Your Friends Are the Key to Helping You Succeed in 2016

We can make awesome New Year’s Resolutions for ourselves, but they aren’t always easy to execute on our own. More than 3,700 Skouters recently took a survey about resolutions for 2016 and it turns out their friends will play a huge role in helping them meet their goals.

Your friends make great gym buddies!

  • The vast majority (78%) of people say they plan to exercise more in 2016, but 26% of people who make this resolution will only do it if they do it with a friend.
  • 84% of people say they get a better workout when they exercise with a friend.

New year, new relationships.

  • 82% of people hope to make new friends.

Blind date? Sure!

  • 73% of men and 60% of women are open to their friends setting them up on dates.

Movin’ on up!

  • 55% of people will look for a new job.
  • 92% of people are going to save more money in 2016.

More friends means more happiness at work.

  • 85% of employed people who have 7+ good friends are happy in their job.
  • 80% of employed people who have 4-6 good friends are happy in their job.
  • 77% of employed people who have 2-3 good friends are happy in their job.

Land a new job with help from your friends.

  • More than half of people (53%) have gotten a job as a result of a friend.

More friends = more likely to get promoted.

  • 62% of employed people who have 7+ good friends have received a promotion in the past year.
  • 57% of employed people who have 4-6 good friends have received a promotion in the past year.
  • 53% of employed people who have 2-3 good friends have received a promotion in the past year.
  • 48% of employed people who have only 1 good friend have received a promotion in the past year.

New year, new look!

  • 82% of women say they are going to improve their look in 2016.

Want to feel more stylish in 2016? Focus on your squad.

  • 73% of women who have 7+ good friends say their friends tell them they are stylish.
  • 65% of women who have 4-6 good friends say their friends tell them they are stylish.
  • 60% of women who have 2-3 good friends say their friends tell them they are stylish.
  • 55% of women who have one good friend say their friends tell them they are stylish.

LEAVE IT IN 2015

While the majority of people are looking to step up their style game, focus on health and fitness and land a new job in 2016, there are definitely trends they want to see left behind. We surveyed over 2,800 Skouters to learn what trends are officially out for 2016.

A cooked meal? Yes please!

  • Over 33% say the raw diet sounds disgusting.

Just hop on a regular bike already.

  • 18% of people want to the spinning trend to be a thing of the past.

Let that man mane fly.

  • 26% say man-buns are so 2015.

You're no Paul Bunyan, so stop dressing like him.

  • 18% think the Lumbersexual trend should die.

If we hear someone brag about how many steps they've taken, we will freak out.

  • 28% say to ditch the fitness bracelets in 2016.

SKOUTERS PREDICT WHICH TRENDS ARE GOING OUT OF STYLE IN 2016 https://youtu.be/njfVEz3fe8Q


FASHION AND BEAUTY

SKOUTERS AND EXPERTS TALK FASHION FOR THE NEW YEAR https://youtu.be/EUoIR1AlZyo


3 OUTFITS TO MAKE AN EXCELLENT FIRST IMPRESSION IN 2016

By Laura Ellner

No better time than the New Year to make new friends, connect with like-minded individuals, and expand that Rolodex. It is also the perfect opportunity to step up your style game. Laura Ellner from OnTheRacks, and a digital marketing pro who founded UNRACKED Marketing, is here to provide some fashion tips for any occasion that you and your gal pals can incorporate, and take inspiration from, for outings of all kinds!

From San Francisco, to NYC, and now Paris, Laura has had her fair share of professional play in the fashion game, and knows a thing or two about dressing right. Here her tips and tricks for looking good in 2016:

Whether you are heading out for a casual coffee, getting a taste of culture at the DeYoung or MOMA, or grabbing a glass of wine at Amelie, you want to be sure to dress the part! From “group dates” to prepping with friends for a solo meetup, here are a handful of styles that are sure to assist in making that perfect first impression:

Low Key Café Meet-up or a Daytime Lunch

The easiest way to meet new friends is over a casual cup of coffee. I am all about purchasing easy pieces that can work whether you are sneaking out on your lunch break or prepared for a conversational stroll after the initial “sit-down.”

