Realistic resolutions for 2023

Holly Thompson provides new year resolution ideas so that you can start off your year on the right foot

New year’s resolutions. Whether you love them or hate them, you’re probably going to make some. By the end of December, we abandon our routines, keeping no sleep schedule, neglecting commitments and living off luscious leftovers. Suddenly, a wave of motivation to reinvent ourselves crashes over us as January creeps closer. However, resolutions such as “I’m going to go to the gym every day” and “I’m going to eat healthier” are unrealistic, vague and over-simplified. Follow me as I share 23 realistic resolution ideas to follow over the next twelve months and maintain as part of your 2023 lifestyle. 

1) January

Better Quality Sleep

Six hours of deep sleep is more beneficial than eight hours of broken sleep. Implement a relaxing night routine to ensure you can physically get up when your alarm comes alive.

Plan your week

Get a calendar or planner, it can be physical or digital. Schedule in your roster, your classes and any other appointments you may have. 

2) February

Family time 

You won’t have your family forever. Arrange to have a family meal once a week. If you are not able to physically be with your family, I suggest putting aside one hour a week where you can call them. It will make a massive difference. 

Don’t go on your phone first thing in the morning or last thing at night

“Start strong and end strong, avoid the screen for two hours after you wake up and before you go to sleep.”

Let’s be real, a digital detox in this modern age is impossible. That doesn’t mean you have to begin your day checking your phone or dealing with negative media which could then have a knock-on effect. Start strong and end strong, avoid the screen for two hours after you wake up and before you go to sleep. Start small with ten-minute slots and soon enough your dependency decreases. 

3) March 

Be more active 

Being more active does not necessarily entail a trip to the gym! It does not mean sweating and throbbing muscles. Finding ways to be a little more active during the day in a manner that fits you and your lifestyle will truly be transformed for the better.

Schedule a break 

Lying in bed stressing about what you have to do tomorrow is not you-time. Nor is going out to party. Ask yourself, if I could do anything I wanted right now, what would I do? And then take that time out of your week to do it.

4) April


Journaling is a brilliant stress reliever and a way to document memories in a non-digital way. At the end of the day, take out a notebook and a pen and clear your mind by unleashing your thoughts. 

Grocery shop with a list

“Although Ben & Jerry’s is a necessity, at the end of the day I would prioritise loo roll.”

I don’t reject impulse purchases, however, with a list you can ensure that wants don’t dominate needs and that you will not forget the things you actually went to the shop for. Although Ben & Jerry’s is a necessity, at the end of the day I would prioritise loo roll.

5) May 

Cooking/meal prep 

Meal prepping not only saves you time, but it provides you with the opportunity to vary your diet instead of having plain penne pasta for the fifth day in a row.

Weekly clean 

Pick your least hectic day and clean your space. Annoying as it is, doing a weekly clean will prevent you from having to do a monthly scrub. 

6) June

Be helpful 

Do one little act of kindness per week. You could bring your significant other their coffee in the morning or help a mate out with a brutal assignment. 

Be more social

It’s so easy to get caught up in work and studies that we can forget to prioritise our relationships. Find activities and people that don’t drain you. It’s okay if you can’t go clubbing three nights a week. Set aside two hours per week where you will meet a friend for coffee or a walk instead.

7) July

Save for something you really want 

Set yourself an amount, maybe five or ten euros, to save per week. Challenge the instant gratification of splurging on something and instead try to make yourself work for it.

Drink less/stop drinking 

Drinking should be an enjoyable experience. Surround yourself with people who can have a good time without drinking and remember that you don’t need to justify your decision to drink less or to refrain from it entirely.

8) August

Stop smoking (any bad habit) 

Habits can’t really be broken, but they most definitely can be replaced. Instead of a morning cigarette go out for a fancy coffee. If you can afford a box of cigarettes with today’s prices you can definitely treat yourself to a coffee. 


Whether it’s a novel, a self-help book, an informative article or the paper, reading has undeniable benefits regarding critical thinking and creativity. You could put aside an hour a week or ten minutes everyday on your daily commute.

9) September

Find an anger outlet 

Anger is only an emotion, like sadness or joy, however it is demonised and consequently many of us bottle up our anger until it harms us. Find a way to healthily express this emotion. It could be running, venting in a journal, lifting heavy weights, or listening to loud music and jumping around. 

Take up a class 

Pick a class that is local, affordable and possibly compliments something else you already do. Maybe start the lessons with a friend to encourage attendance.

10) October

Stay on top of appointments 

When was the last time you went to the dentist? Do you remember? Don’t postpone doctor, dentist or any other appointments you need. Look after yourself and fit them into your calendar as a priority.

Find your style 

Fast fashion is out and capsule wardrobes are in! No more keeping up with Shein’s micro-trends, no more conforming to various aesthetics. Invest in clothes that you feel good in and are going to wear for a long time. 

11) November

Get outside 

Regardless of the season Ireland’s weather can be miserable but staying cooped up will only make us miserable in turn. Try to get outside every day. A quick walk to the shop or around your neighbourhood will lift your mood instantly.

Explore new music 

Was your Spotify wrapped a source of shame this season? Step outside of your comfort zone. Make playlists for your friends in return for one of theirs and broaden your taste. 

12) December

Make your bed

Lastly, if you don’t already, make your bed! I promise that getting into bed at the end of the day is far more rewarding when the sheets are tucked in and the pillows are nicely propped up. Pulling back the covers feels like opening a present.

“Think of your resolutions as little daily hurdles as opposed to one huge undertaking.”

New year’s resolutions usually fail because people embark on changes which are too vague and not realistic for their routine. Share your resolutions with a friend or family member. Write them down, you double the probability of keeping up these resolutions by speaking your goals into existence. If you set the bar too high you will struggle to meet it. Think of your resolutions as little daily hurdles as opposed to one huge undertaking.