It’s February: 5 Women on Whether They Kept Their Resolutions

Checking in after month numero uno!

02.01.17
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In the end of 2016 (remember 2016? omg) we asked a bunch of women if they’d be so brave as to share their New Year’s resolutions with all of us and then — cue low-grade panic — let us track their successes and failures publicly. This probably sounds like the awake kind of nightmare to most people. It might have even seemed as such to the five women who said yes. But they volunteered anyway, bless their brave hearts (no copyright Mel Gibson).

If you saw our kick-off last month, you’ll recall that Andrea wanted to start vlogging daily, Jasmine wanted to complete a novel by the end of the year, Tyler wanted to save more money, Isabel wanted to read for 30 minutes a night and Lucille wanted to exercise three times a week. In the slideshow above, I’ve checked in with all of them to see how things went after month one. Read through and join me in cheering them on until we reconvene in March!


Andrea Raymer
Andrea is 25 and a freelance graphic designer and art director. She lives in New York City. Visit her YouTube channel here.

Andrea Raymer Andrea is 25 and a freelance graphic designer and art director. She lives in New York City. What's your 2017 resolution? This year I am going to start daily vlogging. Eek. How do you plan to track this? I am going to start an actual YouTube channel and attempt to post a video every day of my not-so-exciting life. Why did you pick this resolution? One of my very close friends moved to Texas at the beginning of the summer and she and I have done a lot of weird things to keep in touch, like a weekly Skype book club. We used to Snapchat back and forth constantly throughout the day. It started to not be long enough so I would film myself "vlogging" instead and text her the video. In December, when the YouTube world was doing Vlogmas, I joked about actually starting a channel for her to watch. I am also a freelancer and have been trying to come up with ways to keep myself "working" when I am not booked on a job. This seems like a good way to force myself to do something creative every day. I hope that constantly watching myself will help me feel more comfortable in my own skin. Have you set resolutions in the past? I usually do the normal "eat better, exercise more" resolutions but I never make it past my birthday on the 23rd. I always cheat because it is my own personal holiday and then I never get back to it. Last year, I tried to pray the rosary every day because my grandfather got my entire family (all 35 of us) rosaries made from flowers from my grandmother's funeral, but I gave up in March when I went out of town and forgot to bring the rosary with me. How do you think this is going to go? I tend to be better at doing things when other people are holding me accountable, so it might not be too bad. I never used to do my homework in school because I was only hurting myself. But if someone else was involved, I would overachieve.

Her January 1st answer to: “What’s your 2017 resolution?”

This year I am going to start daily vlogging. Eek.

Hi! January is over. How did you first month go overall?

The first month has gone really well! Though I have been a little overwhelmed at times.

Did you stick with your resolution? Where did you fail versus succeed?

I have made a video every single day so far! Some are better than others. I definitely need to learn to manage my time better in order to keep this going. I have had some great things come out of it, though. I actually got paid to work on a video project with one of my friends and have some other projects in the works.

How are you feeling about it? What have you learned?

Honestly, I’ve fallen a bit behind with editing and it feels like all I ever do. I’ve made a couple bigger videos (for example, my Women’s March video) and I’m a bit overwhelmed with the work I gave myself.

I’ve definitely learned a lot. I’m getting much better at video editing, for one. I also am getting much more comfortable with myself. At first I absolutely HATED looking at my face and hearing my voice on camera. I was always so embarrassed just editing a video by myself in a dark room, but after 31 days I’ve really learned how to be okay with myself and my appearance while editing. I wasn’t expecting that.

I still feel like I have so much to learn, though, and I have been asking literally anyone I meet that knows even a little bit about video and vlogging and YouTube for advice.

Having lived with it for a month, would you change the terms of it if you could?

Honestly, I wish I had started off slower. On the flip side, though, I think I would have a harder time sticking with it if it wasn’t an everyday thing. Procrastination kills my dreams.


Lucille Wenegieme
Lucille is 26 and a digital engagement strategist. She lives in Denver, CO.

