How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year, slightly different jokes by humor columnist, Anton Puno.

Okay, I promised I wouldn’t be another one of the million people throwing around New Year’s jokes like it’s confetti. I just thought I would share some of my thoughts regarding resolutions, and how to stick to them.

I believe the key to any successful New Year’s resolution is very simple. As long as you change something or try anything new in your life, you have already succeeded. It is irrelevant whether it is a small or big change. Now, I don’t mean moving your plant two inches to the right or going to Starbucks and ordering a venti for the first time. Or finally working up the courage to tell your math teacher that she smells like spoiled tuna. Nope. It should be a significant change that requires the simplest of actions. So, allow me to show you the ways of the force (sorry I watched Star Wars yesterday).

1. Travel to a New Place

Now I know what you’re thinking. Wow, only the most stereotypical resolution ever. I agree, but only because people that suggest this are usually thinking about visiting Italy for the summer or booking a cruise getaway to the Caribbean. No, what I mean is to go to a place you literally have never been to before. For me, it was the second-floor bathroom at my local mall. Before you roll your eyes, hear me out.

Every Sunday, my best friend and I hit up the mall. This is where we normally do our shopping, talk about the past week, complain about the world, cry about our ex-girlfriends and then go to the food court for dinner. (Which is my favorite part since it’s sort of like a bro date. If you’re reading this Sam, admit it, it’s a bro date.) But one thing that messes up this magical moment is the food court bathroom. Before we eat, we like to wash our hands. Just one problem, the lines are crazy long every time. I feel like it takes exactly 1000 years to reach a sink. I even saw one guy come in the line with a cleanly shaven face and then come out with a long white beard. I think he was Santa though, but anyway, yeah – that long. But it’s the closest bathroom to the food court.

One day I had an epiphany. I suggested to my friend Sam that instead of using the same bathroom we’ve been using for years, why don’t we go upstairs and see if there’s a bathroom there? We did, and it was epic. Not only was there no line, it smelled amazing! The soap pumps were refilled and most importantly, even though it was upstairs it took a much shorter time than the closest bathroom. This, in turn, gave us an opportunity to spend more time together and even enabled us to squeeze in some more shopping time as well. I’m not saying that since I went to a different bathroom my life will change and I will live happily ever after with a Disney princess. No, what I’m saying is that since I forced myself to break a simple habit it encouraged better results. So don’t be afraid to experiment, go to a place you’ve never been – you never know – you may find unexpected gains!

2. Become Healthy-ish

Ah, the ever so popular I-shall-work-out-and-eat-healthier-this-year resolution. In my opinion, and don’t take this the wrong way healthy people, but this is the dumbest resolution ever. Why? Well it’s so common and stereotypical that most people end up not doing it. It’s essentially a default response when people ask you about your resolutions and you don’t really have one. And yes, I’m 100% guilty of this. But how can we take this resolution and apply it to practical terms we will actually follow? Well it’s very simple! Don’t make it. Eat burgers, fries, steaks and ice cream.

Jokes! This is what you can do, and what I’ve done myself. Start very small; don’t go from Pizza Lover to Veggie Warrior in one day. Put in some small sacrifices first. Perhaps cut out soda first, and then work your way up to ice cream and then eventually full-blown desserts. If you’re hesitant to work out, start with 30 minutes a week. If you set the bar too high, you won’t gain any advantages in the long run.

Remember, the hardest part is to start. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Once you’ve started your routine, you’ll become bolder and more disciplined over time. Personally, my ultimate weakness is cookies. So I limit my cookies to only seven a day. Just kidding, only one. Currently, I haven’t had a cookie for two months straight so I’m really proud of myself. I’m actually going to celebrate this accomplishment tonight by having 12 cookies.

3. Express Yourself More

This is my favorite resolution because not many people speak about this topic. It’s essentially a change of mindset rather than habit.

When I say, “express yourself more,” I’m really encouraging you to embrace the things you like. It may be the music you listen to, the shows you enjoy, the way you like to dress or even the things you like to talk about. Whatever sparks your interest, do it! This in turn will give you more confidence to be yourself. How so? Because you’re focusing on things that matter to you, and not what matters to others or what you think should matter. It’s a selfish resolution in all the right ways. Think of it as screaming to the world that this is how you want to be seen – this is your passion and you’re unapologetic about it! As for me, I love fashion. So, I’m going to make an effort to be bolder with my fashion choices. It may be a hit or miss to onlookers but if it makes me happy and gives me more confidence, then it doesn’t matter. I’m freaking cool bro.

4. Do One Daring Thing

Now before I say anything. Do not go rob a bank or jump into an ocean filled with sharks. Anything that can get you in trouble or potentially hurt you – don’t do it.

What I mean is do something that scares you. For example, that boy or girl you have been crushing on in class. Go up to that person and profess your undying love while showering them with rose petals. Okay maybe don’t do it like that. However, do make an effort to go up to the person you like and just say “Hi!” Or if you want to make more friends, just go up to people and ask them how their day was. I know in high school this may be a bit of a challenge but you’ll be surprised by how much most of the negative scenarios that play out are actually just psychological. If they are mean and don’t want to be your friend or if that hot guy you are crushing on rejects you, it’s their loss. I promise you.

The fact that you’ve passed that threshold and conquered something that you were initially scared of is more than an accomplishment – it’s the main goal itself. The results – whether good or bad – are simply just a bonus. If you continuously do this, you’ll find that not only does it make you stronger mentally, but you become more independent. Let’s go back to the scenario of going up to a guy you like for a second. That fear of rejection is only temporary, what lasts longer is the courage you built up which is worth volumes in the future.

I hope I shed some light and guidance on your 2018 resolutions! Remember, even if you made just one change the entire year, it’s probably more than what most people claim to have done. One resolution that I had for 2017 was to get a New Year’s kiss for 2018. (Very scandalous I know.) So, when that ball dropped yesterday, I gave my friend’s dog the best kiss on the cheek. Here’s to a glorious new year!


Anton Puno is a writer and YouTuber from Queens, New York. He enjoys fashion, poetry and photography. 

Cover photo shot by Danny Kekspro

16 thoughts on “How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Jamie

    You’re tips are so useful. Expressing yourself is the best thing you can do, for example I was invited to go on a helicopter ride with a group of friends, but I get lost all the time so I ended up late and missed my trip. But was invited another day, made friends with the workers there, ended up having a private ride and found out my pilot was the actor that played the jock from the original movie grease lol. This wouldn’t have happened before if I didn’t express myself and experienced something new and daring.


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