It’s April: Anyone Still Thinking About Their 2017 Resolution?

Anyone?

04.03.17
It's-April--Anyone-Still-Thinking-About-Their-2017-Resolution--Man-Repeller

Welcome-to-Commitment-Month-Series-Man-Repeller

Back in December, we decided to track the progress of five MR community members’ 2017 New Year’s resolutions on a monthly cadence. It felt appropriate at the time; the world was abuzz with goal-setting. But now that it’s April, the chatter has more than died down…it’s dead. From resolution obsession to apathy in a matter of months? It’s actually that predictable arc that made us want to track in the first place. Does anyone really keep their resolutions? Or do we all just collectively decided to not mention it after a while?

These are the questions Andrea, Lucille, Isabel, Jasmin and Tyler have bravely offered to help us explore. In December, they told us their resolutions, full of optimism and energy. By the end of January, things were feeling pretty good. In February, it was a bit of a mixed bag. By March? Well. March was pretty tough. Read on to hear about their highly relatable struggles this month, and then give them some love in the comments. Because in my view, even thinking about a resolution in April is almost as impressive as meeting it.


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

tracking-resolutions-andrea-raymer-man-repeller-5

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

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

Hi! March is over. How did your third month go overall?

It wasn’t great.

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

I stuck to my resolution. I continued to film most days, but it got harder because I recently got a job so I have been working almost full-time. I tried to set a new upload schedule for myself, but I failed at meeting it. I haven’t been able to film as much content because I spend the day at my desk at an office where I don’t know people well enough to film and I get home and am too tired to edit.

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

In February, I felt really guilty about not meeting my goals, but this month I just don’t care as much. I’ve had other things to occupy my mind. Like this whole “having a job” thing.

One of the biggest differences for me is how I have been structuring my vlogs. Instead of a video every day including everything I filmed that day, I have been putting an entire week into one video. I’ve had to think more about how to string a narrative together and connect all the days somehow. I am going to have to learn how to think outside the box a bit more.

Any funny/interesting stories or unexpected outcomes?

Not particularly. In February I ended up getting several small jobs because of this project, which I didn’t expect when I started. Unfortunately I haven’t been doing that quite as much this month because of my schedule. Back in January, I ran into the godfather of vlogging, Casey Neistat, on the street and I got to talk to him about it a bit.

But really the only funny stories lately have been when I forget to film and all of my friends remind me because they know I am doing this.


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

tracking-resolutions-lucille-wenegieme-man-repeller-2

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! March is over. How did your third month go overall?

I’m gonna keep it real. I fell off the wagon right after the first week. I got busy (yes, everyone’s busy, I know), and I lost all motivation to exercise. I whizzed around town for meetings, meet-ups and mixers and I didn’t make dedicated time to exercise. My boyfriend and I have been going on nice long walks now that it’s gotten warmer, and I walk 20 minutes or so to work each way, so I’m not a total slob, but there was no routine to speak of this month.

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

I failed where I always tend to fail with exercise: I missed too many days in a row and threw my hands up instead of rededicating myself. When I slept through my morning workout alarm, I didn’t carve out time during my lunch break to get moving. I treat it like a zero-sum game and get discouraged when I lose the little battles.

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

It’s a marathon, not a sprint — all hope is not lost! Checking in with my fellow MR community members has been great and definitely makes me feel more emboldened to continue making fitness and movement a priority in my life. This time I learned that 30 minutes of cardio REALLY is better than nothing.

Any funny/interesting stories or unexpected outcomes?

I accidentally farted on the elliptical earlier this month, like real loud. The lady on the treadmill next to me was gracious and acted like she hadn’t heard it at all. She double blinked, though, so I know she did. Women supporting women, amirite?


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.

tracking-resolutions-isabel-sanoa-man-repeller-4

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! March is over. How did your third month go overall?

It didn’t. Remember that 1,470-page book that I was supposed to read? I’m far from halfway through. And that excitement that I had for March? It turned into complete dread.

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

I don’t even know what else I can say to defend myself. I’ve failed. Out of the 31 days, I probably read less than half. And of those rare days that I did read, it was only two or three minutes before I dozed off. The only positive thing is that I haven’t given up on my book. I still have hope of finishing it sometime soon. That said, I’ll have to settle for finishing it in the next 10 years if I keep up this pace.