  1. A collection of great basics is KEY for any woman’s wardrobe. This Tie Tee by Cheap Monday will have you feeling comfortable and looking cool, but it also takes simple to snazzy with its minimal detailing.
  2. The OVERT NOHO Backpack is a total lifesaver for the city girl on the go. It has a built-in laptop sleeve and detachable front pouch (allowing you to transition from day to night in a snap -- literally), and it doesn’t sacrifice style. High-quality construction, wearability and practical design make this bag a must-have.
  3. I am the queen of bedhead, especially on the weekends. A good hat is basically my best friend. I am currently coveting the Matador Felt Hat from ASOS! It’s the perfect way to top off just about any casual look.
  4. Denim can be an all-too-easy go-to (it is for me, at least -- I love a good pair of jeans). However, these Herringbone Trousers from Urban Outfitters are a little more fashion-forward and send a stronger message than “I woke up like this.” They are slouchy and structured at the same time – win-win.
  5. The Vail Slip On Mules by Kelsi Dagger BK have been my go-to shoes for months. They are completely comfortable, with soft leather and a heel that is just high enough to make it look like you tried (but not too hard, of course).
  6. A subtle lip color is ideal for daytime outings. NARS lip crayons (in just about every shade) have been a favorite beauty product for years. I am not the type to reapply every 20 minutes, and these last without drying out your pretty pout. The Velvet Matte version in Natural Rose Beige Sheen is subtle but adds an extra something that won’t go unnoticed.
  7. Looking to nix the tee and pants attire and go for a casual dress instead? This J.D.Y Shift Dress from ASOS is a great move. And it can be paired up with all of the other items listed above! If weather obliges, hey, why not show a little leg? Another great option, if you are looking for a slightly bolder color, is the Crepe Shift Dress in Royal Blue by Marine Layer.

Putting on a Professional Persona for the Business Get-Together

If you stumble upon a new friend on Skout who could be leveraged for potential job opportunities or a mutually beneficial business engagement, you might want to step your look up a bit (without going too far). “You can never be overdressed” is not necessarily a statement that reigns true in my book, especially if you run the risk of making someone feel underdressed. My advice is to dress like a “Girlboss,” but in the sense that Sophia Amoruso, founder of NastyGal, owned the term in her book (definitely worth a read, by the way).

  1. Hearing “pants suit” probably leaves most people feeling less than enthused. I am among this crowd, for sure. But think again, because these days, suits can be far from boring. The Checked Blazer and Cigarette Pants set from Topshop, for example, certainly shows personality while also sending a message of professionalism. If you want to dress it down, this ensemble can even be paired up with a basic tee from Wilt or Roots!
  2. These Jennie-Ellen Getaway Wedges that I discovered through Tictail are so unique and also comfortable as can be! One of my greatest passions when it comes to fashion is discovering on-the-rise designers who are creating really special pieces that stand out, and this gal hit the nail on the head with her entire collection.
  3. I am the kind of girl who always has a notebook on hand; honestly, I never leave home without one! Who knows when that genius idea can pop into your head -- you want to have something stylish to write it down on, right? This Marble Notebook from Urban Outfitters is a great professional accessory to carry around with you. Not only does it show that you mean business, but also that you are taking initiative to stay somewhat organized.
  4. Prescription or not, these Grayton Spectacles by Michael Kors are a chic way to look and feel a little smarter. Enough said.
  5. Strathberry is one of the most incredible handbag brands out there right now, in my personal opinion (I own three styles). The Classic Tote, however, is perfect if you are looking to fit your laptop and a few other must-haves while on the move! Another awesome option is the Midi Tote. Or if you are drawn to smaller styles, the MC Midi or MC Mini are absolutely stunning. The craftsmanship is top-notch.
  6. A girl can never go wrong with a classic wrap dress! If you are looking to splurge, DVF has been going strong with this style for years! However, there are so many stellar options out there, like this Obi Wrap Pencil Dress from ASOS in a lovely shade of faded forest green.

