Host a Resolution Exchange Party

Host a Resolution Exchange Party

Want a fun new way to host a New Year’s party? Try a resolution exchange party!


By: Helen Jane Hearn

It’s easy to avoid entertaining after a long season of rich snacks and overindulgence. We’re all so focused on recovering from the chaos we sometimes forget to bring the spirit of the holidays and well wishes into the new year.

To get back on track, consider hosting a resolution party. Gather your guests and bring a resolution they’d like some help keeping. (We all have at least one we’d really like to achieve.) You’d be surprised what you can accomplish with a push from your friends.

1. Set it Up
With a party this personal, the people you invite and the way you invite them is key. This is an area where electronic invites can help! Make sure invitees can see the guest list so they’ll know in advance what kind of resolution to bring. It helps if the group is on the small side so everyone participates.

Clearly state what’s expected of guests at your resolution party. Here are a few ideas to help get you started.

  • “We want to help each other in the New Year! Bring a resolution you want to achieve.”
  • “Small groups have a big impact. Bring the New Year’s resolution you want to keep the most. We’ll help you get there!”
  • “Resolve to keep your resolutions. You’re invited to a resolution support party.”

Before hosting, ask what your guests are resolving to do and how they want to be tracked. Are they promising to go for a walk once a week? Quarterly check-ins? Gentle reminders or constant phone calls? By deciding how to support each other ahead of time, you could even present “support cards” — contracts you create and sign to make it legitimate.

Setting up (and sticking to) a structure for a party like this will help keep it a success. Schedule time for specific parts of the party while maintaining flexibility.

For example:

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  • 7 p.m.-7:30 p.m. — snacks and introductions
  • 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. — resolution discussion (this is my resolution and why)
  • 8:30 p.m.-9 p.m. — support discussion (this is how we can help)
  • 9 p.m.-? — signing of agreements and party

2. Serve it Up
After the holidays, guests are primed for lighter, natural foods. Few guests want to snack on heavy appetizers after indulging in decadent desserts the past couple months. Rice paper rolls, shrimp skewers and peanut sauce for dipping are all good choices. Healthy dip options like hummus or yogurt are good, too.

Serve your guests drinks with a New Year twist — prepare homemade juices, a sparkling water bar or smoothies. Make sweet treats from in-season fruit like clementines, pineapples, pears, passion fruit and pomegranates.

3. Mix it Up
For a twist, add a resolution exchange. Print out alternative resolutions on small cards and distribute them for goal-making inspiration or additions to existing resolution lists. It’s easier to keep resolutions when they’re tied to specific, actionable items. With that in mind, avoid generalizations like “be nicer” or “lose weight,” because they can’t really be measured.

Some group-appropriate ideas include:

  • Meditate every day for 15 minutes
  • Read a new book every month
  • Update a blog every week
  • Go for a walk at least three times a week
  • Make progress on a project (and define what that means each week or month)
  • Learn more about a certain topic and create a deadline

4. Keep it Up
Resolutions are often discarded early in the year, but social reinforcement can motivate people all the way through the year. Try having the same group meet once every month or so to check in and keep each other accountable. Between visits, use email, social media and the good old-fashioned phone to stay in touch.

Don’t be afraid to push your friends along and welcome their encouragement as well. You’ll be all the better for it!

Do you have any advice on how to keep your resolutions? Let us know in the comments section below!



Helen has written about Internet culture and home entertaining at her eponymous site Helen Jane since 1998. Napa Valley-based, she is a certified specialist of wine and founder of Cheesewhizzes, a nationwide cheese-tasting club. She also captains her bocce team, Joanie Loves Bocce.

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