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

It’s safe to say I’m not feeling great. I get so easily distracted by events, visits, Netflix, a pimple on my chin…the list goes on. It seems like every day I feel my resolution fade further away. I’m scraping for that last bit of motivation I need to start the fourth month the right way.

Any funny/interesting stories or unexpected outcomes?

Veerrrry interesting how for during the first two months, when people assumed I was doing great, no one asked me any question. But this month!!!! Oh, this month I’ve been asked endless times about my progress, the books I’m reading, book recommendations…nothing is off limits. And all I can do is look at them with a face full of shame.

P.S. Now that I think about it, I actually did read one book this month. Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go! It’s 56 very short pages and I loved it. Highly recommend.


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! March is over. How did your third month go overall?

One word: bad. Keeping a New Year’s resolution is hard. Like, really hard.

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

I did continue working on my novel this month, but if I want to produce something that’s the length of an average book by December (70,000 to 80,000 words) then I’m pretty screwed as it stands right now. This experience so far reminds me of what it was like to write my final dissertation back at uni. You spend the whole first term doing absolutely nothing and then three weeks before the deadline you panic and pull a string of all-nighters to put 10,000 words together. This will be me around November.

So far I’ve been making the story up as I go along — which was fun until I realized I didn’t know what the book was going to be about. I’d say my main focus is putting a proper novel structure in place and setting smaller, achievable goals (e.g. to write 1,500 words per week).

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

At the beginning of this month, I was positive about everything even though I hadn’t written as much as I did in January. But now I’m a lot more apprehensive about whether I can actually stick to my guns and get this thing completed by the end of the year.

I’ve learned that I don’t work well without structure, so my focus for April will be to create a simple outline of the entire novel. I’ve also learned that setting a New Year’s resolution is easy but actually keeping it is near impossible (although I’m hoping the other girls can prove me wrong here). Either way, I’m convinced that whoever invented the concept must have been one of those masters of self-improvement who like to smile to themselves on public transport and speak in proverbs — or a sadist.

Any funny/interesting stories or unexpected outcomes?

Although I’ve struggled to be consistent with writing this novel, I have somehow managed to keep busy writing other things! I extracted the opening chapter into a new document and turned it into a short story, which is currently gathering dust on my laptop until I decide what I want to do with it. I also wrote a tongue-in-cheek essay to future lawyers which got published on a British legal blog and had its 15 minutes of fame. My mum has taken it upon herself to become my personal resolution “progress coach” (if there is such a thing) and has been nagging me every single day since the beginning of January to finish the book. Sigh.


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! And in March my goal is to get my taxes done.

Hi! March is over. How did your third month go overall?

Well, overall it went quite poorly — my spending habits regressed. But! I did my taxes, which was the goal for March, so I’m happy in that arena.

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

I stuck with my resolution for March. I did my taxes!!! Like a real human!!!! But as I said, my resolution as a whole was a little more difficult to keep. April is going to be a month of spring cleaning for me. My goal is to cut unnecessary weight from my budget, which will hopefully help me return to the whole point of this endeavor: to save.

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

I feel good about it! Yes, there was a lot of unnecessary spending this month, but I’ve never filed my own taxes before, so that was cool. I learned it’s much easier for me to stick to the overarching resolution when it’s something I have to think about every day. Without my budget on the brain all month, spending became way too easy. (YES, I finally bought an MR hat, but an MR hat was not in my budget, you know?)

Any funny/interesting stories or unexpected outcomes?

I told you this was my first time doing my taxes, right? Well, I honestly had no idea what to do. I had multiple W2s from New York and student loans wrapped up in envelopes of confusion. I was just letting the documents sit on my nightstand for a few weeks under the assumption that looking at something is the same as doing it. Then one of my friends suggested TurboTax, which was really easy.

What have I learned? I learned that I’m getting an accountant next year. Maybe then I can use March for something else like saving up for Gucci loafers. (Maybe I haven’t learned anything?)

Photo by Bettmann via Getty Images; collage by Maria Jia Ling Pitt.

 

Get more Pop Culture ?