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New Year’s Resolutions: Facts, Funnies and Santa Barbara Specific

January 7, 2021

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2021 New Years Resolutions with young woman using a laptop computer


It’s that time of year when we break out our New Year’s resolutions. And after living through the trials and tribulations of 2020, we’re all looking for a little inspiration for the year ahead. 

Studies show that more than 80% of respondents who make New Year’s resolutions failed to achieve at least some of them. Sure, if there’s any excuse for failure, it’s 2020. All of it. But for many, the start of 2021 offers the perfect chance to set a positive tone for the coming year.

In any given year, Americans tend to set resolutions centering on the typical themes: namely diet, exercise, or financial overhaul-style resolutions with outcomes largely in our own control. Those topics are on the top of this year’s list, too.

Interesting Facts About New Year’s Resolutions

Approximately 45% of Americans make at least one resolution in January. Whether it's a lack of willpower or unrealistic goals that are to blame, most people have difficulty sticking to their New Year's resolutions. Just 8% of people who make them will still be committed to them by the end of the year.

You wouldn’t think geography would make much of a difference when it comes to making resolutions, but surprisingly, it does. In the Golden State, 58% of us make resolutions every year. And those who can tough it out for 90 days have a much better shot at making the change they desire permanent. Nearly 40% of people who make resolutions forget about them by March, but the dropout rate levels off substantially after that point.

Women make health-focused resolutions while men tend to pledge to find a new job and lay off the alcohol. Saving money is always one of the top 5 New Year’s resolutions. Whatever the resolution, the majority of last year’s respondents said they failed their resolution before January 31st. And that’s not just a 2020 thing. It happens every year.

New Year’s Resolutions by the Numbers

So, what are you committing to in 2021? Here are some of the most popular (by percentage of those polled) New Year’s resolutions with info on how living in Santa Barbara can help you keep them all year long:

  • Diet or eat healthier (71%)
    Abundant sunshine and a moderate climate here in Santa Barbara and environs contribute to a cornucopia of fresh local produce – much of it organic — year-round. And the good news is that Santa Barbara’s Farmers Markets have remained open with new hygienic protocols in response to the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ Markets have continued to operate at their various locations six days a week, including the large downtown market on State Street each Tuesday and at the Cota Street parking lot every Saturday.

  • Exercise more (65%)
    Santa Barbara is a wellspring of wellness for your body, mind, and soul. Besides the beauty and splendor, one thing that adds to the appeal of living in Santa Barbara is the city’s walkability: a form of exercise many can do. In fact, Santa Barbara has been designated a Gold-Level Community by Walk Friendly Communities. Besides walking, living here offers you plenty of exercise-related options.

    We have our fair share of great gyms and Yoga Studios to choose from; many offering online classes in the age of COVID-19.

    But if you’re an outdoor enthusiast you can work up a sweat in the great outdoors all year long. In fact, health experts say people are significantly less likely to get the coronavirus while outside. So why not charter a ship, rent a yacht, a kayak for two, a surfboard or paddleboard?

    If running or hiking is your thing, Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas feature some amazing trails to explore. You’ll find everything from easy, flat paths through manicured gardens, to some difficult climbs that reach towering heights over the Pacific. Scenic views are everywhere.

  • Lose Weight (54%)
    Losing weight is easy when you live near some delicious, seriously wholesome cuisine, right? Clean eating is key to the wellness equation, and The American Riviera has a robust line-up of restaurants, cafes and juice bars that serve up fresh-as-it-gets, vitamin-packed, delicious superfood goodness. In fact, there are several health-conscious restaurants in town. Yum!

  • Spend more time with family and friends (13%)
    After almost a year of social distancing, spending more time with family and friends makes the list again. And Santa Barbara has loads of attractions and outdoor opportunities that will satisfy kids of all ages. In addition to our breathtaking beaches and parks, Santa Barbara offers many unique places to bond with family and friends:

    • One example is the Cabrillo Beach Boulevard Bike Trail, a 4.5-mile-long paved bike trail that is flat, safe, and almost entirely off the street. You’ll ride along the beach and pass Stearn’s Wharf, East Beach, and Santa Barbara Harbor, so there are plenty of opportunities to make stops for snacking and shopping along the way.

    • Or how about a guided Channel Islands kayak tour? Known as the Galapagos Islands of North America, the Channel Islands consist of five volcanic islands 25 miles off the Santa Barbara coast. You’ll take a ferry to the islands, then board kayaks once you arrive. The Santa Barbara Adventure Company is a popular option and tours often sell out, so be sure and reserve your spots ahead of time. Kids ages 5 and up are welcome.

      Santa Barbara's massive Moreton Bay Fig Tree
    • The massive Moreton Bay Fig Tree stands steady in our currently unsteady world. Located in Balboa Park, this amazing tree sprouted from a mere cutting brought over from Australia and planted in the garden of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Today, it is … well … it’s gigantic. You just have to see it for yourself. You’ll find the tree on the corner of Montecito and Chapala Streets.

