Some people swear by New Year’s resolutions as a way to motivate them in the New Year; others have never made them or refuse to because they know they’ll break them before the end of January. People tell me they want something more inspiring than the “New Year, New You” mantra of moving more and eating less. Here are 30 ways to inspire us.

Inspiration before Resolution

New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone – and that’s ok. Whether you make resolutions or not, it’s the feeling of a new beginning that motivates us.  

  1. “An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” – Bill Vaughn
  2. “Kindness, kindness, kindness. I want to make a New Year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.” – Susan Sontag
  3. “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” – Edith Lovejoy Pierce
  4. “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
  5. “Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach
  6. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King
  7. “Every man regards his own life as the New Year’s Eve of time” – Jean Paul Richter
  8. “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough” – Mae West
  9. “What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year” – Vern McLellan
  10. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” – Albert Einstein
  11. “No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” – Buddha
  12. “Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day” – Michael Josephson
  13. “This is a new year. A beginning and things will change” – Taylor Swift
  14. “Each year’s regrets are envelopes in which messages of hope are found for the New Year” – John R. Dallas Jr.
  15. “Write it on your heart that every day is the best in the year” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  16. “Work on your strengths, not your weaknesses. How many of your New Year’s resolutions have been about fixing a flaw?” – Jonathan Haidt
  17. The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. – Michael Altshuler
  18. There is too much said at New Year’s about turning over a new leaf. Are the old leaves all so badly written that we must hasten to forget them? Is the blank whiteness of the untouched page more pleasant to the eye or more fortifying to the will than those closely written, underlined, untidy, but familiar pages which make up the story of one’s life? – Bliss Perry
  19. “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” – David Bowie
  20. “New year is the glittering light to brighten the dream-lined pathway of future.” – Munia Khan

Resolutions, now that We’re Inspired 

For those among us who swear by New Year’s resolutions, here are some fun spins on the move more, eat less theme.

  1. Nora Ephron resolved to “eat more waffles, even though this resolution is in direct conflict with my most important resolution of the New Year, which is to lose two pounds.”
  2. Paul Newman bravely resolved to “jump in the river that runs through our backyard, every morning. Why? Just to get my heart started.”
  3. James Corden, always the comedian, joked on his show that in 2016, his resolution was to join a gym, which he did. And in 2017, his New Year’s resolution was “to actually go to the gym.”
  4. Joanna Gaines resolved to “live for the now, to take in every breath, sight, and sound.”
  5. Tessa Thompson kept her resolution more practical, to drink more water.
  6. Julianne Moore wants to “stop hurting myself when I exercise.”
  7. Conan O’Brien recommends “reverse resolutions.” “I want to gain a lot of abdominal weight. That way I’m not disappointed.”
  8. Lea Michelle wants to stop “binge-watching reality shows.”
  9. Even Marilyn Monroe made New Year’s resolutions, which included “Keep observing things happening around me” and “learn dancing.”
  10. Jimmy Stewart’s resolution was to “Eat what I like.”

Whether you make resolutions, make them so you can break them, or don’t make them at all, may your 2022 be happy and hopeful.