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New Year’s resolutions you might keep

When January 1 rolls around, most of us look for fresh starts. This year we’ll lose weight, quit smoking or drinking too much, get along with family members and… the list goes on. Check in with folks on January 20 and most have either given up on their resolutions already, or have forgotten what they were.

Change doesn’t come easily. But what if we made some resolutions for 2023 that were things we really want to do, not just things we think we should do? What if we made a list of resolutions that we could actually look forward to trying? It might still take a bit of discipline, but it could be fun.

Here are four categories most of us can identify with. Let’s make it simple – something we can accomplish without gritting our teeth. Before we know it, we’ll have incorporated good habits into our daily schedules and stand proud as we say, “I kept my New Year’s resolution.”

Choose one or two items from each checklist or write your own. Give yourself permission to change your goal as the year progresses. Keep the goals simple and measurable. Celebrate at the end of each month if you’ve accomplished them.


  • Spend 15 minutes outside each day
  • Take the stairs and not the elevator
  • Monitor your daily step count. Set a goal and track your progress
  • Ride your bike x times per week
  • Take the dog for a walk x times per week
  • Make a home exercise workout and do it while watching a TV show


  • Volunteer once a week in your community
  • Donate money regularly to a legitimate cause
  • Send cards, letters or emails to loved ones
  • Spend time with friends
  • Pay it forward anonymously to those in need
  • Visit a lonely person
  • Clear out clutter and little-used items to local clearing houses


  • Take time for coffee or lunch dates
  • Listen to a friend’s problems
  • Do a kind deed for an acquaintance
  • Give a compliment to someone at least once a day
  • Overlook annoying habits
  • Refrain from gossip or criticism
  • Phone or visit an elderly friend or relative


Reduce Stress

  • Give yourself the gift of quiet each day
  • Listen to music
  • Make time to watch a favorite TV show or movie 
  • Plan a vacation to a place you’ve always wanted to go
  • Declutter your living space
  • Take a class – music, dance, art, cooking
  • List the things you love and include them in your daily life

If you’re a paper and pencil person, you might enjoy tracking the progress for the items you select. When you are ready for a new challenge, feel free to move on to new goals. Setting simple, doable goals and achieving them is a satisfying experience. You’ll find the resolutions aren’t so hard to keep when you enjoy doing them.

Jan is an author and retired teacher. She is the author of Homegrown Readers and Homegrown Family Fun: Unplugged. Find Jan at


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