Lucille Wenegieme Lucille is 26 and a digital engagement strategist. She lives in Denver, CO. What's your 2017 resolution? To exercise regularly and make a habit of it, finally. How do you plan to track this? My goal is three times a week. That way I have some flexibility and it's doable. Why did you pick this resolution? I was active in sports through high school and college, but never considered myself "sporty." I worked retail for awhile and got my steps in on the sales floor, but since starting a desk job I haven't been nearly as consistent as I'd like. I'm super-intimidated by fitspo and CrossFit, and I've never seen myself as a fitness person, but exercise does give me more energy and make me feel more accomplished, so let's go 2017! Have you set resolutions in the past? Yes. And then I forget about them by springtime. My last fitness push was at the end of last summer. I started to feel sluggish and I tried a spin class near my apartment. One 45-minute class, two days of crotch pain. How do you think this is going to go? I think it'll be really hard to keep it going, especially on weeks that I'm busy and in the winter months when it's too cold to go for a run outside. But I think when I do it and get it down, I'll love myself for it.

Her January 1st answer to: “What’s your 2017 resolution?”

To exercise regularly and make a habit of it, finally. My goal is three times a week. That way I have some flexibility and it’s doable.

Hi! January is over. How did you first month go overall?

January was a difficult month overall. I dove headfirst into a career change. I moved from doing digital communications work for politically active non-profits to taking evening classes to becoming a database administrator. I also moved into a new apartment and turned 26. January was a pretty full month!

Did you stick with your resolution? Where did you fail versus succeed?

I have stuck with my resolution so far! The first week I wasn’t off to a great start due to a sinus infection that left me bedridden for a few days, but then the first resolution article came out and so many friends offered to help me with it! (I even went to a yoga class with a girl I didn’t know too well before and it totally kickstarted our friendship!) Moving into a building with a gym has been a godsend for my resolution. More than half of the battle is getting up and getting started, so it makes it a hell of a lot easier to wake up, throw on my gym kit and head downstairs. The gym is small but it totally gets the job done since I’m not doing anything fancy.

The timing is also good because so many gyms and fitness centers have New Year offers and birthday offers, which I’ve taken advantage of (one yoga, one cycle, and gonna do a barre class tomorrow!). The freebies have definitely helped make it fun.

How are you feeling about it? What have you learned?

I’ve noticed the difference in energy on days I exercise versus days I don’t. I’m more energetic, I think faster and feel less foggy. The days I don’t exercise, I tend to feel like shit. If it’s a day I planned to exercise but didn’t, I feel doubly like shit for having failed.

I’ve learned that having set days of the week when I exercise is helpful because when I don’t, it gets relegated to three days in a row which doesn’t work that well for my schedule. Going forward, I think trying to stick to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule will be best.

Having lived with it for a month, would you change the terms of it if you could?

I set a realistic goal and am looking forward to adding in different forms of exercise once it gets warmer and I can do things I enjoy like playing outside and incorporating more fun.


Isabel Sanoja
Isabel is 22 and works in digital media. She was raised in the Dominican Republic and has been living in New York City for the past four years.

Isabel Sanoja Isabel is 22 and works in digital media. She was raised in the Dominican Republic and has been living in New York City for the past four years. What's your 2017 resolution? My resolution is to dedicate 30 minutes every night to a book, whichever one I’m reading at the moment, in the hope that I’ll read two books a month (and improve my crappy sleeping habits along the way). How do you plan to track this? I want to get ready for bed 30 minutes before I usually would, set my alarm for the next day, cut all social media interaction and cellphone usage, and read for 30 minutes. Since I want to make sure I read two books per month, I’m also mentally preparing for having to read on the crowded L train during my commute, or for an hour or two on Sundays. Why did you pick this resolution? I’ve always enjoyed reading, but it’s become increasingly difficult for me to complete a book. When I was in school I was constantly reading interesting psych or history books. Ever since I graduated, I haven’t been dedicating enough time to it (thank you, Netflix). Most books I start become boring or hard to follow. I’ve also been trying to minimize the hours I spend on my phone at night and think this will help. Have you set resolutions in the past? I have. Some I completed successfully, others I forgot within a week. Once I quit drinking for a whole year. And, although it wasn’t exactly a New Year's resolution -- more of a crazy-night-out-turned-disastrous resolution -- it’s something I’m very proud of. But then again, I also decided I would lose 23 pounds this year and instead I gained four. You win some, you lose some. How do you think this is going to go? I have high hopes about this. Consistency is key, and hopefully reading every night will start to feel more like a habit after the first few weeks. If I’m being completely honest, the added pressure of sharing my resolution with the MR community will probably help, too. I want to be realistic and admit that I won’t read for 30 minutes after going out on a Friday night, so I’m officially declaring Fridays my day off.

