull up and meditate more.

    Also to stop saying “sorry” for things that I don’t need to say sorry for.

    • Colleen says...

      Congratulations!

  52. I love all these ideas. Thank you! I too am a nail biter and have been for as long as I can remember. Slightly terrified after reading your article about your tooth chipping. I had no idea that was even a thing.

    Has anything else worked for you? I’m considering getting acrylic nails to get me to stop…

  53. yes to navy! I have almost no black left in my wardrobe!

    LOVE the idea of podcasts/walking because I hate the gym with a passion. I would rather be pudgy than go to the gym.

    I find that my resolutions have to incubate for a while before I can actually commit – and that can happen any time in the year. So I currently don’t have a resolution! But I think one is brewing.

  54. Brettne Bloom says...

    I bit my nails for years and years and finally broke the habit by getting regular manicures no matter how rough and raggedy my nails looked. It took several weeks and I had some setbacks but eventually I stopped altogether. I have to say that the election season almost sent me back to the beginning as well–a literal nail-biter if ever there was one, plus the aftermath, which of course is still ongoing. But I am making it through! At least my nails are.

  55. Alice says...

    1). To listen.
    More carefully, thoughtfully, and actively. It’s weird because my hearing is super amazing, and I notice every sound, but words are so plentiful I don’t give all of them the focus and time I should. And I think listening is the first part of the journey to understanding, which we’re going to need more of in 2017.

    2). To build a world record tipping, gleeful hop inducing, train track with my boys.

    3). To dance every single day with my husband (and kids if they’re about). We used to do this, we need to do it again. It brings smiles.

    • Auste says...

      Goodness, my husband and I used to dance in our living room all the time. We have regular dance parties with our little girls now, but you’ve inspired me to have a good old fashioned slow dance with my husband more often:)

  56. Sasha says...

    Nail biting? I have my childhood best friend to thank for breaking my habit. When I was thirteen I complained to her about it and she said, “I’ll break it.” She hit me in the arm, hard, every single time she saw my fingers in my mouth. I modified my behavior very quickly!! Now I keep my nails super short because I’m weirdly phobic and grossed out by fingernails. Keeping then short might be a more humane solution.

    Best of luck Jo!

    • Cazmina says...

      Haha my big brother did that to me when I was learning to drive and used to look down at the gear stick when I changed gear, instead of keeping my eyes on the road. He punched me in the arm every time and by the end of our drive I was cured (and had a huge bruise)!

  57. Emily B says...

    I’m excited about the new year, and I am so thankful for the blessings I experienced during 2016. So what’s with the bleak picture?
    New Year’s Resolution: drink less Diet Coke, more water. But it’s so delicious!

  58. Kate says...

    I’m hoping to make my new year’s resolution truly stick this year!
    It’s my goal to plan at least 2-3 meals per week BEFORE I go to the grocery store! I have such a bad habit of thinking I have nothing to make, so I end up grabbing takeout or making a trader joes freezer meal. But with just a little more intention, I could be healthier, save money, and enjoy my food more! Here’s to a more prepared me in 2017!

  59. those are SERIOUSLY clever resolutions! really love them. totally with you on treating my nails with slightly more respect lol. not quite there yet… i also just wrote a blog post on anxiety and how women describe their anxiety and also how they cope with it ‘in six words or less’ – i found the the ideas really inspiring and care/compassion-oriented. i think id like to turn some of those thoughts into a new years resolution or two. here’s the list that came out of it:

    Asking for help. Intense workouts. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Deep breaths. Medication. Exercise. Bath. Running. Sun. Me time. Cut tasks from to-do list. Massage. Healthy relationships. Chocolate. Hugs. Babysitting. Good cry. Take a drive, blast music, sing. Family. Nature walks. Creating things. Healthy relationships. Boundaries. Delegate. Regular sleep. Prayer. This too shall pass. Talking out where it’s coming from. Meditation. Good therapy. Refuse to avoid anxiety – jump in. Swimming. Bowl of ice cream. Breathing. Supportive people. Yoga. Manicure. Whole foods. Alone time. Adding meaning to my life. Slow breathing. Shower. Talking. Cleaning help. Walking. Schedule. Saying no. Nap time.

  60. Amy says...

    I am on week three of no more nail biting! The turning point was when my bottom tooth chipped when I was biting my nails. It was an easy fix but I was embarrassed admitting my bad habit to the dentist. Now every time I am about to succumb to my bad habit, I picture all of my teeth crumbling!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, the same thing happened to me, but it was my top tooth! okay, maybe i will recommit to it :)

  61. Dana says...

    Truthfully? My resolution this year is the “Take More Risks.” I’m graduating from college this year and right now everything feels manic and scary and unpredictable, and I’m trying to learn to be ok with that. People keep telling me that this is the only time in my life where ANYTHING could happen and all the possibilities are before me, and I’m trying to embrace that rather than shrink in panic.

  62. Charli says...

    I love the new year. My birthday is late December, and I just turned 30 (!), plus I’m a big introvert, so this has been a huge time of reflection in my life right now. I have made some form of resolution or goal since I can remember. This year I have two big goals – one is to take weightlifting classes with the intent to compete. The other is to go on some dates with women. I am married to a man, we have an open relationship, and I’ve finally (finally!) owned up to my non-straightness. Cheers to 2017!

