The Art of What Not to Do: 11 New Year’s Resolutions Gone Wrong

New Year, New You?

Another long year has finally ended, and now it’s time for a fresh start in 2023. And that means New Year’s resolutions: Most of us make them, and most of us break them. Hey, we didn’t really mean we’d learn a new language or go skydiving—that was the champagne talking. (Of course, you can always resolve to enjoy our newest virtual games, including A Toast to 2023: A New Year’s Trivia Game.)

But the people in the following works of art? They stuck to their resolutions…even when they shouldn’t have. Some made it weird, and some are just off. Sorry, folks, but you’re doing it wrong!

A Little Late There, Pal

Van Gogh smoking skeleton

Another good resolution: Quit procrastinating. Head of a Skeleton with a Burning Cigarette, the Van Gogh Museum

To Eavesdrop Is Divine


It doesn’t get much less nosy than that. Athena of Velletri, Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

Family Time


We’d tell Ugolino to get a sitter for his kids if he weren’t already sitting on his kids. Ugolino and His Sons, Metropolitan Museum of Art

You Should Have Swiped Left

Ill-Matched Lovers

Maybe you’re out of practice what with the pandemic and shutdowns and all, but surely you can do better. Ill-Matched Lovers, National Gallery of Art

Or Anywhere, Really


Fire your travel agent immediately. Christ’s Descent into Hell, the Met

Maybe Not These Friends

Sea Captains Carousing

If there is one thing you don’t need in your life, it’s the “friend” who parties so hard he starts puking in people’s pockets while his butt is on fire. Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam, Saint Louis Art Museum

Better Than This Guy Does, At Least


Talk about heartburn! Saint Augustine, LACMA

All Things in Moderation

Vegetable Gardener

So yeah, maybe don’t eat so many veggies. The Vegetable Gardener

Decapitate Your Problems


That’s one way to get a head in life. Judith with the Head of Holofernes, the Met

When It’s, Yknow, Safe


This still probably beats getting quarantined in your cabin on a real cruise ship. The Gulf Stream, the Met

Way Less, Apparently


Really, um, putting yourself out there, ma’am. Lady with a Red Lily, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art

Find More Fun

Try out one of our many in-person scavenger hunts and virtual games. Those include the new Toast to 2023: A New Year’s Trivia Game, available for private groups anytime, anywhere.