Her January 1st answer to: “What’s your 2017 resolution?”

My resolution is to dedicate 30 minutes every night to a book, whichever one I’m reading at the moment, in the hope that I’ll read two books a month (and improve my crappy sleeping habits along the way).

Hi! January is over. How did you first month go overall?

Hi! It’s going well. I’ve read two books and have stuck with reading 30 minutes every night (at least on weeknights), which is great. But I’ve also had to come to terms with the fact that I am a slow reader and that I should’ve started reading this much a long time ago.

Did you stick with your resolution? Where did you fail versus succeed?

I did, but I had to make a couple of changes as the first month progressed. Let’s just say it’s really hard to read after going out on a Saturday night, so I’m declaring Saturday nights off, too. Does that count as cheating? I hope not!

I failed at going to bed earlier. I’ve found that most nights I end up getting into bed as late as I was before, which means I’ve been getting less sleep now due to the reading. I’ll work on that for next month!

How are you feeling about it? What have you learned?

I’m feeling motivated. It’s been really fun getting amazing book recommendations and deciding which books I’ll read next. MR has great book recommendations! Also, my sister recommended the website Girls at Library, which features inspiring women talking about their latest reads (highly recommend!).

I’ve learned that crappy sleeping habits are hard to break. Who knew! I’ve also learned that it’s really easy to put off things you have to do, but is really rewarding when you actually pull through and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Having lived with it for a month, would you change the terms of it if you could?

Yes, I would! An MR community member suggested that, if reading for 30 minutes straight ever became difficult, I should try to set a specific amount of pages to read every day instead. Looking back, it may have been an easier way to track my progress.


Jasmine Afia
Jasmine is 25, a trainee lawyer and style blogger. She lives in London.

Jasmine Afia Jasmine is 25, a trainee lawyer and style blogger. She lives in London. What's your 2017 resolution? To complete a novel by the end of the year. How do you plan to track this? I originally told myself I'd get up early every morning before work and write for hour, but remembered my adoration for the snooze button and got real. My plan now is to spend about an hour every Saturday afternoon and/or Sunday evening in front of my laptop and try to write something -- anything -- until I have enough words on screen to be able to officially call what I've drafted a "novel." Google tells me this is around 70,000. *cries in Spanish* Why did you pick this resolution? As cheesy as this sounds, I've always known I wanted to write. I was the kid who would scribble sentences in crayon on the walls of my parents' home (although is "that kid" really a thing? Was it just me?) and then at secondary school, would genuinely look forward to talking about sentences for an hour in class. I spent a very chilled-out three years studying English language and literature at university and used up most of my student loan on Oxford classics (instead of cheap alcohol like everyone else in their early twenties). After obsessing over Zadie Smith for the millionth time, I thought to myself, I read so many of these things so why not write my own? I'm hoping I can stop talking about it and just do it -- no matter how crappy or awesome it may turn out. Have you set resolutions in the past? I have, but it usually goes one of two ways. I'll either commit to something and then do the total opposite (last January I swore I'd take up fewer side projects and focus on my day job and my blog, but somehow ended up flirting with DJing/Italian lessons/graphic design/coding by December) or I'll make a resolution and then totally forget about it by mid-February. So this should be interesting. How do you think this is going to go? Well, the good news is that I won't be starting from scratch. The novel that I want to write currently consists of one paragraph that I wrote last June when I was off work after ripping my Achilles tendon (long story). Anyway, that paragraph has been gathering digital dust on my MacBook ever since, so I feel like I need a gentle kick up the behind to finish what I started. Tough love and all that.

Her January 1st answer to: “What’s your 2017 resolution?”

To complete a novel by the end of the year.

Hi! January is over. How did you first month go overall?

It’s February already? Seriously? The first month of this year was pretty hectic for me as I was traveling quite a bit in the first week and then moved to Belgium for work after that. But overall I think I did okay.

Did you stick with your resolution? Where did you fail versus succeed?