Stepping It Up for an Evening Cocktail Outing with Friends

A little black dress is always a good option, whether you are meeting a cute guy at a wine bar or headed out for a night of dancing with a group of new, like-minded friends! However, there are so many variations that can make you stand out in the crowd. In 2016, I say be the girl who takes this classic trend to the next level.

  1. If you ask me, the best way to hop about town is in a jumpsuit. I have always been an advocate of the one-piece. It is stylish and simple – one shot, and you are done! Just add on a few accessories, and you are good to go. The Short-sleeved Tie Waist Misguided Jumpsuit from ASOS allows for layering options that are vital this time of year. You cannot go wrong!
  2. The Oz Mini by Joseph & Stacey is the perfect handbag to add to your evening look. You can leave your wallet at home with the built-in credit card holders and clever pockets for cash. It is tiny but leaves just enough room for the essentials. Also, the best part is their bags are customizable – from color to fabrication!
  3. Rompers are always a fun alternative to the LBD as well! I’m all about this classy ASOS Romper with Shirt Detail. It looks like a two-part ensemble, yet it’s way simpler and saves the time and stress of finding a perfect top-to-bottom match! For colder temps you can pair it up with some tights and a cute cardigan, as well.
  4. Simple black pumps are a given! But these ASOS Stamp Heels have a subtle and sweet appeal with that Mary Jane effect. The wrap-around ankle buckle makes them easier to prance around in, and a thicker heel is a total must, with regards to practicality, if you are looking to stand a little taller.
  5. LBD may be the way to go, but a splash of color never hurt anyone! A Chocolate Fudge Cake Scarf by CJW is the perfect accessory to spruce up a simpler ensemble, without going overboard. Not to mention, these scarves are soft as can be and come in a variety of very fun prints and patterns -- a great addition to your 2016 accessory collection!
  6. And let’s finish things off by going back to the root of our inspiration here – a classic black dress! But keep it fun with a piece like this one by Pins & Needles from Urban Outfitters! Flared sleeves, a front keyhole and easy-breezy back vent – this look is a chic, classy and playful option to ring in a New Year with great style.

Here’s to a fashionable and friend-filled 2016 with Skout!

Laura Ellner - Born and bred in Orange County, California, Laura spent most of her childhood / teen years as a high-level competitive gymnast, which helped her become the proud misfit she is today…simultaneously teaching her the important value of discipline and hard work. She currently resides in Paris, where she’s continuing on her journey toward self-discovery. A nomad of sorts, looking to embrace anything and everything that comes her way!


FASHION AND BEAUTY SHINE IN THE GIFT STORE

Need a shopping buddy? Drop a not-so-subtle hint by giving your nearby Skout friend the Retail Therapy Gift, now in the Skout Gift Store!

Retail Therapy

Fashion and Beauty Gifts are brand-new in the Gift Store, and they range from pretty — Lipstick, Little Blue Dress and more ...

Little Blue Dress

... to fashion victim, including Manbun and Lumbersexual.

Manbun

Find these Gifts and more in the Fashion and Beauty category in the Gift Store. They're free for now, but don't let this opportunity fade away -- Fashion and Beauty Gifts are available on Skout for a limited time!

Tap here to learn how to give a Gift in Skout.


HEALTH AND FITNESS

SKOUTERS AND EXPERTS TALK FITNESS FOR THE NEW YEAR

https://youtu.be/FaybOGxT5_U


5 WAYS TO STICK WITH YOUR NEW YEARS WORKOUT RESOLUTION

By Ursula Dailey

You know how it goes. It's New Year's Eve, and everyone is going around sharing their resolutions. Chances are, you hear a lot of this: Spend more time at the gym, go to spin classes multiple times per week, lose some weight, gain more muscle. You'll all resolve to hit the gym hard starting tomorrow, filled with renewed vigor, recovering from champagne, and embracing visions of a whole new you.

I have always found New Year’s resolutions to be a bit of a Catch-22. I like them because they give us a universally recognized time to check in with ways we could improve and a solid starting point from which we can work toward personal and professional goals. Add on the fact that everyone is doing it all at the same time, and it's a little easier to get after whatever your goals are knowing that you're not alone in the attempt.

