Getting Started:
The 23 for 2023 Trifecta

At the beginning of a new year, many of us look for ways to make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. Consider these three tools to help you achieve your aims.

Three Ways to Have a Happier 2023

There’s no one-size-fits-all tool to help you achieve your aims. For example, some people find it easy to keep their New Year’s Resolutions, some people struggle to stick to them, and others believe that January 1 is an arbitrary date and start their resolutions when it suits them. You can choose any of these tools to help you achieve your aims for the year, and start anytime—whatever works for you.

Write a 23 for 2023 List

Research shows that when we set specific aims for ourselves, no surprise, we’re more likely to achieve them.

Write a list of 23 things you’d like to get done this year. They can be big or small, enjoyable or challenging. I usually include a few whimsical items, too.

You can also have fun with the number, such as “Try 23 new hikes in 2023,” “Read 23 novels,” or “Learn to play five [2+3] songs on the guitar.”

Even if you don’t manage to cross off every item, making a list can help you make more progress than you might without it.

Resources for the 23 for 2023 List

Listen to Gretchen and Elizabeth reveal their “23 for 23” lists


Join the 23 in 2023 Challenge

On the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, my sister Elizabeth and I do a yearly challenge with listeners as a practical and manageable way to boost happiness and build habits.

In 2023, our yearly challenge is “Go Outside 23 in ‘23” which challenges participants to go outside for 23 minutes every day in 2023. Going outside can include anything from walking to bird watching; from yardwork to enjoying your morning coffee on your porch — as long as the door closes behind you, it counts!

Read more about this year’s challenge and discover tips and strategies to help you spend more time outside.

Resources for the 23 in 2023 Challenge

Listen to Gretchen and Elizabeth reveal the 2023 Yearly Challenge


Happier app with the Go Outside 23 in 23 challenge card

New for this year, participants can track their activity for the yearly challenge in the Happier™ app, a revolutionary tool designed to help users build the habits that make them happier.

Choose a One-Word Theme for 2023

Identify one idea, summarized in a word or phrase, as your overarching theme for the year. Then spend some time thinking about all the ways that you could put your theme to work.

You might write your theme on a note card and pin it above your desk, make it the background on your phone or computer, or find a talisman that you can wear or carry with you as a daily reminder.

Watch this video for different approaches to choosing your one-word theme and why it’s a useful exercise.

Resources for Choosing a One-Word Theme

Listen to Gretchen and Elizabeth reveal their 2023 one-word themes

Get more tips and ideas for your one-word theme

Scrabble letters spelling out Start Now

We asked listeners for their one-word themes, and heard many imaginative, thought-provoking ideas. You can also read our themes for 2023 and from previous years.

Additional Resources

Looking for more tools to start off your year? Try these:

Go Outside 23 in 2023 Worksheet

Calendar of Catalysts

My “23 for 23” List

Take the Four Tendencies Quiz

Life in Five Senses book

Five-Senses Journal

The Happiness Project book

Yearly One-Sentence Journal