Yes and no. I failed to find the time on the weekends to sit and write in the way I thought I would (at least two hours cross-legged in front of my laptop, glasses on, cup of tea by my side, the works) due to all the moving. That said, the plane and train journeys were actually great for getting some writing done on my phone or laptop, so I’d say I had a bit of success through that. Plus, one of the positive things to have come out of moving to a new city and not knowing anyone is that I’ve had my evenings totally free to write before bed.

One very short paragraph has now become a few thousand words, so I’m pretty pleased with that, even if it wasn’t in the structured way that I’d originally imagined!

How are you feeling about it? What have you learned?

I feel good about it! Once I started to get into writing, it felt like less of a resolution (which has the potential of being broken or forgotten) and more of an exciting task. I’ve learned that accountability really works (thank you, MR!) but I’ve also realized just how much I love being inside of my own head and making up random stuff and putting it into sentences for fun.

I expected this to feel like a burden, but I’m seriously enjoying it (so much so that if and when I do eventually make friends in this town, I might be tempted to blow off plans for nights in with my laptop).

Having lived with it for a month, would you change the terms of it if you could?

I think I already have, inadvertently. But my new system of spending a small amount of time every day because I want to — instead of waiting until the end of the week because I’ve told myself I have to — works much better for me and is perhaps more sustainable over a longer period of time.


Tyler Coffin
Tyler is 23 and works at Ralph Lauren. She’s a recent Texas transplant living in New York City.

Tyler Coffin Tyler is 23 and works at Ralph Lauren. She's a recent Texas transplant living in New York City. What's your 2017 resolution? To save more money! How do you plan to track it? I have mini goals for every month. January: Evaluate my current financial situation. Write up a budget and use it, for god’s sake. Categorize all expenditures and sources of income and start tracking everything. February: After I begin this new job, open a new bank account and get my first credit card to start building credit. March: Get my taxes in order for 2016. Have everything ready to be sent by March 31! April: Time for spring cleaning. Cut unnecessary expenses from my life. I don’t need to spend so much in the clothing category every month! May: Start contributing to my retirement fund. Get my 401k in order at work and start contributing monthly! June: Re-evaluate everything at the halfway point. Are my savings growing? Have I been able to pay bills on time? How are student loan payments going? Get my sh*t together. July: Start a rainy day fund. I should eventually have one full year’s worth of expenses covered. August: Set some attainable long-term goals for future savings. New apartment by next year? Save. House by 2022? Save. Sailboat by the time I'm 40? YOU GOTTA SAVE, BITCH. September: Better start saving for Christmas! If I'm smart, I’ll even start shopping the sales for Christmas presents now. October: Save money on food by planning balanced meals and grocery shopping one to two times per week. I can do it. Seriously. November: (If I’ve finished buying Christmas gifts) start a vacation fund. It never hurts to actually have a separate amount saved up for travel! Also: start thinking about investment planning, and stick that on the 2018 budget. December: Evaluate the situation again. Edit the 2018 budget to allow for those long-term goals. Why did you pick this resolution? I've never been good with money. What I'm great at is setting abstract boundaries for myself and then just totally ignoring them. I wanted to set 12 goals so that I constantly have something to be working on in 2017, rather than just the general idea that I need to be saving money for retirement. This also seemed to be the most trackable goal that would benefit me in the future. Sure, I could (and should) exercise more, but I need to get my finances in order... hopefully before 2018. Have you set resolutions in the past? I’ve set a few resolutions before, but never anything this trackable. How do you think this will go? I think I’ve got a fair chance of doing really well if I can just keep myself on track! Regardless of whether or not I "succeed,” I’ll be in a better place financially by the end of 2017 for just trying.

Her January 1st answer to: “What’s your 2017 resolution?”

To save more money!

In January: Evaluate my current financial situation. Write up a budget and use it, for god’s sake. Categorize all expenditures and sources of income and start tracking everything.

Hi! January is over. How did you first month go overall?

According to my goal for January, the first month went well. I made a budget and I’ve set it all up in a spreadsheet and with the Mint app, but I’m still having trouble with my list of goals (listed here in round one!) as an annual whole. We’ll see how they change in the coming months. Overall, I’m counting this month as a success.

Did you stick with your resolution? Where did you fail versus succeed?