      Many family favorites have experienced a roller coaster ride over the past year, opening and closing depending on local coronavirus cases. But they’re ready and waiting to welcome everyone back once we achieve herd immunity. Here are some gems to look forward to seeing again later this year:
    • The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History with its most famous and exciting exhibit: a complete, 73-foot-long skeleton of earth’s largest animal, a blue whale.

    • The Santa Barbara Zoo, a low-key and easily accessible spot with 30 acres of lush gardens that overlook the ocean, the mountains, and Santa Barbara itself.

    • The Santa Barbara Museum of National History Sea Center offers an engaging, interactive, hands-on experience that’ll excite budding marine biologists and their parents alike.

      There’s a lot more family fun to be had in Santa Barbara. This list only scratches the surface. 

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Santa Barbara Home

Santa Barbara homeowners should consider their abode when making New Year’s resolutions, especially this year when home became our hub. Here are 5 things your house wants you to consider:

  • Streamline your stuff
    Get organized in 2021 by streamlining your stuff. Homeowners acquire mountains of stuff each year. Without some regular purging, cabinets and drawers get jam-packed and it becomes hard to find anything in all that clutter. Get rid of anything you don’t use, wear or love, and donate it to charity. After that, think twice about what you bring in.

  • Make it safe and sound
    Your home may be beautiful, but is it safe? There are a few things that every Santa Barbara homeowner should do to ensure that they’re not living with a potential health hazard or fire risk. First, check your house for radon. This colorless, odorless gas causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year from the radioactive particles it traps in your lungs as you breathe. Other important safety resolutions include installing a carbon monoxide detector in every bedroom in addition to fire detectors, cleaning the vents and ducts behind your dryer, and making sure your bathrooms and attics are well ventilated.

  • Shrink your carbon footprint
    Make 2021 the year you shrink your carbon footprint. It’s easy: just adopt these simple measures:
    • Switch off the lights when you leave a room.
    • Turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house and dial your heater down to 65 degrees at night.
    • Install compact fluorescent bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
    • Water your yard less. Or better yet, plant drought-tolerant landscaping.
    • Give composting a try. Your garden will thank you.

  • Keep it clean!
    Come up with a daily and weekly schedule that works for you and your family. Dishes go in the dishwasher every night, dirty clothes go in the hamper and jackets or clean clothes are hung in the closet. Put everything back to its assigned place in your house and divide weekly cleaning chores among family members and staff.

  • Get ready to entertain once we reopen
    Most of us vow to spend more time with family and friends when a new year rolls around and 2021 is no exception. But, while we can’t gather together right now, we can prepare for the fun later in the year when the stringent stay-at-home orders are lifted.

    Start by giving the areas you entertain in a little update. All it takes to get a fresh new look is a bit of rearranging and a few updates. One easy addition that makes your home seem more “finished” is adding plants. Or you can pull out a new accent color from your existing decor to make the whole room look fresh. Finally, rearrange your furniture so it is oriented in conversation groups and not just facing the television.
lol comic bubble retro text pop art style

LOL New Year’s Resolutions
Humor helps us take back control and connect—two things we lost in 2020 in our fight against the pandemic. As the world continues to hunker down, threatened by the worst global health crisis in 100 years, we seem determined to carry on laughing. And these resolutions are the proof:

  • Stop doom scrolling on Twitter.
  • Live my best life and only buy pants with no buttons or zippers.
  • Cultivate the confidence of Kanye West without the tone-deafness of Kanye West.
  • Go vegan for six months and inevitably give up.
  • Sign up for a marathon that I bravely will not actually run.
  • Unfollow all the Kardashians but continue, or kontinue, to keep up.
  • Remember to make overnight oats the night before even though I know I won’t want to eat them in the morning.
  • Go on a vitamin and supplement shopping spree and finish at least one bottle before I give up.
  • Buy all leftover 2020 calendars and burn them.
  • Relearn social cues after a year at home.
  • Stop lying to myself about following New Year’s resolutions.
  • Go viral on TikTok.
  • Make a viral reel making fun of TikTok.
  • Turn all my high heel shoes into flats.
  • Unfriend every person who shares their unsolicited diet or exercise regimen.
  • Stop buying up all the butternut squash gnocchi at Trader Joe’s as soon as they restock. Leave some for the other shoppers.
  • Have eyebrows as symmetrical as a Wes Anderson movie.
  • Keep kicking ass and taking names, because detailed record-keeping is important.
  • Do so much yoga that it actually justifies wearing yoga pants 24/7.
  • Make so many baked goods for my besties that they start calling me Martha Stewart.
  • Read more (or at least turn the subtitles on while binge-watching TV).
  • Wake up before noon on the weekends.
  • Come to terms with the fact that John Mayer is in his 40s.
  • Don’t text that toxic person back. You know the one. We all have one.
  • Eat more tacos.
  • Floss every day — and not just with wild abandon in the week leading up to a cleaning.
  • Stop making resolutions.
  • Stop hanging out with people who ask about your New Year’s Resolutions 

If your New Year’s Resolutions include buying a home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, or selling your home on The American Riviera, I’m here to help. Please call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at  Together we’ll find the perfect place where your dreams can come true in 2021! There are some amazing properties available right now.

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“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch