4 guys who actually achieved their New Year’s resolutions tell you how they did it

Find out how they made their New Year's goals stick, so you can do the same.

And if you’re starting to cave, you’re not alone: About 42 percent of Americans never achieve their resolutions, according to a report from the Statistic Brain Research Institute.

But you’ve made your resolution, and you’re committed to making it stick. We know it can be tough—so we tracked down some real guys who followed theirs through to fruition. Read on for their stories. You might just get inspired yourself.

Dino Cafolla, 32, already hit the gym 4 or 5 days a week. But as he sat at his desk each day at work, he started to think that the hours he spent parked on his butt weren’t doing his training any favors. So he set a goal for himself: Walk 10,000 steps every single day.


He downloaded an app called Streaks, which tracked his steps—and kept him accountable.

At first, the app showed that he wasn’t meeting his goal. So in order to hit that 10,000 mark, Cafolla needed to change up his daily routine.

In the office, he’d take calls on his cell, while walking around the block. And adding a 15-minute walk during lunch could bring him a quarter closer to his daily goal.

But some days were extra busy, and his app would show his daily steps were well short of his goal.

“I'd find myself pacing the neighborhood at 11 p.m. just to hit the figures,” he says. “Keeping the streak alive and not breaking it was a motivator.”


Those late night walks weren’t a waste of time. When the year was up, Cafolla was down 26 pounds and had trekked 1,800 miles throughout the course of the year. Plus, he was enjoying the best night’s sleep of his life.

To this day, Cafolla swears by tracking his goals. “Keep a record, be it on paper or on your phone,” he says. “If you fall off the wagon just get right back on it.”

After dropping off their kids at their grandparents’ house, Morgan Bojorquez, 36, and his wife were on their way to a weekend getaway. While Bojorquez was driving, his wife texted her parents to let them know what they should do with the kids in the event something tragic happened on their trip.

That was an eye-opener to Bojorquez: “As morbid as that sounded, it felt necessary to secure the future of our kids in the event we were no longer around,” he says.

Inspired by the conversation, Bojorquez decided he would take it one step further—he made a New Year’s resolution to outline a legal will, so he could take comfort in the knowledge his kids would be taken care of if something terrible happened to him.


While Bojorquez’s resolution seemed simple, certain aspects of the process—like getting everyone in the same room and having tough conversations with his wife and family about the future of his kids—were a bit trickier.

He started by contacting attorneys in late January, but with scheduling conflicts, the process took longer. Even when it started to feel like it was dragging, Bojorquez kept plugging away, until everything finally came in line.

“I was able to hold myself accountable when my resolution wasn’t for myself, but rather for my family,” he says. “That was a big difference compared to previous resolutions, when it was for me only.”

It wasn’t until the summer that Bojorquez was able to sign off on the final documents.

“While it felt good to check off a New Year's resolution,” he says, “it feels even better to have peace of mind for our kids.”


In August of 2015, Brett Drake, 28, bought his first home. He was thrilled, but the move brought along more expenses—like extra bills and a mortgage—that he wasn’t used to.

So when the New Year rolled around, he committed to tightening his spending.

But like most resolutions, putting those words into practice wasn’t so easy. His weakness? New sneakers. By the time he bought his first house, he was picking out two or three pairs of new basketball shoes a month. By midway through 2015, Drake’s count hit over 140 pairs.

To keep up with the new expenses, Drake realized he needed to make a change to his hobby. But he also knew that saying he’d stop buying sneakers completely wouldn’t work—he knew he wouldn’t be able to stick to it.

Instead of quitting cold turkey, Drake made a deal with himself that allowed him to keep refueling his sneaker collection.


He made a compromise: pare down his collection, selling the pairs he rarely wore each month so he could still fund some new additions to his collection. He now saves about $200 to $300 a month.

Drake also sets up spending alerts on all his bank accounts to hold himself responsible to his new budget. Now, he gets email notifications to let him know if he’s hit his spending for the month. He also downloaded the budgeting app Mint, which helps him see how he spends all his money, sets limits, and reminds him when his bills are due.

And it’s been working: Drake has whittled his shoe collection down to 110 pairs—even though he continues to purchase about 2 pairs a month. He also deposits between $50 to $150 of his paychecks into his savings account,

That’s important, since he and his wife are expecting their first child in late spring. “Looking into the future, I feel better knowing I have my finances in hand to the best of my ability because it’s not just for me now, it’s for my family,” he says.

Matt Kaufman, 36, was craving some adventure. He was always interested in surfing, but growing up away from the beach, he never learned. And as an attorney in Wyoming, regular surfing lessons weren’t an option.


But last year he decided he was going to give it a shot. And to make sure he followed through on it? He started telling all his friends and family that his goal for the year was to learn to surf.

Kaufman owned a boat, so he began wake surfing on local lakes. But he wasn’t going to get stalled on a lake—his buddies kept checking in and asking what he planned to do next.

With their encouragement, Kaufman took his training to the next level. Just after Thanksgiving, he and a friend jetted off for a surf camp in Mexico, vowing not to return home until they knew how to surf.

“For three days straight we paddled, got rolled by waves, swallowed gallons of salty ocean water, and suffered bruises, cuts and chaffing,” he says. “We took the opportunity to just singularly pursue what we set out to do: surf.”

Kaufman came back from the trip with an experience he’d never forget—a one that was made possible by his support system. “Because others were so involved, it motivated me to not let myself, or anyone else, down,” he says.


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