  63. M says...

    I always say I am going to write more cards and letters. One of these years it will stick…

  64. Wren says...

    I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions, but there are still things I want to implement in my life that I hope will make for a better year than last. 2016 was a kind of experiment in routine and structure. I had my moments where I was very on top of things and then my moments where I was so apathetic or emotionally unraveled my organization skills and motivation to get anything done became eradicated. But I think I’m getting better at noticing when my behavioral patterns are about to turn south, and from this last stretch of depression at the end of the year I noticed what I gravitated toward to help revitalize my spirits–language. Whether it was reading an interesting article or a good book or just listening to a friend talk, words have become–to quote JK Rowling via Albus Dumbledore– my “most inexhaustible source of magic” in terms of reestablishing good health. But I also hope to extend my use of them by journaling every morning and sitting down to work on a creative piece four days a week–an hour each day–as a way to ensure my creativity and health stay strong. If I had to think of a New Year’s resolution it would just be to focus my life around writing so that I can be emotionally available to the people closest to me, and even those who aren’t, for the remaining hours away from my desk. I hope everyone had a lovely New Year’s! ~Wren

  65. Cynthia says...

    I don’t make resolutions. Rather, I try to do my best every day.

  66. Ramona says...

    I am trying to get fruit/vegetables into my kid’s mouth at every meal this year. This is already off to an inauspicious start. Ha.

  67. Carole says...

    I really love the idea of sending a friend flowers just because… little things go un noticed SO much – sometimes just getting a little treat for just doing your job well, or dealing with a difficult boss makes all the difference! I like simple resolutions – more goals then resolutions, little ways to make myself better. :) P.S Cheese is LIFE! XO

  68. nora says...

    I love all of these and I love all of the comments!
    Our family mantra this year is be brave, be bold, spread love.
    My personal one is to be the better version of myself.

  69. Rather than resolutions, I like thinking of a word for the year. This year, it’s Control. 2016 felt entirely outside of my control. I did a lot of giving up and letting life happen, and not enough of owning what little I could. I lost control, I let other things and other people take control. So, this year, I’m taking back what control I have, sharing some control, and not letting that which I cannot control define me.

    • Auste says...

      Oh, I like this. A word for the year. Brainstorming now!

    • SFORD says...

      Me too – Last year’s was ‘new’. This year is ‘edit’ – encompassing home, work and relationships!

  70. Yes!
    Here are a few of mine:
    Continue a food/working out journal
    Recognize and neutralize negative thoughts (next step would be to make them into a positive)
    Make my bed daily
    Continue food blogging ;) http://www.mangotomato.com

  71. Milly says...

    Jo and everyone else who bites their nails, maybe this anecdote will help you to stop: my friend got worms from biting his nails. It’s very easy to pick up fecal matter under your nails and let’s be honest, you’re not thoroughly washing your hands before each nail nibble, so boom: worm eggs in feces transferred from nails to mouth, eggs hatch in your stomach. On the bright side, a tapeworm is an easy way to negate the weight gained from eating so much cheese :)

    • Sasha says...

      You should be a personal coach!!! If anyone reading your comment EVER bites their nails again, they need drugs or something.
      I didn’t even bite mine and I’m super grossed out.

    • Alexia says...

      I don’t bite my nails but that makes never even want to get my mouth near them! Ugh it would suck to have a tapeworm infection. Although the weight loss sounds great you also lose a lot of muscle mass:/

  72. I love these. My goals, which I started to tackle a bit toward the end of 2016 are a) to be less fearful (I hope to jump in and do things, rather than worry about whether or not I will fail), b) to tell people when they have made me happy or contributed positively to my life, even if I don’t know them very well, or in person, at all. I wrote an e-mail a couple months ago about an employee at a store who gave me incredible customer service and realized that I should be doing more of that. And c) along, both of those lines, start commenting and contributing more on things that interest me.

  73. these are great, but i make a “to-do” list each year instead of resolutions. it’s so much easier and more satisfying to be able to check them off as you accomplish each item!

    -kim
    midnight snark

  74. Cara says...

    I received Jenny Rosenstrach’s “How to Celebrate Everything” book as a Christmas gift — and afterward went through my paper planner scheduling her new recipes on key dates and a few new family tradition ideas (heart shaped cake on Valentine’s day, “big birthday-paloooza” breakfasts on my kids’ birthdays, vacation ideas). These are “to-do’s” that I’m actually looking forward to making happen this year!

    • Bianca says...

      Such a great idea!

    • Sasha says...

      I loved her book too! So much fun to celebrate through food.
      My favorites are a birthday cake on xmas eve (complete with song and candles when my kids were young), and half birthday celebrations, little parties where the “un”birthday child got to GIVE presents and we ate a treat that could not be cake. Also pie on 3.14 each year. Any excuse, really….

  75. I’m saying no to more, even though that means less money, hopefully my spare time can eventually lead to more money for the family. If that makes sense.

    I’m also putting a million percent into my children’s book writing and illustrations, and trying to figure out how to even go about getting a publisher lol, so that’s a January/February specific goal, but definitely my biggest priority of 2017.

    I used to bite my nails my entire life, started getting gel every three weeks and feel fab as ever.

  76. Lisa says...

    Continue being awesome. I was awesome last year, and will continue to be so this year.

    And eat less sugar. After 1.5 of pregnancy and then breastfeeding so being able to eat pretty much anything I want, my sugar eating habit is out of control. This is going to be a tough one

    • Lizzie says...

      “Continue being awesome. I was awesome last year, and will continue to be so this year.”

      Best part of this thread :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      agree! love this so much.

  77. Claire says...

    Why would you give up cheese? Are you lactose intolerant? If not, eat as much cheese as you want. Who cares?

    • Amal says...

      Amen!!! :)

  78. After 8 wonderful years as a stay-at-home mom, last year I dipped my pinky toe back into the work pool. This year I want to expand my career goals and learn how to balance my babies with things that fuel my creative fire.

    • Good luck to you! The balance in your life will make you an even better mother. =>

  79. Twyla says...

    I’ve made it a goal to practice more self-care, and not because it’s January, but because I’ve realized it’s something that’s sadly been lacking in my life for the last year.

    • Laura C. says...

