Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s resolution list from 1942

At the age of 30, Woody Guthrie created a New Year’s resolution list filled with wise gems like “Keep hope machine running” and “Dream good.” The list, handwritten in 1942 on notebook paper, contains 33 resolutions that might inspire you to make a similar list of your own.

(This post was originally from BoingBoing.net.)

So you don’t have to download the picture or squint, I (Kelly) have re-typed his list, followed with some of my own commentary.

  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 clothes often
  13. Read lots of good books
  14. Listen to radio a lot
  15. Learn people better
  16. Keep rancho clean
  17. Don’t 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 don’t 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

Isn’t this priceless? He had me at just #1 and #2. As I think about the upcoming year and how much I wish to accomplish, I feel a lot of pressure to work harder, smarter, and more efficiently. I am generally enthusiastic and optimistic, but I must confess that I sometimes get tempted with feelings of hopelessness about being able to be successful in my new career. Therefore, I love #19: “Keep hoping machine running”. I might put that one up on my wall.

For those of you who don’t know who Woody Guthrie is, he was a folk singer/songwriter and is best known for writing “This Land is Your Land”. You can read about him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woody_Guthrie



Filed under Life, Music Career

2 responses to “Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s resolution list from 1942

  1. Sweet, wise and encouraging. Succinct observations for any of us interested in exploring the upper reaches of healthy human functioning.

  2. mlshiira

    I love the doodles he has on there!

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