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I didn’t keep my resolutions this year. Though let’s be honest, I rarely do.

I kind of hate resolutions because too often they seem to be rooted in our insidious diet culture or fatphobia–neither of which I have any time for–and because people aren’t usually any good at keeping their New Year’s resolutions. 

Most of the time I make resolutions, they’re half joking instead. It’s something I can laugh about and have fun with during the year. A few years ago my best friend and I decided our joint resolution was to not take any crap from anyone anymore. Still working on that one. For 2022, I made just a few simple resolutions.

I told myself I wouldn’t buy any new books during the year until I worked my way through my massive to-be-read pile. But I couldn’t resist buying half a dozen romance novels I definitely didn’t need when the waitlist at the library was just too long and my patience was wearing thin.

I told myself I’d prioritize reading that to-be-read pile–all those shiny new books sitting unread on my shelves, some neglected for years. I watched almost every season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills & Real Housewives of New York instead.

At least this year I had good reason for not keeping my resolutions. 2022 didn’t look like what I expected. Actually, come to think of it–the last year kind of sucked. It was hard and challenging in ways I would not like to repeat. So I don’t feel that bad about not keeping those resolutions. Because even if it was a hard year, it was also fruitful, and I had to let go of my resolutions to take care of myself.

So at the end of a hard, taxing year, I once again commit myself to as few resolutions as possible. I’ll try but I readily acknowledge that I might get to next December 31st and realize I failed again. In that spirit of general apathy toward New Year’s resolutions, my 2023 resolutions are:

  1. Repeat last year’s resolutions. Sure, they didn’t work last year, but hey, I might as well try again! Once again, I will not buy any new books until I read at least some of my to-be-read pile. My shelves are overflowing; I’ll read my poor, neglected books first.
  2. Rest more. And rest better. No surprise here–I’ve already blogged about this twice this year. If you need even more inspiration to add rest as a 2023 resolution for yourself, I recommend Rachel Wilkerson Miller’s latest article, “What Does It Mean to Really, Truly Rest?” 

Since we know I hate resolutions, I’ll keep it simple and see how things go. Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best for a happy 2023 and better luck with your resolutions than I’ll probably have with mine!

header photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Allison Vander Broek

Allison Vander Broek is a historian of American religion and politics. She earned her doctorate in history from Boston College, Her research explored the origins of the right-to-life movement in the 1960s and its rise to national prominence in subsequent years. Though she swore she'd move back to the Midwest after grad school, Allison still resides in the Boston metro area and now works in academic advising at Tufts University.

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