      I’m with you sister!
      I would like to change and stop thinking that I can not achieve my dream. Lately I’ve been wondering what is may purpose in life. Today I’m turning 39 and I feel like I have to find a purpose. 18 years ago, before CSI and Sherlock and all those (wonderful) tv series, I wanted to be a criminologist and do some Forensic Science studies. My life has taken me to another path.
      But I have found out that, no matter when, I strongly want to say to my daughters someday, “I am a criminologist”, even without a degree, but I want to do it.
      The main obstacle is money, of course, and time, since I am supposed to study for a public exam, but dear CoJ community, I really do want to do it,
      Thank you Joanna for asking. This is the first time that I am admitting and telling people about my resolution.

  80. Oliver Jeffers and Kirsten Sims are my illustrator crushes. So cool that you get to work around him!!

  81. Emily says...

    My goal this year is to get our house organized and functioning efficiently…we’ve got too much stuff and not enough space for it. So we’re paring things down. I’ve started by throwing out tattered socks and undies that have been clogging our dresser drawers. I already feel so much better!

    • Sophie says...

      What is it that makes throwing out the tattered undies feels so good?! It’s like an ultimate reset for me. Lol.

  82. Amy says...

    I’m trying something different this year – a new resolution every month. I don’t have them all planned out yet; I made a list of things I’d like to practice and I’ll choose one at the start of each month. For January, my goal is to go to bed at 9:30 every night (inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s advice to start getting more sleep before trying to start other habits, since you need the rest to strengthen your willpower!).

    • Sasha says...

      Gretchen Rubin is so great. I’ve learned so many useful life tips from her, especially “15” minutes a day. I printed and put in albums ten years with of digital photos with that plan.

  83. Anna says...

    I loved reading all these comments, and especially liked Dolly Alderton’s aim to ‘keep doing as much good as you can’.

    I made my resolutions a month early this year, and kept them really broad:
    1) be good to myself, others, the environment and animals
    2) seek new experiences
    3) learn and create

    I’ve found that keeping these in my mind has already led to little changes, whether it is saying ‘no’ to a plastic bag at the store (be good to the environment) or trying a new dish at a restaurant (seek new experiences).

  84. Lisa says...

    I started my 2017 resolution in the last quarter of 2016 by removing myself from a few long-term, ongoing volunteer commitments that I felt I “should” do, even though I wasn’t enjoying myself at all. Instead, I started involving myself with a volunteer organization that I whole heartedly enjoy and lend my free time too simply because I “want” to. I haven’t felt this relieved in years.

  85. Lee Leroux says...

    Happy New Year to you ladies , love this post :)

  86. Stephanie says...

    I have had the most success with habitual resolutions. In 2015 I gave up buying magazines (bad for my self image and waste of money) and in 2016 I made my bed every day no exceptions. As simple and mundane as though resolutions were I felt they had a positive impact on my mental health. In 2017 I intend to keep up both of those resolutions and to keep a journal by using the Many Moons workbook.
    Happy New Year everyone!

    • Jenna says...

      I love these! I have such a problem with magazines and yet, I never thought maybe I should just stop buying them. Seems so obvious now that you say it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  87. Jade says...

    My 2017 resolution is to be kind and strong. In every sense of both words. I would also love to have my nails painted more often than not, to read everyday and to eat better in general but to be kind and strong is my focus this year.

    • Lisa says...

      I mean 1.5 years of pregnancy and breastfeeding

  88. Lizzie says...

    Love these! Mine are to start getting up before my kids, figure out how to make my house look like adults live there, and go back to reading real books instead of just using the kindle app.

    Also this won’t be for everyone, but you could try medical marijuana for biting your nails. My husband started taking a high CBD/ low THC version (no “high” at all) for pain after a back injury and out of nowhere he stopped biting his nails and cuticles completely. He was such a bad life-long biter he has big ridges of scar tissue all around his nails. (It’s about as sexy as it sounds).

  89. Lindsey says...

    I love this. I try to make “resolutions” that will better my life, instead of trying to better myself (I save that for April or July, when the sun shines and the world works in my favor. January is an uphill battle.) Here are a few resolutions that don’t make me feel like a failure if I forget them every now and then but have really made life brighter:
    1. But fresh flowers every week
    2. Listen to only “happy” music (“Eight Days a Week,” say, instead of something sad and emotional.)
    3. Light a candle once a day
    4. Wash my sheets with double the fabric softener for the whole year.

    They sound silly, but they add up :)

  90. My closet mantra for the past 10 years has been “black is basic, but navy is chic”.

    • ooooh, I’m adopting this mantra! For me, wearing black is like painting my walls white – because I can’t think of any other options.

  91. Alexandra says...

    Don’t think these are resolutions, but more little things I’d like to do:
    — Continue reading (NOTE: I use the “Reading Challenge” on goodreads.com to set a goal for how many books I hope to read each year); I also added “read my New Yorker, New York magazine subscriptions on a timely basis”
    — Make a monthly donation to organizations I support, both locally and nationally/internationally
    — Watch more TV (NOTE: This sounds counter-productive, but I tend to over-schedule my days. This is a reminder to slow down)

    BONUS: I’m also proud to have accomplished this resolution in 2016: “always ask before taking fries off my boyfriend’s plate”

    • karinny says...

      Great ones! Will adopt the fries one myself :)

    • OK, but you do know don’t you, that fries taken from boyfriends \/significant others plates don’t count calorie wise!

  92. kelly says...

    Embrace who I really am!

    • Laurel says...

      Amen sister. No one loves you like you can.

  93. Elysha says...

    I fee ya on the nail biting. I also had an election relapse. Going back to weekly manicures, the only thing that has ever worked to keep me from biting, is on my list for 2017.

  94. Becks says...

    My resolution is to produce less trash. TrashisforTossers is a good website to check out for ideas! A lot of the changes are pretty easy – switching to reusable produce bags, bringing my own coffee cup, refilling jars for bulk items like grains, spices. A lot of these changes save money too!

