It's a brand new year! Whether you're looking for a special someone, hunting for that next job, or wanting to make some extra cash, the steps you take to achieve your goals are as important as setting them in the first place. Check out the seven easy tips below that will turn lofty resolutions into measurable results, one day at a time.
1. If you want to save money in 2014, learn to consign.
If you're anything like us, your desire to save money is probably at odds with your healthy interest (read: obsession) with fashion. We get it, and instead of cutting yourself off from shopping completely (because that would be awfully depressing), take some time to strategically plan out your purchases. Eyeing a new bag? Perfect! But don't let yourself purchase the item till you've sold a purse collecting dust in your closet. You can take your gently worn items to consignment stores like Second Time Around, or join the best online destination for such purposes: ebay. It only takes a few simple steps to use ebay like a pro.
2. If you want a new job, redo your resume.
Don't just update your resume—revamp the entire document. The process will give your job hunt a perk and force you to reconsider your personal brand. Interested in graphic design? Then the layout of your resume might call for a creative approach. Applying for a job in digital marketing? Perhaps it's time to create a Tumblr page showcasing your best work and the campaigns you admire. Most importantly—get feedback. Show copies of your new self-on-paper to friends and former colleagues whose opinions you trust. Don't be surprised if that is a very short list of individuals.
3. If you want a boyfriend, go on at least one date per week.
If your only approach to finding a boyfriend is going out with your group of girlfriends and ignoring all other people at the bars you frequent, it's time for a change. It might be painful at first, but force yourself to go on at least one date per week with someone you've been set up with, met online, flirted with at the gym, etc. Even if the dates are horrible, you can feel proud and productive that you carved out time in your crazy schedule to dating and meeting people.
4. If you want to lose weight, get a session with a personal trainer.
Few people in this world approach the New Year without wanting to improve something health-related in their lives. Instead of splurging on a gym membership or pilates class packages, focus your funds on a one-hour session with a personal trainer. Realistically, if you're only going to make it to the gym once or twice a month, your money is far better spent with a personal trainer for one hour then reading on the elliptical twice a month.
5. If you want to learn a new language, sign up for a class.
Gone are the days when a six-week language course costs as much as a month's rent. Language classes are often offered on discount sites like Living Social, Groupon, and Gilt City. At a fraction of the price, you might just pick up a new language and a new flame. Who wouldn't want to practice their conversational French over a class of Bordeaux?
6. If you want to travel, request vacation time now.
It's not uncommon to procrastinate booking your travel plans, whether you're deliberating over cost, location, or both. But if you request the vacation time and have it approved far in advance, a large part of the planning process is over. Plus, if the time rolls around and you haven't scrounged together the funds to take that 10-day Moroccan tour, you can improvise at the last minute and visit friends or family in a city nearby, or plan a relaxing staycation in your hometown.
7. If you want to be a better friend, pick up the phone.
It may seem totally passé, but in a world where people communicate primarily through texts and tweets, a phone call goes a long way. See that a friend traveled to Paris from her incredible Instagram photos? When you notice she's back in town, pick up the phone to learn about her trip. (And like her photos on Instagram, too. Duh.).