woman on a hike, woman hiking, woman atop mountain

Expert Tips for Keeping Your New Year's Resolution

While everyone may start the new year resolving to live better – whether that's eating healthier, exercising more frequently, drinking less alcohol, traveling more, or organizing better – it's much easier to make those promises than it is to keep them. In fact, some estimates say January 12 is the day that most people give up on their resolutions to exercise, and only 8 percent of people actually achieve their resolutions by the end of the year.

These stats may seem disheartening, but we promise that self-improvement is possible this year. The first step? Don't give up – even if you've already fallen short. Just because you haven't been able to go to the gym every single day, doesn't mean you should just give up on the whole concept of exercising more – it's better to achieve a resolution even halfway than not at all. To help you achieve your resolutions this year, we consulted experts to get their best tips on realistic steps you can take.

If your resolution is to...

Exercise More and/or See the World

Equinox Explore, people hiking, sunset hike

Equinox Explore

Why not do both? Equinox Explore offers curated active adventures that are designed to get your heart rate pumping while seeing incredible sights around the world. This year's trips include surfing instruction in Costa Rica, hiking the highest peak in the Middle East in Morocco, and running around the beautiful city streets of Florence. Not only will you exercise on the trip, but the act of booking it alone will inspire you to become fit enough to achieve your goal – and beyond. "We want people to improve while they’re away and bring that home with them," said Equinox Explore's Senior Director Leah Howe. (Not to mention, the trips are sustainable; read more about sustainable travel here).

Organize Your Home

closet, organized closet, new years resolutions

An organized closet at The Easton

Organizing a messy home can feel overwhelming, but like any momentous task, the best way forward is to break it up into smaller, more manageable pieces. According to organizational queen Imagine It Done founder Lisa Jacobs, that means setting realistic goals about what you want to achieve, and tackling one space at a time – starting with whatever stresses you out the least. "Keep in mind that the hardest part of organizing is the beginning. As you get familiar with the process like learning to ride a bike, it will be routine and unforgettable," Jacobs says. To get started, Imagine It Done broke down their process for organizing here. (Related residents also receive a special offer on Imagine It Done's services).

Cut Out Sugar (and Alcohol)

swoon recipes, swoon sweetener, new years resolutions

The Blackberry Smash mocktail by Swoon and their signature brownies.

While no one ever thought sugar was good for you, it's becoming abundantly clear that it's actually really, really, really, bad for you. But if you're like us and can't bear to do away with sweetness in your life, thankfully there are some amazing sugar substitutes that will fill the candy-sized hole in your heart. For instance, Swoon is a zero sugar simple syrup made from monk fruit that can bring a delicious dose of sweetness to pretty much anything you're eating – from cake to coffee. They have tons of sugar-free recipes on their site, and for anyone practicing dry January, they kindly shared their best mocktail recipes with us as well. "Whether you're looking to start the year off on a particularly healthy note or are just in the mood for a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage, our Swoon mocktails will make you feel like you're having a treat, without any of the alcohol or the sugar involved," said Swoon co-founder Jennifer Ross.

Do Good 

Bowery mission, bowery mission serving food, serving food to homeless

Sometimes the best resolutions are less about improving ourselves, and more about improving the world around us. With that spirit, stay tuned for some great volunteer opportunities we're organizing for you this year. And if you want to make a difference now, The Bowery Mission shared their tips for what you can do to help their cause against homelessness in New York City. The simplest way to start? Acknowledge the homeless you encounter everyday. “If you see the same person every day on your street corner consider saying hi and asking their name. It’s simple, but it shows kindness and reminds someone of their dignity,”Blair Nordby, Development Officer at The Bowery Mission said, “Making gestures like this contributes to a better city and is one way to start addressing the crisis of homelessness.”

The Related Life is written and produced by Related Luxury Rentals. Be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for the latest events, news and announcements in your area, and tag us for a chance to be featured @therelatedlife and #therelatedlife.