By: Whitney Meers
The New Year is a time for new beginnings, and for many of us, this means investing in self-improvement with New Year’s resolutions. It’s proven that accountability can help people reach their goals, and for many couples, holding one another accountable is an excellent way to kick each others’ butts into gear.
New York has no shortage of ways to distract you from your goals, but in the city that never sleeps, there are a bunch of activities to help you reach them as well. We’ve compiled a list of date ideas that will also serve to help the two of you jump start your resolutions in 2018.
Date Ideas To Keep Your Resolutions Strong
In 2018, We Resolve To…
The past few years have given rise to something called “mocktails,” a mixologist’s alternative to alcoholic beverages. Whereas non-drinkers’ options have historically been limited to whatever sodas or juices the restaurant has on hand as mixers, some restaurant owners are now cognizant that many people enjoy trendy cocktails for the taste and the experience — not just the buzz.
If you and your partner are hoping to cut down on booze in 2018, sample some creative mocktail concoctions from places such as speakeasy Angel’s Share (the Stella by Starlight is ranked as the #1 mocktail in NYC) or Bemelmans Bar (featuring the Ananas Cooler, a nonalcoholic best-seller made with pineapple juice, ginger beer, mint, and agave).
While having an accountability partner can be helpful at any gym, Switch Playground’s entire program is fully dedicated to doubles routines. You and your partner pair up to go through 20 stations side-by-side, each employing a different exercise. One of the coolest parts of Switch is that the exercises and ordering changes every session, so you’re never stuck doing the same thing.
On those days where you need to trade strength training for cardio, the two of you can go for a run together. While there are a number of popular running routes throughout the city, some of New Yorkers’ favorites are in Central Park, Prospect Park, the West Side Highway portion of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, and the Kent Avenue portion of the Brooklyn Greenway.
If you and your partner have resolved to go meatless and dairy-free this year, it’s good news to know you’re in one of the best cities in the world to exercise a vegan diet. If you’re looking for an upscale vegan dating experience, enjoy the ambiance of Caravan of Dreams or a prix fixe dinner from Dirt Candy. For something a bit more casual, grab an early dinner at Peacefood Cafe. One of our couples, Anna Louise & Matthew, are in a vegan/sober relationship — check out their picks on where to go too.
And, since being vegan also means you’ll have to know how to prepare delicious vegan dishes on the fly, sign up for a class at the Natural Gourmet Institute, where you can learn how to make vegan soups, entrees, and desserts, or you can opt to simply strengthen your cooking technique.
Learn To Paint
If your resolutions have you itching to do something more artistic in 2018, be prepared to get your hands dirty within the wealth of painting options this city has to offer. For couples that aspire to make art class a date-like endeavor, this upcoming BYOB couples painting night at The Art Studio NY is the way to go. Rather than producing individual paintings, the two of you will collaborate on a single piece while learning styles and sipping wine throughout the night.
For something a little more intimate and perhaps a bit risqué, consider trying DenArt’s Paint in the Dark – Body Painting for Couples class. The program includes a demo by a professional artist followed by a session where you and your partner paint one another using glow-in-the-dark paints under UV lights.
If your plan this year involves finding more ways to live sustainably, there are plenty of ways to realize this goal within the backdrop of NYC. One of the easiest ways to practice sustainability as a couple is to trade your subway commute for a bike ride. You can pick up an affordable second-hand bike, or you can sign up with Citi Bike for as little as $14.95 a month.
Then, while out on your ride, you can break for dinner at a sustainability-driven restaurant. A few must-trys include the elegant and eclectic Graffiti Earth in Tribeca and The Bounty, a Greenpoint restaurant focused on sustainable seafood that only serves fresh-caught, non-farmed options.
Spend More Time In Nature
If 2017 was the year the two of you got so deep into a Netflix and takeout routine that you start recognizing your Postmate, you may want to spend more time outdoors in 2018.
While there’s always Central Park, you may be long overdue for a trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, featuring events such as this seasonal outdoor walking tour led by a licensed psychotherapist. Or, if you’re jonesing to get outdoorsy after a good snow, make your way to Prospect Park’s Long Meadow to go sledding with your S.O.
Meditation is an excellent tool in the search to find balance in life, so it’s no wonder so many people choose to introduce the habit into their daily routines as the New Year begins. But, for couples that are unsure where to start, there are a number of excellent programs out there that will help you learn explore and the practice.
For instance, MNDFL offers a number of classes, but also hosts experiences to take your meditation to the next level. Some upcoming events include a reflection and Q&A on the power of intentions, and the sound bath, a deep, music-based relaxation meditation.
Learn A New Language
If your plans for 2018 include a trip abroad, you may want to resolve to learn a new language before you go. If that’s the case, NYC is home to courses in almost any foreign language you can imagine. If you’re willing to make a true investment, we recommend Fluent City due to the wide variety of classes and easy accessibility.
However, if you’re just putting out feelers, try dipping your toes in with Learn Spanish New York’s free beginner class or beginner French language classes at the New York Public Library. The best part of learning as a couple is that you’ll both already have practice partners.
NYC has no shortage of cooking classes, but it may be one of the only places in the world that truly celebrates cooking as a couple. If goat cheese souffle, steak with red wine-shallot sauce, and dark chocolate mousse are on the menu for you, snag a couple of spots at this upcoming Valentine’s Day cooking class at Home Cooking New York.
But, if you’re looking for an even sweeter deal, try this couples cupcake-making class at Butter Lane. You can also head to East Harlem for a macaron-making class for two at French’Encas, taught by French pastry chef Simon Herfray.
As a couple, you’re always learning and growing in your relationship. We hope you’ll take that mindset into the New Year as you try new things and create new memories, resolving to make 2018 your best year ever, together.