    • Emily says...

      Love this.

    • cooper says...

      Cool! I was surprised how easy it was to give up using plastic straws to drink my morning smoothie. Small steps!

    • Sam says...

      Thanks for sharing the website! Producing less waste is a goal for me this year too.

  95. Ursula says...

    Ooh 2016 was the year I broke my lifelong nail biting habit! I wore those glued on acrylic nails for about four months. I physically couldn’t bite my nails and got used to having them at a longer length, just for long enough to make it a habit. It’s been about six months now!!! I’m really hoping it lasts throughout 2017 too.
    Happy New Year lovely Joanna xx

  96. Ashley says...

    Making small improvements to random things you use every day is my number one this year! First up was uniform velvet hangers from Amazon (no more mismatched styles/shapes) and now bringing my knives to get sharpened. Little changes make such a difference :)

    • Sophie says...

      Love this. I’ve been complaining about not getting my knives sharpened for so long; I need to just do it already!

  97. amy says...

    I love the idea of having a book all of the time. I’ve recently started listening to audible and I can get through a book so much faster. I listen to the book when I’m walking, when I’m at the gym, when I’m on the subway and it makes everything go faster. My favorite book as of late was Trevor Noah’s BORN A CRIME. Happy new year everyone! I missed you Joanna and am so glad your blog is back.

  98. Alexia says...

    I am a huge reader and have been looking for a hands free bag big enough to hold a book (because I’m always sad when I don’t have room for my book in my day to day crossbody), yet no so big I feel I’m lugging a weight around town. After much searching, I think I’ve found it! Here is is for anyone looking to make good on that resolution.
    https://www.loandsons.com/camerabag-crossbody
    Lo and Sons tend to have good sales once a month, so I’m waiting for MLK day to pick it up (I figure if no sale then, they’ll at least have one for Valentines).

    • Yulia says...

      Ooh, cool bag! I’m bookmarking it and will wait for a sale too!

  99. Carrie says...

    For some reason, the one about buying your friends flowers made me tear up. Life can be just kinda sucky sometimes. How special and sweet it would be to receive flowers on a hard day. I’m definitely going put that one into practice.

    • Kate says...

      Someone had these shipped to my house, and they arrived on NYE. None of my sweet friends will own up to it! They’re beautiful and exactly what I needed for a little inspiration each day, and perfectly timed after a hard year and lonely season. https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Sexy-Love-Notes-52-Card/dp/1401948286

  100. That photo looks reminds me of the scenes showing “Keep Fit” classes that Trixie teaches in Call the Midwife :)

    This year I want to be more consistent about communicating with my loved ones. I just saw everyone at Christmas, so it feels like a good time to start! We live in a different state from both of our families and are about to move to yet another new state, so many of our friends will be long-distance too. Even if it’s just a quick text or an email with an article I think they would like, I want to reach out more.

  101. I found that this year’s list of goals and resolutions were much shorter than year’s previous. I really focused in and simplified this year. They are as follows:

    Be Mindful //
    Be mindful of what goes in and on my body. Use natural products when possible. Eat healthy more often. Be mindful of digital media consumption (social, news, platforms, negativity). Disengage and disconnect. Be mindful of where money goes. Be mindful of different views and lifestyles/opinions.

    Give More, More Often //
    Donate clothes. Donate to the animal shelter. Tip more generously. Give more time to great causes and passions and less on things that don’t matter. Give more effort at work. Give more hugs to family. Give more time to self care. Just give more…

    Be Positive and Solution Oriented //
    Nag less. Cry less. Complain less. Fight less. Solve more. Do more. Let go more often. Find the silver linings.

    Be Student Loan & Debt Free by 2018 //
    Continue down the road to financial freedom through hard work, a solid budget, and mindful spending/saving.

    Get to the Gym //
    No pressure to lose X pounds. No pressure to run X miles for X minutes. Just get to gym and start. Do what feels right for your body. Fight the mental battles. Just get there.

    • kelly says...

      Great ideas!!! Thanks for sharing this page. I just watched a video about shopping with my own reusable jars. Genius. ?

  102. Jaclyn says...

    Joanna! I got it- keep a manicure on those bad boys. I will not touch painted nails, but if they aren’t perfect, I bite them right off. Good luck! ?

  103. Natalie T. says...

    Great post! Intead of resolutions, I have goals. For me, one of those goals is to read 2 books a month, which adds up to 24 books a year. It’s realistic, do-able and keeps me accountable every month. Thus, I wholeheartedly agree with always carrying a book in your bag. I can’t tell you how much reading I get done on the metro or while waiting in line. Actually, I had a friend who was a half hour late meeting me the other day and I was okay with it because I got through almost 30 pages in my book. So it helps quell that energy and time that could otherwise be wasted.

    As for cheese and biting nails, those can be hard ones to quell (also guilty!) but maybe a 30 day challenge can help. I’ve been considering giving up cheese for 30 days. Maybe I’ll start with 7 days and gradually increase the limitation up to 30 days. What matters is you’re trying to make good changes in your life. Even if you’re not successful all of the time, it still counts that you’re being better at quelling bad habits more than you were before.

    • Yulia says...

      I’ve done all kinds of 30 day challenges before and I cannot underestimate how effective they are in creating/strengthening good habits! In fact, as soon as I finish reading everyone’s comments I’m going to add my own and mention challenges as well. I make a distinction between resolutions and goals too, and like you I also carry a book everywhere I go. I find that I can fit 40 minutes of reading into my regular workday commute!

  104. Katie says...

    Joanna, thank you for this!

    I love the idea of having a few simple and positive resolutions to work towards throughout the year.