Yet year after year, once February rolls around and the residual New Year’s excitement has worn off, all these resolutions start to fade into the background. Crowded gyms clear out, and it's not as much of a struggle to find a place to put your mat in yoga class. The everyday demands of life catch up to us and shift our minds back to other things, because bottom line, it's hard to maintain changes in the long term.

So what can you do to avoid falling off the wagon come February? Never fear: There are a few easy ways to avoid New Year's resolution burnout, involving everything from getting a workout buddy who has your back to revamping your activewear wardrobe. Here are five tips to help you and your friends stay focused, engaged, and on top of your goals throughout the year.

Find your "ride or die" workout buddy. Workout partners are essential when it comes to getting yourself to the gym, a class, or out for a run. Choose your buddy with care. It can be a friend, family member, or significant other — but make sure they're someone who comes through consistently when they commit to something. Having someone there to motivate you, cheer you on, and (most importantly) be there on time and ready to work makes all the difference. There's also the additional perk of increased accountability when you know someone is counting on you to show up. If working out with a friend at the same time isn’t an option, try checking in with each other via text at the start and end of your workouts: Compare notes on what you did, your “wins” for the day, and your plan for your next session. You can use fitness apps designed to help friends hold each other accountable and even initiate a little healthy competition.

Make it manageable. Deciding you're going to hit the gym seven days a week is all well and good, but realistically, aggressive workout plans crumble the second work or social engagements get in the way. This becomes especially hard if you’re planning to work out with a buddy — trying to make two schedules mesh together becomes harder the more times you try to meet up each week. It will serve you better to start small and work up, and you can always increase your workout time once you know you and your buddy can maintain it. Commit to something you know both of you can stick with, even if that means just one to two times a week or cutting the workouts down into 15- or 30-minute chunks. If you’re flying solo at the gym but still staying in contact with your friends via fitness apps, try challenging each other to see who can hit their weekly workout goal the most consistently. You and your workout partner will find that taking on more as you go forward feels way better than having to scale back from where you started.

Pick and train for an event or a race. For those who need a goal to work toward beyond getting more fit or losing weight, signing up for a race — whether that be a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon, cycling road race, triathlon, or obstacle course race — gives you something a little more concrete to set your sights on. Get a buddy (or two) to sign up with you for extra fun and support, especially if you're planning to do a Spartan Race, Urbanathlon, or Tough Mudder. Challenge your friends to fitness tests to see how you’re progressing as you work up to your race!

Double up social time with a workout. Hiking, playing a pickup game of basketball or ultimate frisbee, going out dancing, biking to get coffee -- all these activities can help you break a sweat while spending time with friends. Get your friends in on making at least one social gathering per week exercise-based instead of hitting a bar or restaurant. This allows you to knock out a workout without missing out on hanging with friends or feeling like you have to sacrifice being active to maintain your social schedule.

Get some new gear. If you're looking your best, you'll feel your best. I find this principle holds true not just for everyday wear, but workout apparel as well. While it might seem like nothing, getting a new pair of shoes or adding other refreshers to your activewear wardrobe can help you feel more powerful and confident going into your workouts. While you’re shopping for yourself, consider gifting a friend with a pair of new shorts or yoga pants over the holidays to encourage them to join you at the gym once January rolls around.

Ursula DaileyUrsula Dailey - Born and raised in the East Bay, Ursula is a retired NCAA Division I swimmer (and single-sitting Haagen-Dazs pint-eater) who still enjoys being in the water and nomming on sweet treats every once in a while. When she’s not collaborating with the Spright editorial team, you can find her exploring the greater Bay Area, frequenting local breweries, and rallying friends to do triathlon relays, half marathons, and Spartan races.


RUN TO THE GIFT STORE FOR HEALTH AND FITNESS GIFTS

Flex your virtual muscles by giving the Kettlebell or the Punching Bag — now in the Skout Gift Store!

