25 Small Things to Do in 2023 To Make Your Life Feel Different

You don’t need to make life-altering resolutions to change yourself.

Sarah Cottrell
3 min readJan 1


I don’t like making sweeping promises about how I will change into a person that resembles nothing of what I know about myself. Sure, I’d love to be rich and thin and have more friends. But not really.

In 2022, I learned the value of slowing down and ignoring trends, and I found myself trying new but small things almost constantly. And I kind of fell in love with it. Today is January 1, 2023, and as I look back at the last year, I think I’m the same person (mostly) with some of the same problems (that’s life), but I’m also calmer.

Here is a list of small things I want to do this year. None of them are life-altering. But all of them are on my mind.

  1. Separate my books by which have been read and which haven’t. Turn the books around, pages facing out on the bookshelf, and only turn them back (spine facing out) once they have been read.
  2. Make pine needle soda.
  3. Learn how to make a rag rug.
  4. Walk around my neighborhood.
  5. Collect something from nature, like small rocks from the woods or seeds or leaves.
  6. Build a fairy house out of stuff I find in the yard.
  7. Learn a dozen new vegetarian recipes that I don’t have to try hard to master.
  8. Call my mom more. And listen.
  9. Pick a historical event and learn enough to give a 15-minute lecture on it.
  10. Change my hair color. Or get a cut. Or part it differently? Try a new look.
  11. Doodle more.
  12. Delete social media apps from my phone.
  13. Choose a language to learn with my husband so we can talk to each other without others knowing what we’re saying.
  14. Form a swap meet with friends for clothes, appliances, and pantry stuff.
  15. Learn how to save seeds from my garden.
  16. Grow flowers in a windowbox without killing them.
  17. Stretch for five minutes in the morning and five minutes before bed.
  18. Write in 10-minute bursts, not hours-long sessions.
  19. Turn my desk to face a window so I can see sunlight when I work.
  20. Put a plant on my bedside table. Don’t kill it.
  21. Take vitamin D supplements.
  22. When I wake up at 3 am, get up and read for a while instead of laying in bed with sinking thoughts of dread.
  23. Touch nature at least once a day. Stand barefoot on the ground or walk through the woods. Or just go outside and breathe the air.
  24. Learn some jokes to tell kids and adults in any situation.
  25. Learn how to play an instrument like the spoons like my grandmother played, or a harmonica like my husband’s grandfather did. Or that ukulele collecting dust in my office.



Sarah Cottrell

Writer + Editor | Slow Living + Science Nerd | Rep’d by Folio Lit | Follow my stories here: https://sarahcottrell.medium.com/membership