    Personally, I would really like to take time to learn some new skills — anything really! I hadn’t planned to, but I left my busy job when my son was born as my husband travels a lot for work. I am now pregnant with our second child and while I love spending this special time with my children (and feel grateful to be able to do so), I have noticed recently I feel a bit lost sometimes being home all day. I used to feel constantly challenged and enjoyed learning new things at my job. Not that parenthood isn’t challenging (is it ever!) and I do learn, but ultimately I miss learning skills and exciting new information from the “real world.”

    I would LOVE a post with perhaps some ideas of ways to learn fun/interesting skills on your own time! Are there any women who can recommend some coding programs or websites they enjoyed, or has anyone had success learning a skill like knitting from youtube? Bonus points if any of these skills could be used to help others or might be needed in a volunteer capacity. Would love to know!!

    • Alexia says...

      ? Hi!
      If you live near a big city, there are always refugee centers that need help. This organization is in a lot of major cities and has cool programs. You can teach the US citizenship test to refugees (you could learn a lot about government in the process!) , help them start a business, etc. Here’s the link:
      https://www.rescue.org
      Also, it could be really cool to learn a foreign language! I’m working on Spanish right now, and it could definitely be something that would be helpful if you wanted to go back to work later. I really recommend El Tiempo Entre Costuras if you want to watch a Spanish show (it’s called the Time in Between in English on Netflix).
      Lastly, I just want to say don’t feel like because you are staying home with the kids means that you’ll have a hard time getting a job later. Yes, it may be more difficult, but my mum stayed home with my brother and I for 15 years and has recently found a new profession she finds exciting! Xoxo

    • I like creativebug.com but I know Joanna has posted another one that is pretty interesting! Also, lynda.com has more technical training and it’s really wonderful!

    • Amy says...

      I too am a stay-at-home mom and understand that while it is definitely challenging in its own right, it can feel numbing too! I did actually teach myself knitting from youtube videos and online tutorials a couple years ago, and now I can knit hats, socks, etc in the round and recently taught myself (with help from good ol’ Google) how to add a second colour for some visual interest :) Everyone has a different learning style so maybe that’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly possible!

    • Kristian says...

      For coding- it is for kids, but I and my husband both really enjoy Scratch and you can do amazing things with it.

      For more “adult” coding, I’ve heard good things about taking classes through Coursea.

    • Mei says...

      Code.org, lightbot, and scratch are super fun intro games/websites/apps to coding. They’re geared towards kids, but everyone needs to start somewhere!

      Skillshare is a great website for learning skills such as painting, photography, web design, etc. I believe they have a deal for a three month trial?

      I’ve been using Duolingo (app) to brush up on my Spanish as well.

    • jd says...

      i learned solid basics through codecademy

  105. I love these ideas. Simple, but effective. One of my resolutions is to be kinder and more thoughtful. And sending flowers to friends fits the bill perfectly.

  106. HBM says...

    So I know this is a little different than ‘breaking’ a bad habit… but about two years ago, I was in church at the beginning of the year and I was new to it. My pastor gave a sermon on habits. He said pointed out that many habits cannot be broken as much as they should be *replaced* with newer, more healthy habits. I promise this relates to your post… :)

    He said to imagine a pitcher of water as your mind. Now, bad habits are like dirty water. You don’t have an option to just dump out the whole pitcher, but instead, try pouring clean water…a little at a time. Eventually, the pitcher is full of clear water. A few things: this takes time + it’s a little tedious + it’s a new habit. I know this sounds a bit different, but it hit me right in the gut!

    I stopped biting my nails because you know what I did? I decided to always have them done because I’d bitten my nails at that point for nearly 26 years! So for two years, my nails have been done. Is it fairly expensive? Sure – $60 a month. But it’s a habit I’ve broken for the most part because it was replaced. And I’m damn proud of myself! There’s nothing failure-esque about you that you can’t quit biting them. You just need to displace that habit with something new.

    This is all to say that while your list is amazing, and I will try to employ nearly all of them this year, I’d encourage you to try and replace bad habits with different ones. And if you fall off the wagon, just hop back on :)

    • Carrie says...

      I love all of that!

    • Anu says...

      I’m the exact same way! I don’t bite my nails when I get them done, so I did that consistently for a while. Unfortunately, when we moved I also moved further away from my favorite salon, and haven’t found one to quite replace it yet, so I fell out of the habit of doing my nails too! Need to get back on that, my nails look terrible, and that’s the one thing that has worked.

    • Melody says...

      Thank you for this. Im going to try it. Like really try it.

  107. Teree says...

    Mine is to be calm. I have let myself get wrapped up and wild about everything, big or small. And you know, there is always going to be SOMETHING, so I might as well be calm about it.

    • Carrie says...

      That’s one of mine also! I’ve come to realize that I tune out my body during stressful times at work, and when I do a kind of inventory of how I feel I’ll then notice how tense my chest is and that I’ve basically been holding my breath all day. Once I fully exhale, it feels as though a weight has lifted both emotionally and physically. I’m starting there- with more deliberate inhaling/exhaling! Who’ve thought?

  108. Alyssa says...

    I love reading everyone’s comments :) I am excited about my new year’s resolutions this year because I feel empowered and joyful about them, instead of weighed down/like I am trying to completely change myself.
    I have no idea where I read it, but I read something about someone picking a “theme” for each year as their resolution. This year, mine is “perseverance”. I have a tendency to shy away of things that are challenging and difficult, and I am hoping keeping this word in mind will help me push through.
    My other big resolution is just to enjoy life more. I suffer from really severe depression and am in a very stressful place in my life (end of grad school, massive debt, no job) so I am trying to focus on the small things that make me feel grateful.
    Oh, and losing ten pounds.. my reward for which will be a pair of Outdoor Voices leggings!

    • Elizabeth says...

