5 Women on Their 2017 New Year’s Resolution Fails
05.01.17
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Last December, when we set out to track the New Year’s Resolutions of five different women, we were nothing if not collectively bright-eyed. By the end of January, things were going really well. I think we all quietly wondered if we’d broken the resolution curse. By the end of February, cracks were starting to show. Nothing a solid March couldn’t fix! But by early April, things were feeling rather dismal.

A close read of Andrea, Lucille, Isabel, Jasmine and Tyler’s answers over the months reveals a slow but steady disillusionment around the charm of publicly tracking their goals. At first, it was energizing. Soon, it felt daunting. In some cases, it made reasonable pivots tricky, because decisions had to be justified to all of us. And so, in a twist of irony, the very narrative we set out to squash — that resolutions are made hopefully and forgotten quickly — ended up being the same arc we ourselves followed, if at a slightly slower pace.

That’s not to say there weren’t successes, though! Threaded through the hand-wringing was plenty of optimism and determination. Enough to warm the most cynical of hearts, I’d venture. In fact their willingness to keep trying in the face of their own setbacks always struck me as more inspiring than if they haven’t failed at all.

As we put a bow on the first trimester of 2017, this will be our final resolution check-in. What was this whole thing like? Would they do it again? Will they keep going? Scroll down to get their rundown on April and the project overall. Wish them luck in the comments, but not goodbye! You’ll find ways to follow along in their answers.


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

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

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

Hi! April is over. How did your fourth month go compared to others!?

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I really couldn’t have cared less. I filmed when I felt like it and edited when I got around to it. I didn’t beat myself up over not sticking to my schedule.

What sucked versus felt great? Any new learnings or realizations?

I did a bit more research into how to make videos look better in April, and started brainstorming and planning content that I actually want to execute rather than just making things for the sake of sticking to my resolution. In that vein, I’ve definitely still been lazy when it comes to filming and editing on time. Having a job really just sucked all of my time and creative energy. The last thing I’ve been wanting to do when I get home from work is more work!

Since this is our last time tracking you month-to-month, how did you like sharing your resolution so publicly? Did anything surprise you about it? Would you do it again?

I definitely enjoyed sharing my resolution publicly. It made me try harder. My resolution itself was all about sharing things publicly and keeping a record of my life. I would definitely do it again — I love having other people to keep me accountable.

What’s the rest of the year going to look like for you? Think you’ll keep at it? Is there anywhere people can follow along?

I hope I manage to keep going, even if it’s just once a week or when I do something exciting. Making videos regularly changed the way I think creatively and I want to explore other ways to make work with this medium. (I may also just be saying that because Tribeca Film Festival is happening right now and I get really jealous when I see the work other people make).

Anyone can follow along (and see if I actually stick with it) by subscribing to my Youtube channel!


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

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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! April is over. How did your fourth month go compared to others!?

Hey! April was a month of re-dedication (pretty apropos for the Easter holiday, in retrospect). Usually I would have forgotten about my resolution by this time, but after the disaster that was March, April felt as good a time as any for redemption. I still didn’t hit my goal of three times a week — averaged one to two times — but I’m actively thinking about it and striving towards making it a habit.

What sucked versus felt great? Any new learnings or realizations?

Getting back on the horse with exercise was the hardest part. I battled feeling like I’d failed, and being demoralized when I found that all the strength I’d built up the first couple of months felt gone. It felt a little like starting from square one, but it’s taught me why routine is important.

Since this is our last time tracking you month-to-month, how did you like sharing your resolution so publicly? Did anything surprise you about it? Would you do it again?

I LOVED sharing my resolution, especially with the MR community. Checking in to see the discussion was always great. So many legit tips and honest encouragement! I don’t think I would have been comfortable doing it any other place online, tbh. The act of sharing publicly was good for me too, because I know I had to be honest with myself. It really did motivate me on some days when I might have otherwise opted out. I would definitely do it again.

What’s the rest of the year going to look like for you? Think you’ll keep at it? Is there anywhere people can follow along?

I definitely intend to stick with it! There are a lot of moving parts to my life (as I’m sure there are for everyone), but I really want wellness, self-care and routine to become more of a focused priority, instead of being relegated to “whenever it’s convenient.” This resolution has become such an integral part of that journey that I can’t stop now! Feel free to keep up with me at on Instagram or my blog, The Black Velveteen!


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.

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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! April is over. How did your fourth month go compared to others!?

It went better than March, but still not great. I guess it’ll take time to recover.

What sucked versus felt great? Any new learnings or realizations?

New realization: When I’m reading while sleepy, I get cross-eyed.

