50 New Year’s Resolutions: Reboot For Real

Well, we all made those resolutions a couple of weeks ago. How’s it working for you? Maybe it’s time for a reset–and MaryJane Butters has some great, doable ones in this list of 50. Originally published December 30, 2010, it’s worth another look. Think positive in 2013!  –Editor

Why be general? It’s easier to remember–and change habits with specific goals and intentions. Roll up your sleeves and dive into this list!

  1. Banish HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup) for good. Refuse to buy into their latest marketing push that says it’s the same as sugar. It isn’t.
  2. Try the 100-mile diet — eat only what’s been grown or raised within 100 miles of home.87807419
  3. Promise to mind your manners — especially on the Internet. It’s turned into an attack zone.
  4. Garden in pots. Grow container-friendly veggies.
  5. Teach a child how to sew. Learn first if you have to.
  6. Get your hands on a grain mill and start milling your own flour.
  7. Write a thank-you letter to someone who has changed your life.
  8. Make a sourdough starter from scratch.
  9. Turn off the television, especially during meals.
  10. Mix immunity-boosting herbal tea blends instead of relying on those OTC remedies.
  11. Make friends with the owner of every local business you patronize.
  12. That neighbor that nobody really knows? She could use a friend. You’re it.
  13. Save the meat bones and veggie scraps you’d normally toss and make a batch of stock.
  14. Infuse your wardrobe with vintage soul. Before hitting the mall, always peruse a few thrift shops.
  15. Buy pastured beef by the whole or half-cow from a local farm. Shake the hand of the person who raised it.
  16. One day a week, unplug your cell phone, computer and television.
  17. Read Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food,” then live by his maxim, “Don’t eat anything your great-great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”
  18. Take a woodworking or pottery class and make a gift for someone who won’t expect it.
  19. Pet someone’s backyard hen. Then enjoy the freshest omelet of your life.
  20. Hand-sew an apron. Use too much lace. Then add more lace.
  21. Ask someone to teach you how to knit. Then find a new baby in need of a hat.
  22. Tell someone they have a beautiful smile (or sparkling eyes, glowing skin …)
  23. Find a homebrew shop and brew beer from a beginner’s kit.
  24. Ask a veteran to tell you what it was like. Convey your gratitude.
  25. Go on a date to your town’s local museum or historical society.
  26. Start an organic dinner party club with friends.
  27. Find unused space in your home. Then claim it and fill it with books, craft materials, a tea set or whatever it takes to make it yours.
  28. Remember that place where you can borrow books, take out movies, listen to music and attend events for free? Rediscover your public library.
  29. One by one, replace your beauty products with all-natural, chemical-free versions.
  30. Stand in front of the mirror and see your “problem areas” in a new light. That crooked nose? It’s a quirky reminder of your dad. Those ample hips? Perfect for supporting your beloved babies.
  31. Learn how to forage for edibles. You just might find dinner growing alongside the highway.

    Marshmallow Roaster

  32. Learn several major constellations and take your family stargazing.
  33. Subscribe to a CSA (community-supported agriculture) box from a local farm, and use everything in it, no matter how foreign it is to you.
  34. Camp in your backyard. Ghost stories and s’mores are non-negotiable.
  35. Borrow a good vegetarian cookbook. Then eat three meatless meals per week.
  36. Get on a first-name basis with the people who bag your groceries.
  37. Learn the words to an old-fashioned lullaby. Then sing it to a young (or young-at-heart) person in your life.
  38. Save a shelter dog or cat. Love given to a pet is returned tenfold.
  39. Can you still swing from the monkey bars? Move your workout to the playground and impress the kids in your life.
  40. Still using plastic grocery bags? You know what to do.
  41. Time to let go of that grudge you’ve been holding and make peace, once and for all.
  42. Decide to become a “hugger.”
  43. Borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor, even if you don’t need to. Then make a cake and bring over a big ol’ chunk.
  44. Make a piecrust with saved-up lard. Faint in ecstasy.
  45. Learn an old-fashioned instrument, like a washboard, fiddle or triangle. Then bust it out at a party!
  46. Start a walking club that hits nature trails.
  47. Try sprouting for extra nutrition — sunflower, corn and pea sprouts are luscious in salads.
  48. Cut down on those late nights you’ve been working.
  49. That classic work of literature you’re embarrassed to admit you’ve never read? Read it.
  50. Three words. Cast. Iron. Pots.

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