Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: What to Read and Watch this Month

January 17, 2019

It is that time of year again- the refreshing beginning of a new year, the first chapter of twelve in the year. Frozen fractals of flakes fall from the freezing firmament above. Cozy season bestows upon us, as we are eager to snuggle with a blanket in front of a blazing fire, either holding a remote to watch something new or a book to read something enlightening. Our new resolutions for 2019 are constantly cycling in the back of our minds: be more open-minded, learn something new, and sharpen certain skills. Dive into these new sources of entertainment to add some content to your fulfilling year ahead- all while adhering to New Year’s Resolutions.


Photo: Georgia Vagim on Unsplash 


New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp

Resolution: Connect more with my faith


It’s a new year, and the best way to start your new year is to start your morning off right. This devotional has 365 heartwarming and perspective-widening messages to fixate your mindset on beginning your day with wholehearted gratitude. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to grow closer to my faith and closer to God, and this text has heightened my humility and appreciation to the little things that often go unnoticed. Although this inspiration read is presented in a Christian perspective, it is not overly unsecular. All backgrounds will truly gain something from the wise words that this theologist states by providing truth to individuals in making them all believers of something greater than themselves. Instead of grabbing from my phone as soon as I wake up in the morning, I lean over my bedside table and read the page of the day. Readers can even reference the section from the Bible if they are seeking further study and encouragement. Your heart and soul will feel abundantly happy by rising and shining with these inspirational words.


Pretty Little Liars

Resolution: Strengthen analytical skills


Okay, this may be an oldie but it is definitely a goodie! Pretty Little Liars was my all-time favorite show to binge watch in middle school and high school, and it is one of my guilty pleasures for the month of January. In this intense drama, four best friends are on a scavenger hunt around their town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania to piece together clues in hopes of discovering how the other best friend of their clique, Alison, went missing during Labor Day weekend. In their quest, they receive nerve-trembling messages from “A”, a blackmailing black-hooded individual who knows all of the girls secrets. This show may come off as a chick flick, but it is a great means to strengthen your analytical skills and become a detective, all from the comfort of your couch at home.


Apple News

Resolution: Be more attentive to current events


In a generation where we traded in the ancient newspapers and press releases for Twitter and the Internet, it is instrumental to seek news from traditional articles and publications, rather than a 150 character limit on social media. With Apple News, you can collect all of your favorite news sources with one platform, which even allows you to select which type of news you would prefer to see on your home page. If you are captivated by entertainment news, the latest from E! Online and Hollywood Reporter will disperse onto your electronic device. Although a nice scroll through Twitter may be “easier,” it is truly more satisfying to read a detailed article from a journalist to gain the 360-viewed-approach of a particular topic at hand. As a journalism major at college, this method of newsfinding is essential in broadening my perspective with a wide variety of topics and sources.


Watch Michelle Reed’s Youtube Channel

Resolution: Be more simplistic/minimalistic

While a Youtube channel is not the traditional Netflix show or television movie, the millennial generation certainly is fixated on refreshing their subscription box on Youtube. I for one catch myself watching Youtube videos on my television when I am in the mood for content other than Netflix, and it’s an easy way to learn some pretty valuable life lessons from a specific channel. Personally, I appreciate the beauty and lifestyle community on Youtube- from learning new hairstyles, makeup looks, and fashion stylings to gaining a fresh perspective from advice videos. Youtubers are excellent sources of inspiration (as cliche as it sounds). Michelle Reed is one of my favorite content creators on the Internet and that is all due to her completely down-to-earth personality and gift for giving and speaking for the betterment of others. She films and produces videos geared toward college life, living independently, personal finance, advice vlogs (short for video blogs, if you are new to the lingo of Youtube), and product recommendations that allow you to achieve a more simple lifestyle. Not to mention, you definitely learn a handful about personal branding and marketing yourself. It’s a quite different way of learning how to be the best version of yourself in the real world.


Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Resolution: Worry less


This New York Times Bestseller was all the hype in 2018, and it deserves the same bountiful praise in 2019. As a busy and productive college student, I appreciated listening to this frequently-talked about book on Audible, and it was even better because the author was voicing her personal story herself. Each chapter is divided by a special lesson Hollis had learned in different facets of her life, and she breaks through the glass ceilings by offering her extremely honest advice- that which most of us would struggle to admit after something unexpected happens. What really stuck with me was how she undoubtedly bounced back from every moment she felt “lost,” emphasizing to readers like myself that there is no sense to worry because you create your own path that maps out which direction you are headed in next. As Hollis puts it, “it turns out, the most beautiful things in my life were never on my to-do list.”


Ted Talks (no specific one, the more the merrier!)

Resolution: Gain new perspectives


We have all seen it- the common catchphrase on social media: “thank you for coming to my Ted Talk,” yet how many of us have actually watched a Ted Talk in our spare time? One of my favorite aspects of my junior year AP English course was watching Ted Talk presentations that accompanied a lesson; it has always poured positivity and inspiration into my brain and I am always left seeking more wise words spoken from a diversity of people. A trending misconception is that these fifteen minute or so presentations are for either (1) nerds or (2) creative minds, yet those in STEM fields and even those who are not currently earning a degree can benefit from simple advice from other humans. Oftentimes, we scroll aimlessly on our electronic devices and it is stimulating to spend some spare time learning something new; these presentations are truly “ideas worth spreading!”


The One World Schoolhouse by Salman Khan

Resolution: Continue to appreciate and learn from educational sources


Whether you are on track to graduate high school and earn that gilded diploma, solidifying your bachelor’s degree, offering your skills in the workforce, or even at home discovering your true passion, this book is a terrific reminder that a traditional educational route may not be the perfect fit for everyone. Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, provides educational videos and resources for those who are interested in complementing what they are learning in school or seeking a new area of study. Being grateful for education is something we often times neglect, and this book showcases various forms in which we can all learn from, pushing aside the traditional classroom setting. With a perspective on reimagining education, this personal novel stresses how education is truly incalculable, despite the hard statistics.


Bird Box

Resolution: do something out of my comfort zone


Last but certainly not least, the hit new release Bird Box is all the talk on social media! I must admit, I am certainly not the type to watch thrillers or anything remotely scary (coming from someone who is obsessed with Disney and romantic comedies), but this film is a shining exception. This mind-boggling thriller had me on the edge of my seat and its mesmerizing and positive ending made the suspense that much better. Resembling a dystopian feel- almost like that of The Hunger Games- there is not a dull moment in this trending Netflix film. Bird Box without a doubt calls for a movie night with a big bowl of popcorn and a craving for an adventure-filled film.


Filling your mind with quality-filled content is surely an exceptional way to start your new year. It is important to not only follow headlines and trends, but to also revive an old passion or former love. With these eight suggestions, you are sure to be snuggled under that blanket with a month-long list of books and film, all while ensuring the most popular New Year’s Resolutions do not go unachieved.


Victoria Giardina is an 18 student at The College of New Jersey pursuing a Major in Journalism and Professional Writing with a  Minor in Communication Studies. Victoria's favorite movie is The Greatest Showman and you can never find her without her planner! As the founder of Kick It Cancer ( and a news anchor for her campus-wide news station- LTV News, Victoria steps up for community outreach, leadership, and creative storytelling. In the future, Victoria hopes to work in the broadcasting industry in New York City.


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