It felt great to get [kind of] back on track after such a disastrous March. It also felt great to read the comments from all the MR readers month after month, which cheered me on and gave such great advice as to how I could better keep my resolution. It sucks to realize that, despite the fact that I shared this with the world, I still couldn’t devote 30 minutes every day to read. I’ll keep trying!

Since this is our last time tracking you month-to-month, how did you like sharing your resolution so publicly? Did anything surprise you about it? Would you do it again?

I would definitely do it again. I’ve always heard that the Man Repeller community has the nicest comments section, and I couldn’t agree more. Every comment was encouraging and helpful, even if I wasn’t always the best at taking their advice. It was great to share my project with the four other amazing girls that participated with me. This journey has given me the opportunity to meet amazing people and show the internet how bad I am at keeping resolutions.

What’s the rest of the year going to look like for you? Think you’ll keep at it? Is there anywhere people can follow along?

Yes! I’m trying to fully recover from the past month and get back to reading every day as I did in January. If you’d like to make fun of my inability to keep resolutions or if you’d just like to cheer me on, you can follow me on Instagram at @isanoja. I’ll also be posting cryptic GIFs on past MR articles, which may hint at how my resolution is going. Thanks for all your support!


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! April is over. How did your fourth month go compared to others!?

It wasn’t my best month (that was January, for sure), but I can confidently say that it wasn’t the worst, either.

What sucked versus felt great? Any new learnings or realizations?

I finally sat myself down and put a writing structure in place (a few months too late, but hey). Doing this has really helped me to plan out what I hope to write over the next few months, which feels great.

I’ve realized that I’m a horrendously impatient human being. As you can imagine, this doesn’t lend itself too well to something which can take years(!) to complete, so setting a resolution and actually having to stick to it has allowed me to work on that shortcoming.

Since this is our last time tracking you month-to-month, how did you like sharing your resolution so publicly? Did anything surprise you about it? Would you do it again?

Sharing my goals so publicly was incredibly motivating at first, because the support of my friends, family, the MR Community and anyone else who was reading along really helped me to start off strong.

What surprised me was how hard it has been to also hold myself accountable — especially during the in-between moments when nobody was checking in on my progress but me. For that realization alone I don’t regret it, but I’ll probably opt to chip away at my goals in silence going forward.

What’s the rest of the year going to look like for you? Think you’ll keep at it? Is there anywhere people can follow along?

I’ll be moving back to London next week which I’m really excited about! That said, the quietness of Belgium helped me with my writing, so I hope this doesn’t mean I’ll fall off the wagon.

I definitely intend to keep at it. Writing a book is something I’ve always wanted to do, and this process has reminded me just how much I love writing. It would be such a shame to stop, especially now that I’ve started (and have over 15,000 words!).

I hope to share some of what I’ve written so far online very soon, so anyone who wants to follow along can do so via Twitter. I’m @afiaandjay!


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!

Hi! April is over. How did your fourth month go compared to others!?

Month #4 was definitely a bust. I did cut out expenditures, so I technically succeeded, but I also loosened up on staying within my budget for food and alcohol. Win/lose. Kind of losing steam over here.

My mindset is shifting though! Slowly. I’ve realized I struggle to stick to a daily budget (or even, it seems, an itemized budget). I don’t do well with absolutes. If I want something, I buy it. So I’m shifting my mindset away from a budget and towards something a little deeper: It’s time for me to want fewer things.

What sucked versus felt great? Any new learnings or realizations?

It sucked that I lacked any motivation to tend to this resolution. April showers came along and made every day a gray day and all I wanted was 9,000 tea lattes and plates of pasta the size of Jupiter. Fortunately, I did not have time to buy most of those because work was sucking my soul.

Something good did happen this month, however. I solved a major cause of my post-grad money trouble: My propensity to have a post-payday “treat yourself” moment. It’s costing me a lot, and now it needs to stop. Instead, I’m going to start treating myself to $250 in savings every payday.

Since this is our last time tracking you month-to-month, how did you like sharing your resolution so publicly? Did anything surprise you about it? Would you do it again?

As a person who semi-professionally overshares, it was alright. I liked making new friends and having people ask me about it! But…I also hated having people ask me about it. I would probably do it again if I had more willpower to nip the spending in the bud. Ask me in December how things went.

What’s the rest of the year going to look like for you? Think you’ll keep at it? Is there anywhere people can follow along?

The rest of the year, hmm….I’ll definitely continue to evaluate my expenditures and budget and keep trying to hit my savings goals. But there will probably be a pause to re-evaluate my mini goals. Follow my strife on Instagram if you dare: @tinymisstyler.

Photo by Michael Hardy/Express via Getty Images; collage by Maria Jia Ling Pitt. GIF via Giphy. 

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