5 Realistic New Year's Resolutions You Might Actually Keep

We say this ever year, but this year, we're going to stick to our New Year's resolutions! ... Right? (Don't answer that.)


Dec. 28 2022, Updated 11:43 a.m. ET

2023 written out with blocks
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It's that time of year again where we kid ourselves into thinking we're really going to stick to our resolutions this time around. So maybe it's better to shake things up and look at some more realistic New Year's resolutions for 2023.

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And if that doesn't work, perhaps we can all just resolve to no longer have these resolutions to begin with. Indeed, one study back in 2016 apparently found that out of the 41 percent of Americans who made resolutions, only 9 percent felt they'd really kept them by year's end. (Unclear how many of those 9 percent are damn liars.)

Anyway, before you throw in the towel on the concept altogether, consider these five resolutions first. And if these sound awful, stick around for some ideas from social media users.

Resolution #1: Cut yourself some slack.

woman hugging herself
Source: Getty Images

We're all human. Make it a point to go easier on yourself. They say you should talk to yourself the way you'd talk to a friend. If you haven't tried that before, give it a go — it may actually help quite a bit.

They also say you can imagine your childhood self every time you start getting especially hard on yourself. In other words: Would you be so hard on that little child? (Ooof. This one might hit different!)

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Resolution #2: Start with baby steps.

Many of us want to move more or read more. Starting slowly — like aiming for 20 minutes on the treadmill a couple times a week, or reading a few pages before bed on the weekends — could be key. If you lose your progress along the way, just refer to Resolution #1 and cut yourself some slack.

And besides, the character Dr. Leo Marvin from the classic 1991 comedy What About Bob wrote a whole book about taking baby steps. (Yes, he basically turned into a homicidal maniac by the end of the movie, but let's not get lost in the pesky details!)

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Resolution #3: Support a local business you like.

man opening up local business
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It always feels good to support a place you enjoy. It could even mean buying a T-shirt from your favorite local ice cream spot and wearing it proudly around town. Just be aware that if you wear it while at the shop itself, you may be mistaken for an employee. (Cough, not that this has ever happened to us, cough.)

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Resolution #4: Drink more water.

person drinking water
Source: Getty Images

This one's just a given at this point. And luckily it's not too hard or stressful. The benefits, however, are endless. (May help with constipation? Who doesn't love this!)

Don't get too discouraged if you forget about your H2O sometimes; just remember to try.

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Resolution #5: Write things down.

woman writing something down
Source: Getty Images

Maybe you never make a shopping list, or you always mean to write down the wild dream you had, but you never do. Perhaps you overheard a snippet of an amazing conversation on the train and want to remember it for the Next Great American Novel you're penning. Whether you carry around a notepad and pen (we love an analog hobby!) or just utilize the Notes app on your phone, resolve to write things down.

And if you already do this, well, we're jealous. Keep at it!

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If all of the above New Year's resolutions sound terrible, consider what these social media users are doing.

Folks online have plenty of thoughts on their own New Year's resolutions. "I want to appreciate the little things more," one user wrote on Twitter. Another suggested, "Learn to accept success when it’s earned." These tweets were found in a #SaveWarriorNun thread. (Possible new resolution: Make friends with Warrior Nun fans because they seem very wise.)

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This other user's resolution is to make her favorite boy band proud. And this person wants to keep in mind that "Even with a plan, s--t happens."

And we could all benefit from following this person's resolution: "Put the remote back on the coffee table/night stand instead of throwing it into a pit of doom where it will never be found." (Just @ us next time, dang.)

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