Woody Guthrie’s Resolutions

The finest list of New Year’s Resolutions to be had – or  New Years Rulins’ as he called them – penned by Woody Guthrie in 1942 at the age of 30. A few of these are far beyond me, writing a song a day for example, but I think I could benefit by staying glad and dancing better.


1. Work more and better

2. Work by a schedule

3. Wash teeth if any

4. Shave

5. Take bath

6. Eat good — fruit — vegetables — milk

7. Drink very scant if any

8. Write a song a day

9. Wear clean clothes — look good

10. Shine shoes

11. Change socks

12. Change bed cloths often

13. Read lots good books

14. Listen to radio a lot

15. Learn people better

16. Keep rancho clean

17. Dont get lonesome

18. Stay glad

19. Keep hoping machine running

20. Dream good

21. Bank all extra money

22. Save dough

23. Have company but dont waste time

24. Send Mary and kids money

25. Play and sing good

26. Dance better

27. Help win war — beat fascism

28. Love mama

29. Love papa

30. Love Pete

31. Love everybody

32. Make up your mind

33. Wake up and fight


Filed under Culture, Dance, History, Home, Jean Zimmerman, Music, Writers, Writing

13 responses to “Woody Guthrie’s Resolutions

  1. And note that Lose Weight is not among them. Instead, Love Everybody. That’s the way to go.

  2. Meg

    This is an amazing list. I love how he moves back and forth between the professional and the personal.

  3. Don’t ever let a smiling cop fool you. (Bound for Glory)

  4. Richard Wheeler

    In 2014 I will do as Woody did. WWWD (what would Woody Do?)

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous likes #11, and #30, of course.

  6. Yes indeed. And what interesting choices he made. You can learn a lot about a person from a list like this, I think.

  7. And a handwritten list surviving so long is cool too.

  8. Makes it seem almost simple to be a genius.

  9. Now there are lots of resolutions I can keep on this list! I do change my socks often. He had very nice writing.

  10. Reblogged this on The Writing Catalog and commented:
    This is priceless. I wonder how many of them he kept.

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