      I’m doing a “theme”, too! And also finishing my PhD. You can do it!!

  109. I have my goals for this year divided into the 6 dimensions of wellness (social, intellectual, physical, occupational, spiritual, and emotional). Intellectual is my favorite because of all of the reading, gardening, cooking and art ideas I love to work on. Dividing the goals this way helps me maintain a balance. Some of my favorite goals this year are to bake 12 loaves of bread (one each month), complete a 12 inch embroidery project, start a compost, schedule more play dates for my daughter, and limit meat/sugar to special occasions! A new year is so exciting!

    • Hillary says...

      I do something similar with physical, emotional, financial, professional and new horizons. I have a chart with them going back to 2010 when I started.

  110. I’ve struggled to come up with resolutions this year. I always set lofty goals, and then feel overwhelmed (as if day to day life isn’t overwhelming enough) so this year I’m working on ways to simplify. The single best decision I’ve made so is deactivating my Facebook account. I thought I would miss it, but for the most part I’ve felt so free! I get news only when I seek it out, I don’t have to know the political opinions of a weird kid I knew in third grade and haven’t seen since, etc. I do have the occasional pang of missing out, but it’s been eye opening to see how much time it was taking away from my real life.

    The other things I hope to do; decluttering and making my house feel like a retreat, are already feeling overwhelming. I’m 12 weeks pregnant with my third baby and not feeling well at all, and I know that starting in July newborn chaos with ensue, so I’m really doing my best to just chill and not be too hard on myself. If I accomplish anything this year, I’ll be happy!

    • kelly says...

      I am a regular purge the facebook kind of woman. And, i don’t accept every friend request if it’s from a person I don’t want to actually be FRIENDS with. Also, I log off every day before 7 pm. No nightly ruminations of who is doing what with whom and the self loathing social media design to me too often. For the new year, I’m stepping it up. I’ve deleted the app from my home screen. If for I’m so interested, I have to search for the app and log in. Those few extra steps are helping. But, it’s only January 3. Way to go for YOU!!

    • Colleen S says...

      Decluttering is huge! I also deactivated my Facebook account, and I feel so much better. I used to veg out with Facebook and then feel bad after spending 30 minutes, not enjoyed or productive. And cleaning the house feels great too. We’re taking the tree down today and donating one toy for every new toy that my kids received at Christmas. My goal is to do this without tears. :/

      Hopefully you will start feeling well during your pregnancy…maybe in the second trimester? Those were my favorite times! XX

  111. Jessica says...

    This year I reflected instead of making resolutions. This was the list:
    -2016 I’m most proud of ____ (this one was really hard for me so I’ve decided to make some goals for 2017)
    -2016 I struggled most with ____
    -2016 I’m grateful for _____
    -2016 I changed in this way____
    Reflecting helped me look forward in a different way and think about the year to come with a clean slate and open heart.

    • allison says...

      I love this!

    • I love this! It certainly makes you think about things in a new way.

    • Lisa says...

      Agree that this is great!!

    • Alice says...

      Love this! Doing it myself.
      Jo, there’s a post in this I reckon…

  112. Ah, those tips shared were pretty great. I really and truly never considered how much of a butthole my kitchen garbage can is. Also–I hate the gym and started walking more last year, counting my steps with my iphone. It’s the best! Thanks for sharing :)

  113. Allison says...

    my resolution this year is to play more with my kids (instead of doing all the chores I want/need to do.) I know one day i’ll really miss hearing “mommy come play with me!” so I better take advantage now. the dishes can wait!

    • kelly says...

      Awesome!!!!

    • Carrie says...

      That’s a really special one! I’m excited for your kiddos too, what fun memories they’ll get to make with you!

  114. Lauren says...

    One of the resolutions I am most excited to try to achieve in 2017 is to keep my iPhone out of my bedroom. As much as I like reading the NYT on my phone when I get in bed, I am sure that the bright screen does not help me fall asleep soundly. I also have a bad habit of checking my email and instagram as soon as my alarm goes off in the morning. In an effort to make my resolution easy and enjoyable to keep, I just ordered a fancy wake-up light and am super excited try it out! Waking up to sunrise simulation and calming sounds should (hopefully) be a treat :)

    • kelly says...

      Great ideas! I just started turning the airport/airplane mode on at night. I’m enjoy g falling asleep without the bells and alarms. And, i get up, brush my teeth etc before logging on.

  115. One of the best I’ve heard: I have a friend of a friend who resolved to walk an intentional mile every single day of 2016 (so like, not just in accumulative steps throughout the day, but a mile for the sake of a mile), and succeeded.

    • I love this but I also make weather my loop-hole! gah!!

  116. I recently heard the phrase “Done is fun.” I seem to procrastinate more often than not because I dread whatever it is (clean out the boys’ closets and give away too-small items = tears because they’re growing up so fast!) or because I don’t think I have enough time (throw out the smelly flowers and wash the vase = at least 30 minutes, RIGHT?!). But “done is fun” kind of takes care of both of those excuses. My New Year’s resolution is to just get it done… and have the fun of the satisfaction of getting it done. :)

    • Katie says...

      I love this so much!!! I’ve never heard it before and somehow over the past few years I’ve become a master procrastinator (I was a little shame-faced this weekend when the “massive task” of vacuuming all the stairs at our new home only took about five minutes….and I’d been putting it off a month).
      Thank you for sharing :)

  117. Yes! Especially the celebrating achievements one. I actually just finished this *incredible* book I think every woman should read, called Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. Near the end, she offers this piece of advice, which I immediately sent to my girlfriends:
    “Think of one thing that you’re prod of that you’ve accomplished today, this week, or this year. Feel your accomplishment fully. Take it in, until it’s more than just intellectual knowledge. Take yourself right into your heart. If we can’t feel good about our skills and accomplishments, no one else can, either. Find a few friends you can brag with…Send each other emails regularly, bragging about how wonderful and skillful you are–and what you’re most proud of. Recognizing that you are exhausted and choosing to spend a day resting is something to be proud of, too.”