Kettlebell

The Health and Fitness category lets you serve up a tasty Paleo Plate or delicious Kale to your favorite Skout friends.

Paleo Plate

And let Skouters know you’re looking for a gym partner by giving the Workout Buddies Gift.

Workout Buddies

Find these Gifts and more in the Health and Fitness category in the Gift Store. They're free for now, but don't let this opportunity run away from you -- Health and Fitness Gifts are available on Skout for a limited time!

Don’t know how to give a Gift in Skout? Tap here!


GREEN SMOOTHIES NOT YOUR THING? TRY THIS!

I happen to be a fan of green smoothies. But if you’re like 18% of Skouters who’d pass on the green stuff, here is a non-green version that’s rich in vitamins -- namely, the good-vibes vitamin B12. I used four whole tangerines (without peels), which translates to about a cup of fresh juice. It’s easier than juicing, and the pulp is good for you!

THE HAPPY PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE Ingredients 1 cup of fresh orange juice 1 cup of frozen pineapple 1 banana 5 ice cubes 1/3 cup almond milk

Throw all the ingredients in a blender until smooth! This recipe makes two servings. Serve one for you and one for your bestie!

Happy Pineapple Smoothie

Nikki Castellanos

nikki_skout Nikki is a member of the Skout team. Originally from Los Angeles, CA, she’s been in the Bay Area for the past 3 years. A proud San Francisco 49er fan, she will always sport red and gold for her team. Go Niners! On weekends, she can be found taking her four dogs for walks around China Beach.


HOW DO YOU #GETFIT?

78% of Skouters are going to resolve to exercise more in 2016. How are you planning to meet your workout goals? Are you a fan of spinning, obstacle course races, yoga, running? Snap a picture of yourself or you and a friend working out together with the hashtag #getfit on the Buzz. We’ll choose our favorites and gift them 500 points!

#getfit


LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS

5 TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR BUDDY YOUR BESTIE

Interview with Rachel and Nikko

How long have you been friends? Nikko: We’ve known each other for a while, but we became close about six years ago.

Where did you two meet? Nikko: I remember meeting Rachel at her high school dance. A friend of mine also went to the same school and I attended the dance with her and then met Rach. We were re-introduced, years later, by mutual friends. Rachel: We ran in the same circles in high school, so we used to see each other around.

What personality trait about one another were you most drawn to? Nikko: Her modesty. LOL. Rachel: She’s a lot like me. And I like me. Sooooooo… How often do you call/text each other throughout the week? Nikko: Every time I am eating something really good. Rachel: We talk to each other every day!

What are your top 5 tips for sustaining a strong friendship?

  1. When I rise, you rise. Lift each other up.
  2. Know when to play devil’s advocate and when to just be my friend and hate all the same things I do.
  3. Be someone I can count on, no matter what.
  4. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  5. Food, wine, and shopping are a good idea for every occasion, good or bad.

Nikko is a member of the Skout team. She was born and raised in San Francisco, but she considers the world her oyster. Her passion lies in all things food and beverage. She works to travel, writes to stay sane, sings to be heard and, most of all, lives to love.

rachel_skout Rachel is a member of the Skout team. She’s a daydreaming, travel addicted, shopaholic, bossy-pants kinda girl who prefers to drink whiskey on the rocks.


CULTIVATE LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP WITH NEW GIFTS

Giving Gifts is a great way to remind Skouters what they mean to you. Craving some girl talk with your bestie? Send her Friendly Drinks:

Find the Friendly Drinks gift in the Skout Gift Store.

Want to watch the game with a friend? Send him or her the Whoop Whoop Gift:

Check out the Love and Relationships category in the Skout Gift Store.

Find Selfie Stick, Movie Night and more in the Love and Relationships category in the Gift Store — all free for a limited time!

Tap here to find out how to give Gifts in Skout.


