Now that the New Year is here, it’s time to begin planning for the year ahead, and for many of us, that includes setting goals and resolutions. Oftentimes, these goals and resolutions are seriously considered, prioritized on a list that sticks to the fridge or becomes our phone’s static background, but by the time January turns into a new month, the list is either physically or mentally buried behind other commitments that have interfered with follow-through.
Let’s set a goal together: let’s not do that this year. It may sound easier said than done, but it doesn’t have to be and that all starts with the type of resolutions and goals you set for yourself. Be realistic with your approach and you’ll find more success in your new year goal-setting. That’s why we’ve come up with a fun and engaging list of resolution ideas, which integrate overarching goals and plans like exploring more, spending more time in nature, and prioritizing self-care into your daily routine. After all, you need to build on your goals, so starting small sets you up to make strides, and ultimately, turn your resolutions not just into a checklist but a newfound lifestyle to enjoy well into the New Year, and beyond.
Below, eight New Year’s resolution ideas inspired by Wine Country for a bigger, better, brighter you in 2023.
Exploring and adventuring is subjective; while traveling across the world may be considered exploration for someone, for another, taking a new turn in their own backyard may be more in their comfort zone. Whatever “explore” means to you, embrace the opportunity to see new places, and try new things this year. For wine enthusiasts, maybe plan a trip to one of the nation’s up-and-coming wine regions. For a more adrenaline-inducing activity in your own backyard, make 2023 the year you take-in an aerial view of Napa Valley or Sonoma, while simultaneously crossing off riding in a hot air balloon from your bucket list. Sonoma County foodies might enjoy a local culinary tour of Point Reyes, savoring the mouthwatering flavors of the iconic destination revered for its nature. There’s always an adventure to be had, whether that’s near or far—so choose what exploring means to you and stick with it.
Whether you’re sporty and want to dedicate more time to cycling outdoors or simply want to spend less time in front of the screen and more time surrounded by greenery, this is a resolution that you can achieve. From wineries with Bocce ball, like Imagery Estate in Sonoma Valley, and those that offer a chance to zoom an ATV through the vineyards, like Napa’s Hess Persson Estate, to wineries with vineyard hikes, like Sonoma County’s Jordan Winery, to non-wine-related outdoor experiences like camping and golfing, Wine Country lends itself to spending time outside, where nature is soothing, grounding and inspiring all at once.
This resolution is another subjective one because self-care can be anything from upping your exercise to mandating a weekly bubble bath; it’s anything that gives someone more “you” time and the more you prioritize this idea, the more you realize it’s entirely necessary. For daily habits centering around self-care, try meditating first thing in the morning; it’s amazing how focusing on yourself and your breath during the first 10 minutes of your morning can positively impact the other 23 hours and 50 minutes of your day. For weekly self-care habits, try setting boundaries when it comes to work hours; maybe end the day with a gym session so you have a hard cut-off between the day and your evening. For monthly or quarterly habits, make time to pamper yourself with a massage, such as at the uber-relaxing Meadowood Spa in Napa; with a devoted wellness treatment, like the multi-sensory bath immersion experience at MacArthur Place in Sonoma; or with a mineral-rich mud treatment, such as a healing mud bath at Dr. Wilkinson’s in Calistoga. Lastly, self-care doesn’t have to be grand but it can be once-in-a-while, like booking a staycation at a resort focusing on wellness.
By now, it’s no secret that new culinary experiences allow us to better connect and engage with a person or place. Yet just because this resolution is mostly associated with traveling, doesn’t mean you can’t try new foods at home or in your own hometown. Put your apron on and sign up for a virtual cooking class; cooking is also a form of self-care with stress relieving benefits. For those who prefer someone else to take charge of the cooking, seek out a curated wine and food pairing experience, like at Trefethen Family Vineyards, or a multi-course farm-to-table lunch designed to highlight the synergy between local wine and locally-grown food. Local restaurants also present exotic foods in approachable ways, like caviar-topped deviled eggs at Regiis Ova in Yountville or fermented soy dip with crunchy veggies at The Charter Oak in St. Helena. This goal prioritizes one of our five senses—taste—which allows us to be more open-minded in general.
Sure, working on yourself is important but setting a goal of helping others by way of giving back encourages the spread of compassion and kindness. This can be both a selfless and selfish goal, as when people commit to giving back, either by volunteering at local food banks or community centers, or more passively by changing the way you buy, focusing on products that give back (like Landmark Vineyards, Boen, and Kendall-Jackson), you ultimately feel better. The important thing to remember though, is that feeling good is secondary to this resolution, it’s not why you start and it’s not the end goal—that’s reserved for helping others.
Having your neighbors over for dinner or baking cookies for the elderly on your street are ways to get involved in your immediate surrounds, but try setting a goal to expand that network to have more of a place in your community. From supporting local musicians at live music venues, such as JaM Cellars in downtown Napa, to regional artists on display at first Fridays, community events bring people together, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
While we tend to post a lot about the local happenings in California Wine Country, from Napa Valley to Sonoma and beyond, wineries also regularly share their newsworthy affairs. And vintners share their stories in the form of longer memoirs, like Tor Kenward who released his book, Reflections of a Vintner , in 2022, or industry experts reporting their findings in a thought-provoking book like Brian Freedman in Crushed , which also came out last year. Reading more stimulates conversation and inspires new ideas, plans, and perspectives for a more well-rounded version of yourself.
This has to be one of the most popular resolutions, but also one of the most forgotten because simply put, it’s a broad plan. Learning a new skill comes in many forms, from trying your hand at pottery to mastering an instrument, diving into a wine education class (Daou Vineyards and Trinchero offer fun opportunities) or trying a new sport. Whatever the skill, just know that you don’t have to plan on mastering it in 2023, simply commit to starting—that’s what matters.
*Images courtesy of Unplash+ unless specified otherwise