    I just love that!

  118. I’m convinced nail biting is the result of being a great writer. Or, at least, being a writer. I’m hoping since you’re a great writer, and I’m a writer that this is somehow related.

  119. Anna says...

    I renew, goal set, and resolve with the spring solstice! It is naturally a very energized time and way easier to catalyze “new life” in the Spring rather than the dead of Winter. I also make it a point to flow with the moons phases each month (encourages personal elevation on the regular.)

    Last year I did give up drinking on New Years because l made a deal with my dad if he would give up sodas (mt. dew every day kinda guy ?) I wouldn’t drink and it was a healthy practice for both of us to dedicate ourselves to.

    Do give the the Spring time resolution a try though!!

    • Amanda says...

      I do this too! I start doing a lot of inner reflect on the new year, but I start to put the resolutions and new goals into action during the spring solstice.

      I also go with the moon phases in a similar way, but more so about where my menstrual cycle is during the moon phases. For example, I try to take it very easy during the weekend near my period (lots of self care, etc), and the weekend closest to my ovulation I try to make the most active. It helps me feel less overwhelmed in a more personal way. ?

  120. I hold with the book comment. As a commuter my kindle is my companion. I was given a cheese making kit for Xmas. Yes. So I will be eating cheese. Someone will have to.

  121. I made a lot of HUGE changes in 2016, so my goal for this year is to be content and focus on the little things. In January my goals are to whiten my teeth, fall back into our “normal” routines and go to church and breakfast on Sundays with my little family.

  122. Just watched the doc “Minimalism” on Netflix. It’s great, and my husband and I are committed to consuming less in 2017 (+ forever!). This is especially difficult for me since I work in fashion, but I’m refreshed by the challenge! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for the rec! looking forward to checking it out.

    • I watched this last week and loved it! I recommend the episode of the Rich Roll podcast with Joshua Fields Millburn if you haven’t heard it already.

    • Jamie says...

      I watched Minimalism last week– then spent three wonderful days cleaning every closet, drawer and cupboard in my apt. I got rid of about 60% of my belongings, donating as much as I could to those who need it. I feel lighter, organized and ready to take on the year!

  123. allison says...

    For the past decade I’ve had the same resolution: Be More Generous. It helps me say yes to volunteering my time to local non-profits, supporting friends when they need some extra love, attention, or a set of hands, and being more focused on doing positive things for my partner.

    My birthday is in February, and right around that week each year I write a list of things that I want to do during that year. Some of them end up being slightly “resolutiony” but more often than not they are places that I want to visit, experiences in my city, skills to learn, and fun home projects to complete. I often feel that I can’t focus on resolutions when I’m fresh off the holidays, so giving myself another month to sort things out before diving in helps me.

  124. heather says...

    I’m so glad you’re back, Joanna! :-)

    This year I came up with a very specific “to do” list, all of which contribute to my overall life goals for myself. Like, mark time on my calendar now to be able to take off one full day from work for each of my three kids, and spend that entire day just with that one kid. And, have 5 museum/garden lunches, i.e., lunches where instead of sitting at my desk, I walk to one of the many free museums or gardens in DC. I feel like a check list of actual tasks will be more gratifying than identifying a change I want to make in myself that I may not be able to stick to.

    Also, loved this NYT piece from Jennifer Weiner about New Year’s Revolution:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/31/opinion/sunday/try-a-new-years-revolution.html

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, these are amazing, heather! “mark time on my calendar now to be able to take off one full day from work for each of my three kids, and spend that entire day just with that one kid” = LOVE this.

    • Alyssa says...

      Thanks so much for sharing Jennifer Weiner’s op-ed, she is amazing and it totally made me cry.

  125. Kate Toussaint says...

    My goal this year it to have more fun. I had our 2nd baby a year ago and last year was about survival. This year- more fun!

    • Jessica says...

      Same! Second baby on Jan 4th meant that 2016 was all about survival.

    • Alice says...

      Me too! 2nd son was a February baby. Feel like I’m just resurfacing!

  126. Christine says...

    My goals this year are all small changes that will help me enjoy life more and feel better:
    – drink more water
    – stretch more frequently (ideally every day but at least every other day)
    – procrastinate less
    – get my apartment organized and my storage set up better

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i never (ever) remember to stretch, but you’re right, you feel so good for a long time afterward.

  127. Cora says...

    The last few years I’ve focused on a word for the year rather than a resolution. The word for this year is: consistent. I want to be consistent in my healthy eating, exercise, and self-care. I always start off strong and peter out, so staying consistent will be a great goal for me.

    As an aside, I always much prefer navy to black. It’s classic, and warm, rather than the harshness of black.

    • I am also a strong starter, Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better than Before, has changed my life… strongly recommend.

  128. 1. Cut out added sugar. I already make all our meals from scratch, but it can get into surprising ingredients. Dessert on Saturday is allowed.
    2. Smile at strangers.
    3. Move more. My new FitBit is keeping me motivated (at least it’s dissolving any illusions I had about how much I have been doing).

  129. Meredith says...

    Just wanted to endorse the trash can you linked to—I struggled spending $100 on a trash can, but I bought it 3 years ago and it is GREAT. Dog can’t get into it, it has little tabs on the sides to keep the lid open when you want it to, doesn’t take up too much space: basically, perfect.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha i agree! we have the same one and it’s the best.

    • We registered for an earlier simplehuman model trash can when we got married over a decade ago and it is still going strong! Crazy.

