Resolving to do, be better in the new year


CULLMAN, Ala. – Each year approximately 45% of Americans to make New Year’s resolutions, a tradition that dates back over 4,000 years to ancient Babylon where Babylonians would affirm their loyalty to the king and make oaths to their gods to pay off their debts. This tradition is considered to be the forefather of modern day resolutions, which have a success rate of about 8%.

Thousands of years later, in 1740, John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist faith, implemented the Covenant Renewal Service, or watch night service, typically held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Held as an alternative to secular celebrations, the services included readings from the Bible and singing of hymns. Now, the watch night service typically includes prayers and resolutions.

We asked people throughout Cullman what resolutions they are making as we head into 2023.

Tim Sartin, Cullman County Emergency Management Agency director

My new year’s resolution is to be who God has called me to be every day.  To keep him first in every aspect of my life. To lead with passion and refuse to give up on the things that matter. To be stubborn when needed but to believe in the impossible and refuse to give up on people. To do one random act of kindness daily for a stranger who cannot do anything for me back.

Drew Green, Cullman County Museum director

My new year’s resolutions are to spend more time with family, eat healthier and accomplish some of my “bucket list.” I wish everyone a healthy and peaceful new year.

Jason Simpson, WVTM13 chief meteorologist and Holly Pond’s pride and joy

I would definitely like to resolve to live closer to this every day in 2023 and beyond: “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 10:31

Peggy Harris, Pilot Club, Cullman Tree Commission and all-around amazing lady

  • Lose weight
  • Eat healthy
  • More home cooking
  • Less fast foods
  • Exercise, walk more

Leanne West, City of Cullman executive assistant to the mayor

My main resolution is to be more punctual. I have a hard time getting anywhere on time.

Ashley Wilson, Curt’s Closet director

My resolutions for 2023 are to read more and less TV and social media. And to become a better version of myself, drawing closer to God.

Jamie Kirk, Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism

My 2023 goals are to continue getting to my healthiest self, be more organized, read more and to find joy in all of life’s twists and turns.

Vicki Karolewics, Wallace State Community College president

Years ago I concluded that most New Year’s resolutions were forgotten by the end of January. Just visit any gym on the first weeks of January and February! I just try to live each day to be a better person than I was yesterday. I am always a work in progress!

Kyle Kallhoff, Cullman City Schools superintendent


  • Lead my family spiritually
  • Work on being the best husband and father I can be
  • Exercise four times a week and eat healthily


  • Work on my National Superintendent Certification through AASA
  • Help teachers and leaders grow professionally
  • Advocate for public education in Alabama

Cullman City Schools

  • Update a community-driven, five-year strategic plan (road map)
  • Strengthen relationships and trust with city and community partners (i.e., Wallace State, City of Cullman, Cullman County leadership, economic development, industry and commerce leadership, Cullman area legislative leadership)
  • Help transition second-grade students, teachers and programs to Cullman City Primary School

David Moss, Cullman City Council

  • Lose 12 pounds by May 1
  • No soft drinks in 2023!  (My success rate in previous years is pretty bad, but  2023 is the year!)
  • Go to the morning gym class at least three days a week
  • Be a better planner in 2023…. plan my schedule further out and in more detail
  • Most of my resolutions are actually pretty boring now that I think about it. Maybe I need to add a resolution to set more exciting goals.

Shane Barnette, Cullman County Schools superintendent

My personal resolution is to continue to grow personally and professionally by spending more time reading my Bible, more time in prayer, more time with my family, completing more leadership training and spending more time serving others.

Garry Marchman, Cullman County commissioner

On a personal note, I’m like most people at New Year, I want to do a better job serving God and to live a healthier lifestyle.  On a business side, I  want to do more to improve our infrastructure, make informed decisions, improve the efficiency of our County departments and look at programs that will help our employees. I pray for a safe and happy new year for everyone.

Melissa Dew, Flourish of Cullman executive director

Our New Year’s resolution is to increase knowledge of individuals with differing abilities to see their value in our community. Also, to encourage employers to see the value we see in the individuals we serve.

Luke Satterfield, City of Cullman attorney

I plan to spend one more night a week with my wife and kids than on work-let it wait. As Barbara Bush said, “At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband (wife), a friend, a child or a parent.”

Woody Jacobs, Cullman mayor

I’d like to make sure those around me know I love them; my hope would be to continue to work together with other governmental entities; grow my time in prayer and reflection with our Lord each week, and improve that by the week; and, lastly, cut back one Diet Sun Drop each week!

Stephanie Lawson, Cullman County Commission on Aging director

I would say to appreciate each day like there is no promise of tomorrow. To be in the moment. Make sure those I love never question how I feel. Be kind and help others when possible. Be creative and come up with new ideas in involving our seniors. To quote what my husband says on a regular basis, “Keep moving forward.”a

Kelly Duke, Cullman County commissioner

My resolution is to slow down and enjoy the time God has given me and spend more quality time with my family.