I did stick with the resolution! I wrote the budget. Sticking to the budget, however, has proved to be a little tougher.

How are you feeling about it? What have you learned?

I knew this would be hard, but I don’t know that I was prepared to feel shitty about my finances all the time, as opposed to the usual twice-a-month situation I’d fallen into before. I have to keep telling myself that it’s a work in progress. That if I keep prioritizing saving money, it’ll become more natural to me. I definitely feel good about this process, though. I know it’s important to keep on top of this, even if it hurts (especially if it hurts).

I’m seeing now that I absolutely hate my cell phone company and that my student loan payments aren’t going to get any easier. Taxes suck. I budgeted for taxes and still somehow came out with less net pay than I thought I would. All of those things were a lot easier to ignore when I wasn’t watching my bank statements like a guard dog.

Having lived with it for a month, would you change the terms of it if you could?

Having lived with it for a month, I think I’m going to change the terms going forward. Instead of spending February opening a new bank account and my first credit card, I’d like to make my goal a little more attainable and a lot more practical: Save money by not going out to eat during the week.

That means bringing my lunch to work, drinking office coffee only, no dinners out or Seamless and weekend food spending kept to an absolute minimum.

We’ll push the credit card payments off the table…for now.

Illustrations by Maria Jia Ling Pitt; follow her on Instagram @heysuperstar.

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  • Teresa

    My February resolution is the exact same as Tyler’s. I evaluated my monthly spending yesterday and realized just how much buying food and coffee is costing me. So February is the month of bringing my lunch and coffee everyday from home. Solidarity, sister!

    Also, my own resolution is to make my bed everyday. Most surprising part so far (other than the fact that I’ve actually been doing it)? It’s easier to make your bed when you made it the days before because the sheets aren’t so haphazard… Is this adulthood?

    • Chillipeppa

      I’ve made my bed everyday. I never leave it unmade. Its not that I’m a tidy-freak, I just imagine being ill or having an accident and going to hospital and having to send someone to my house to fetch my toothbrush & things. They’d be horrified at an unmade bed and would think I’m such a slob

      • Teresa

        I have a friend who said the exact same thing to me!! She keeps her house immaculate in case something happens because she doesn’t want anyone to think she’s a slob if she’s gone. So funny.

    • belle

      I make my bed daily because it makes the bedroom look tidy/clean but also because my flat sheet and my duvet seem to slip off the bed sideways, but on opposite sides from each other, and it makes me CRAZY. (Don’t ask me about the physics of this – I’m asleep when it happens.) Making the bed every day definitely keeps everything more intact!

    • cuffers27

      I read somewhere that this is the best way to make sure you have a good day – by the time you leave the house every morning you’ve already achieved something

  • Andrea Raymer

    HALEY! I’m 26 now!

    • Andrea Raymer

      Wait, Lucille, when is your birthday because i also turned 26 this month?

  • Really enjoying following these ladies’ resolutions! I’ve stuck really hard to 4 out of 5 of mine, getting up without snooze just isn’t working for me

    – Natalie
    http://www.workovereasy.com

  • Abby

    Love hearing how their goals are going. I feel like I can’t brag about my resolutions in real life without seeming like a vain, horrible person, so I’ll do it here: I quit smoking!!!!!!!!!!! and I also dedicated myself to a workout routine, completely stopped consuming added sugar, and have consumed a vegetable at every meal. This is the first year I’ve made and stuck to real resolutions and I’m so excited about it.

    • Paula Rodio

      Well, hats off to you! Quitting the tobacco is a biggie…I wish you continued success in your resolution!

    • congrats, all the best for sticking with it in the months ahead! You + the women above are inspiring, and I think I love that I’ll get this dose of inspo/’we’re all in this together’ comfort/swift kick in the pants EVERY month – great way to check in on myself and my goals regularly 🙂

    • Isabel S

      congrats!!! and that’s a great acomplishment so go ahead and brag about it!

  • Leliforever

    Isabel !!!
    I’m glad you liked my advice about the page goal. Following it myself, I’ve managed to read 4 books so far!

    The website looks awesome btw. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Isabel S

      wow that’s great! Yes, it was great advice, so thank you!! 🙂

      Isn’t it great? their graphics and interviews are pretty cool too!