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Austen-Approved New Year's Resolutions

“New year, new you” is how the saying goes. But it’s good to take inspiration from the past, and who better to inspire us than Jane Austen herself? Here are 10 Austen-approved new year’s resolutions to help you live your best, most Austen-tatious life in 2023!


1. Only date people with reasonable incomes. You may debate whether £2,000 is wealth, or £2,500 modest, but there is a lot to be said for £5,000 or even £10,000 a year! (Don’t forget to adjust for inflation). (Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice)

A gif of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy asking Lizzie if she approves of Pemberley.

2. Go out dancing! “To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.” (Pride and Prejudice)

3. Abandon any notion of perfection for yourself, and avoid it in others, as “pictures of perfection make me sick and wicked.” (Letter to her niece Fanny Knight, 23 March 1817)

4. Read more books. “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid” (Northanger Abbey)

A gif of John Thorpe telling Catherine Moreland in Northanger Abbey that he never reads novels.

5. Drink more tea. “But indeed I would rather have nothing but tea.” (Mansfield Park)

6. Treat yourself – preferably by spending other people’s money. “I am sorry to tell you that I am getting very extravagant and spending all my money: and what is worse for you, I have been spending yours too.” (Letter to her sister, Cassandra, April 18, 1811)

7. Pick up a sport. Baseball, rounders, or running through muddy fields will do.

8. Stay active and avoid fainting fits. ​​“Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!” (Love & Freindship)

A gif of Jennifer Ehle as Lizzie Bennet running in the fields.

9. Know your worth. “I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.” (Emma)

10. Cultivate your relationships and correspond more with friends. “Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.” (a la Persuasion)

A gif of Anne Elliot reading Captain Wentworth's letter at the end of Persuasion.

Bonus resolution: seek out opportunities to learn and make new friends - by attending the Jane Summer Program, June 15-18, 2023, in Chapel Hill! Registration open now (some early bird spots still available for a discounted price!)

1 Comment

Well chosen, Zeina! Happy new year.

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