  130. Celeste says...

    I looove the idea of celebrating friends’ achievements with flowers! Such a thoughtful way to show them you’re in their corner. <3

    Also, I started always carrying my Kindle because it's so small! I have short stories and poetry on it so there's always something to read and finish in whatever bits of time I have available.

  131. Erin W says...

    I’m trying to write things down as they happen more often, particularly my thoughts about things. I always like looking back at them and I feel like it can also be therapeutic, but I rarely make time to do it in the moment.

    • Chloe says...

      Hiya Erin,

      I bought this lovely little memory-notebook that I bought 2 years ago from Oliver Bonas called “one line a day”. Most nights, I write up all the things that happened during the day in a few words. It’s a sweet way of finishing the day and the bonus is that you see what you were doing last year on that same day!

      Happy new year to everyone,

      Chloe from Scotland

  132. This year I’m commuted to creating self-practices. I’m hoping to incorporate yoga and meditation into my daily life. Consistently. I plan to use the apps Down Dog (yoga) and Headspace ( mediation). It might seem counter intuitive to use your phone for such calming exercises but it takes away the roadblocks such as cost (yoga) and lack of knowledge (meditation). Here’s to sticking to it!

  133. Allison says...

    This year’s resolution is to use reusable shopping bags at the grocery store! It’s something I’ve been diligent about in the past, but really lost my discipline recently. Even using reusable shopping bags once a week would greatly decrease the number of thin plastic grocery bags I’m taking home.

    • Lauren E. says...

      To help you achieve this, here’s a tip that really helped me: fold a bag up as small as it’ll go and leave it in the bottom of your purse (if you have room for a lipstick, you have room for a folded bag). I found I was most guilty of not using reusable bags when I made an unplanned trip to the grocery store so now I always have one!

  134. Em says...

    This is not really a resolution, but something I’ve been working on for the past few months. I’m a scatter-brained mess, particularly at work. I’m awful at multi-tasking but keep doing it anyways, I procrastinate, and I struggle to focus when stressed. It’s getting in the way of my performance at work so I’ve been implementing three things to work on it: 1) I’ve started meditating for 20 minutes per day which is hard but really rewarding, 2) I’ve quit browsing social media Mon-Fri, saving it only for weekends, and 3) I’m using the pomodoro technique at work, which is a simple productivity timer. Number 2 is so far the most helpful of all; it’s pretty scary to confront how scatter-brained constant Instagram scrolling has made me and how instantaneously I reach for my phone during any lull.

    • Sasha says...

      Thank you for the inspiration!

  135. Hazel says...

    This year, I’m trying one resolution/intention a month. Still planning each one (I’m noticing the tendency to want to do them all in January). But, I think one focus a month is more attainable. Some may stick!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that.

  136. cooper says...

    My only resolution for the year is to consistently use my new “bullet journal” – I recently discovered the trend and am hoping the “habit tracker” pages will help me adopt and stick to all kinds of good habits, like doing more yoga, drinking nutrient-packed smoothies, and reading more books!

  137. I have a friend who makes New Year Revolutions instead of resolution. Her thought is that rather than focusing on everything you find negative about yourself, find your inner power and passion to make positive revolutions in your life and others.

  138. Brianna says...

    Yes to carrying a book! I gave up Facebook/Insta the Sunday after Thanksgiving and it’s been glorious. My reading has already increased. My Apple TV died at 3 this morning in a flash of white (you know how people say they see a white light when they have a near death experience? Yeah, it was just like that), so I figure my reading will increase even more now that I can only watch Netflix on the iPad or the living room TV.

  139. Lauren E. says...

    This year my “resolution” is to embrace my diet/exercise cycle for the year. In January I commit to eating healthier, I inevitably fail miserably in the doldrums of March, pick up those healthy habits again during bathing suit season, and give up completely when holiday treats start appearing everywhere in November. My weight will always fluctuate 3-5 pounds and this year, I am resolving to be okay with that.

  140. SN says...

    Guitar lessons with my husband! Wish us luck :-)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how fun!

  141. michaela says...

    I haven’t made any specific resolutions this year, but for the last few years I’ve made a list of about ten things I wanted to focus on that year. I saved all my lists in my Google Docs and I read through them again yesterday. It was really interesting to see which of my resolutions ended up being unimportant to me, and which became central themes in my life. For example, back in 2014 I resolved to spend more time learning things in the kitchen — I didn’t feel like I totally nailed it that year, but now, cooking is a hobby of mine and my skills have improved so much! And apparently, keeping a skincare routine is something I’ve struggled with year after year. :)

  142. I love making resolutions. Even if I don’t expect myself to keep them, it feels good to sit down and think of all the ways I’ll make myself better this year.

    http://objectsicantafford.com/

  143. These are so great. I’m not a resolution type of person, but I try to make incremental improvements. I love the podcast/walking idea. I’m hooked on listening to podcasts while cleaning. Makes it so much more bearable. :)

  144. Amy Madeline says...

    I appreciate the reminder to walk more! That’s the resolution that combines all my intentions of greater connection to my neighborhood, being kinder to myself, and taking better care of my body into one better habit.

    • I love this, Amy! These intentions are lovely. xo

  145. Mom of Boys says...

    Jo! Happy new year! I always have the same resolution, actually it is a daily mantra: Be good to my body and challenge my brain, be a good mom and a good wife. Do at least one thing nice for my husband and my kids everyday.

    As for nail biting–I was a chronic nail biter until I went to college and joined a water polo team. The officials made you cut your fingernails so that no white was showing. That stopped my nail biting forever. Keeping very, very, very short nails was the only solution. My youngest son bites his nails and we’ve tried Mavala Stop and nail painting and everything. The only thing that seems to work is weekly nail trimming, so no white is showing…. Hope it helps!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for this!

  146. My resolution is to ‘do the right work.’ I’ve put off important things, like finding a job I love, in favor of doing what’s already right in front of me if I like it okay.