Every Failed New Year’s Resolution Purchase, Recycled

Here are some handy ways to repurpose all those self-improvement products you never use.

An illustration of a girl in her room, surrounded by objects she bought as New Year's Resolutions.

(Illustration: Leeandra Cianci)

So you got a little ambitious on January 1 before the depressing reality of 2022 hit, and now you’re stuck with a bunch of untouched self-improvement products purchased in a haze of now-dissipated optimism. Instead of tossing your junk, why not try to find different uses for it? Here are some ideas to get you started.


Using your stationary bike as a clothes rack is so ’90s. Update the look by hanging all your reusable tote bags on it. It’s an environmental double whammy! After bumping into it as you make your way from the living room to the kitchen and back again 30 times a day, you’ll never again forget to bring your bags to the grocery store.


You bought it to make kale smoothies every morning, but now you’re tempted to make 10 a.m. margaritas instead. Split the difference, health-wise, and keep it as a place to store all those dead batteries that you’ve been meaning to take to the drop-off depot. (The drop-off itself can be a task for 2023.)

Acoustic guitar

Learning a new instrument seemed like a great idea—until you realized you’d be spending another season staying indoors with your noisy family. After inevitably getting frustrated and smashing your guitar, you now have a unique lawn ornament to add to your garden. Let it go. It belongs to the soil now. Invest in some earplugs instead.

Gratitude journal

These are great for mindlessly doodling endless little spirals during a workday filled with back-to-back Zoom meetings, as you yourself try not to endlessly spiral. Shhh, shhh. Don’t think about the quarterly reports. Just keep doodling.

Bathing suit for tropical vacation

Ha ha ha ha hahahaha! You really thought it was finally going to happen this spring, didn’t you? Keep the suit and wear it—while you sit in the shower, letting the water run over you as it washes away your tears.

Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

The perfectly sized book to use as a makeshift yoga block.

Yoga block that used to be a copy of Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

Use it to prop up your iPad as you marathon Selling Sunset in bed.

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