FRIENDS WILL PLAY A BIG ROLE IN HELPING YOU MEET YOUR 2016 GOALS


WORK AND MONEY

SKOUTERS AND EXPERTS TALK MONEY FOR THE NEW YEAR

https://youtu.be/dsumgrKNbZc

WHAT'S NEW IN TECH FOR THE NEW YEAR? SKOUT MAKES ITS PREDICTIONS https://youtu.be/lXDDMzl-Hvg


WORK AND MONEY GIFTS -- FREE IN THE GIFT STORE

Visualize success with Work and Money Gifts — free right now in the Skout Gift Store! Dolla dolla bill y'all:

Dollar

Congratulate that Skouter on his or her new job:

skout_work_newjob

And let people know it’s time for coffee:

Coffee Clock

Find these Gifts and more in the Work and Money category in the Gift Store for a limited time!

Tap here to learn how to give a Gift in Skout.


HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR FRIEND NETWORK TO LAND YOUR DREAM JOB

By Jena Viviano

The Ball in Times Square hasn’t dropped yet, but you know beyond a shadow of a doubt what your 2016 New Year’s resolution is going to be: Find a new job, preferably, of the dream variety. You know, the type of job you thought you would have when you graduated from college with all that student debt (insert bawling emoji here). The kind of job where you are actually passionate about your work, like your co-workers and feel you’re being properly compensated for all your effort. The kind of job you are excited to get to every morning. Now that’s the dream.

It’s a fabulous resolution. But the biggest question is: Where do you start?

Well, you may be surprised that the answer doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend hours sifting through job boards, career websites or attending stuffy networking events. In fact, the first step to finding your dream job lies with the people you spend most of your time with: your friends.

Pick their brains Maybe you’ve decided you want to find your dream job, but you don’t actually know what that is. Or maybe you think you know what you want to do, but you need to make sure it is actually for you. Either way, asking your friends what they like and don’t like about their jobs is really going to help you decipher if a certain occupation is for you. So pick their brains. Ask them questions about why they love (or hate!) their jobs. Is it the industry? What about the work-life balance? Is their day-to-day work challenging? What about the culture? Do they like to spend time with co-workers outside of the office? Is there opportunity for promotion? All of these questions will help you understand what you may love or hate about your future career.

Land the office invite It’s safe to say that most companies host some sort of networking events – whether that be a happy hour, holiday party or key speaker series. If there is an open invite, ask if you can join in on the festivities. And of course, return the favor by bringing them to your work functions as well. Think about it: It’s a win-win. More time with with your bestie, plus you’re expanding your professional network! It’s an easy, casual way to meet new people. Not to mention, if you want to work for your friend’s company, this is a smart way to get your foot in the door! You could even shadow your friend for a day - arguably, the best way to understand the culture, meet potential coworkers and showcase your dedication.

Get the inside recruiting scoop! Say you figured out your dream job and know exactly what company you want to be a part of. Because you have a friend who’s invited you to the office, you’ve spent time getting to know the company’s mission, meeting the people and realizing this is the place for you! Now it’s time to apply. Unlike most blind job applications, you have an advantage here. You have a friend who’s on the inside. They’ve gone through the process before. They know what the recruiters look for in a candidate and how best to prepare. Use them! Let them help you become the rock star candidate you know you are.

Ask for a referral Statistics show that referrals are the No. 1 source of hires in Corporate America. Hiring managers know that current employees won’t suggest a candidate unless they are incredibly sure they would be a good fit for the role and the company’s culture. Plus, some statistics show that referrals tend to stay at a company longer and perform better at their jobs. Basically, if your friend believes that you have a stellar work ethic and would be a good fit, your chances for landing that dream job exponentially increase. So when it’s appropriate and when you’re ready to apply, ask your friend to help a brother/sister out!

All in all, the job application process doesn’t have to be boring or tedious. It can actually be incredibly fun and a natural part of your normal social activity. So get your friends together and go after your dream job!

Jena VivianoJena Viviano - After escaping investment banking, Jena spent two years at the New York Stock Exchange, meeting with CEOs and reporting live from the Trading Floor. Now, she helps companies tell their story on The Muse. When she's not hustling away, you can find her running along the Hudson, hosting wine night for her Apostles' church crew, or doing some musing of her own, here. Say hey on Twitter.