23 Ways to Make 2023 Your Best Year

Even if you have already started onor failed to keepyour new year’s resolutions, it’s not too late to add some lifestyle changes for a healthier, more joyful 2023.

Get moving

From dance parties to martial arts to pickleball matches with friends, exercising doesn’t have to be a chore. Find an activity you enjoy that will get you excited to exercise, and see page 40 for fun exercises-in-disguise.

Eat healthier

Healthy eating has many benefits, including boosting immunity, strengthening bones, and lowering the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. See page 24 for a list of diets to kick start your journey to a healthier life.

Spice it up

Make time in the kitchen a culinary adventure by cooking something new each week. It can be easy to stick to tried-and-true recipes, but branching out into different cuisines can lead to a newfound love of dishes like sushi or borscht (a popular Ukrainian soup with beets and other vegetables).

Get screened

According to MyHealthfinder, getting health screenings is one of the most important things you can do for your health—they help find onset medical problems and may allow doctors to treat them more easily. Screening for—diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol—often depend on your age, gender, and medical history. 

Set boundaries

“Good boundaries bring relief to the grief of letting other people’s opinions, issues, desires, and agendas run our life,” Lysa Terkeurst writes in Good Boundaries and Goodbyes. Healthy boundaries can include how comfortable you are with touch—handshakes v. hugs—as well as time boundaries that ensure you don’t over commit.

Get enough rest

Getting enough sleep is important for healthy brain function and a lower risk of medical problems. The CDC recommends eight to 10 hours of sleep for teens, seven hours for adults, and seven to eight hours for those 65 and better.

Read more

In I’d Rather Be Reading, Anne Bogel writes, “Books shape, define, and enchant us. Books prompt us to spend pleasant hours alone and connect us with fellow readers. They invite us to escape into their pages for an afternoon, and they inspire us to re-imagine our lives.” Georgetown has several literary escapes, including the library, which has a used bookstore and café plus a wide selection of books and movies. Lark and Owl Booksellers offers a variety of books as well as unique gifts for book lovers, and All Things Kids has a wonderful children’s and young adult book section.

Practice gratitude

Bible teacher Henry Allen Ironside said, “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” Practicing gratitude helps us celebrate the present and become more compassionate and generous. Express your gratitude by sending a thank-you note to a friend, keeping a gratitude journal, or praying a daily prayer of thanksgiving.

Manage busyness

“Our brains often use busyness as a way to avoid things we don’t want to commit to,” Judy Lester with CPB Coaching says. She recommends doing a mind dump and putting everything you need to get done on paper. “After listing everything you have to do, it’s helpful to put a letter next to it: A is absolutely necessary. B would be great if I could do it, and C is I hope I can fit this in.”

Save money

Start your journey to financial freedom by
1) creating an emergency fund for things like unexpected medical expenses that require hospitalization or a broken air conditioner in the middle of summer.
2) Save 15 percent of your income.
3) Save first, not last. Most people will spend their paycheck on everything they need and only save if anything is left. Financial planner Stephen Benold says, “If you wait to make it last instead of first, you’ll wind up not saving at all or not enough.”

Adopt a pet

From exercise companion to stress reliever to social connector, pets play many roles in benefiting our mental health. Williamson County is full of organizations waiting to help you find the perfect furry companion, including the Wilco Animal Shelter, Georgetown Animal Shelter, Living Grace Canine Ranch, Texas Humane Heroes, and Harley’s Angels.

Travel more

Be a tourist in your own city and check out local attractions like the Williamson Museum, Palace Theatre, library, historic courthouse, and Garey Park. Or extend your travels beyond the city limits and visit destinations like the Robinson Family Farm in Temple or one of the five caves that make up the Texas Cave Trail. For more trip ideas, check out our regular Worth the Drive column.

Discover your heritage

Researching your family history can help you build a stronger sense of identity. The Williamson County Genealogical Society helps individuals research and compile family histories. Members also host informal genealogy discussions every month to answer questions and celebrate successes.

Take a break from technology

The average American spends about seven hours looking at a screen each day. Unplugging from electronics can do wonders for your well-being as well as relationships. Consider turning off your phone after a certain time at night, or taking a whole day off from technology to rest and recharge.

Make memories

Spend more time with loved ones this year, whether attending one of Georgetown’s many events or chatting over a cup of coffee. Judy Lester says, “Being present mentally and physically with other people is one of the greatest gifts you can give and at no cost at all.”

Feb 11: Cupid’s Chase 5K Run/Walk and Kids’ Fun Run at 7:30am. Register at cupid.georgetown.org

Feb 22: Public Stargazing Night 7pm to 9pm at Garey Park. Register at parks.georgetown.org/gareypark/

Every Saturday: Wolf Ranch Farmers Market at 9am to 1pm at the Wolf Ranch Shopping Center.

Explore new hobbies

Find whatever it is that fills your life with joy—scrapbooking, taking a martial arts class, joining a book club, learning an instrument, or writing poetry.

Start a journal

Taking time to reflect on each day reduces stress and provides an opportunity for emotional catharsis that can help you understand your thoughts and feelings more clearly.

Practice mindfulness

Taking time to be still and pray while reflecting on the things that have a positive or negative effect on you allows you to be more present and find peace during hectic schedules.

Take a personality test

Start a journey of discovery by taking a personality test like Enneagram or Myers-Briggs that can help you understand your strengths and gaps and become your best self.

Go green
To move toward a life with less waste, carry a reusable water bottle and bring your own grocery bags to the store to cut down on landfill garbage and plastic plaguing the oceans. When eating out, turn down things you don’t need like straws and extra napkins. Use your own utensils for takeout and forego pre-packaged plastic forks and spoons. Another way to reduce your footprint is by recycling—cardboard boxes, paper goods, plastic bottles, beverage cans, jugs, and lids.


Whether walking dogs at an animal shelter or giving rides to seniors, giving back to your community provides a sense of purpose and improves mental and physical health. Georgetown has many organizations where you can donate your time, including the library, The Caring Place, Annunciation Maternity Home, ROCK, Assistance League of Georgetown Area, Boys and Girls Club of Georgetown, and Faith in Action Georgetown.

Build community

Getting to know your neighbors and building connections are what Georgetown is all about. With 40 special interest groups ranging from fitness to games to dining out, Newcomers & Friends of Georgetown strives to create connections with anyone living in the Georgetown/Central Texas area.  GeorgetownNewcomers.com

Spread kindness

Make the world a kinder place by donating blood, being a friend to a lonely neighbor, leaving quarters
at a laundromat or vending machine, or donating a book to the nearest Little Free Library. For more kindness inspiration, visit randomactsofkindness.org.