1. Do One Push Up Every-Other Day
Think about it. The biggest obstacle about working out is laziness and difficulty. When they get combined, the inconvenience of finding a gym, of committing an hour, of changing clothes and planning showers…it works against you.
So, every other day, do a single push-up.
Here’s what will happen. You’ll get into a rhythm and set reminders for your work-out. You’ll have a tiny sense of a continuing promise to self-betterment that is almost too small to forget or avoid. One single push-up with built in rest days! How could you not?
You’ll gain confidence and a routine for working out, or at least a recurring reminder to think about it. You’ll have the pride of awareness and the momentum of successful obligation to build off of; maybe that one push-up will lead to a full set. Maybe crunches too. But maybe not!
Because as long as you do that one push-up, you’ve reminded yourself that there’s room for more and you’ve lifted the fog of apathy from your mind. And, even if you don’t work out more that day, you’ve satisfied your mental requirement for more.
2. No Bad Fries
Life is too short for bad french fries. If you’re going to treat yourself, you should appreciate it. Humdrum junk-food eaten without appreciation is a waste of the purpose of food; to serve you and to be savored. Extend that, then, to all bad junk food; either get the good stuff or get nothing.
This resolution will make you healthier and/or happier. Because you’ll either opt for better fries – sweet potato, truffle-based, garlic parmed, or at a good place you trust – or fries from a place you trust. Once you cut out the generic “I guess” unthinking acceptance of mediocre junk food you’ll be more aware of eating habits and happier for them.
Keep in mind that this bans only the mediocre, unthinking regretful food – you’re absolutely encouraged to get the good stuff, good slices of pizza, favorite Ben and Jerry’s etc. Those are the better foods in life: this is just about avoiding the wack “I guess” pretenders from your life.
Cut the mediocre from your diet, and you’ll be healthier or happier. And hey; maybe both.
3. Learn More About Something You Love
Do you like movies? Watch more movies. Find the movies you always wondered about and watch them. Rewatch old favorites with a critical eye. Find out what you like about Scorsese or Tarantino or any other director that’s both good and good, hitting that cross-section of artistic, important, and fun.
People talk about learning a new language, or reading more, or any other resolution that sounds like homework. So why not blend the two and find that cross-section of the productive and enjoyable?
You’re more likely to do something you actually want to do. You don’t get credit for saying something.
If you like movies, pick a director from here: Spike Lee, Tarantino, Hitchcock, or Scorsese. All four directors are important, talented, stylistic, and enjoyable. Seriously.
If you like music, make sure you listen to all the albums you’ve heard are amazing. I don’t know much outside of rap, but if you haven’t heard “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” do it right now. It’ll be the most productive, enjoyable, and important 68 minutes of your new year.
I read embarrassingly little, but “The White Tiger” is still my favorite book to recommend in a pinch. It’s dark, smart, sinister and fast. It’s good without being stuffy or proud of its goodness; you’re lulled into simply enjoying it, which is what a good book should do.
It’s an easy book to be proud you read and to love while you do, and it’s open and accessible. And, like all paperback books, it’s almost regrettably cheap. Buy a used copy today and invest in something you’ll like and like yourself for doing.
What else should people read, watch, and hear for the year? Leave your to-do list in the comments and borrow someone else’s. Yay! We’re productive now!
4. Tell The Truth More
Say nice things when you feel them, quickly choose the difficult truths you’re only going to choose later anyway and say “no” to things you don’t want before you regretfully find yourself at seven masquerade brunch-parties.
Cut to the chase in 2015. You’ll be happier, and it’s what you’ve wanted to do all along. Isn’t it relieving to have somebody else tell you to?
5. List Out All The Things You’re Procrastinating And Practice Checking Them Off
None of that vague “I want to work out more!” stuff, either. I mean the clear, simple “what do I need to do this year/month/week” type list.
Here’s an example list for a year’s resolution that gets to the gritty and will keep you accountable.
Cook stir-fry at least ten times.
Cook eggs at least twenty times.
Go to the gym at least ten times.
Read at least three novels.
Write at least twenty emails home this year.
Instead of Sunday brunch, take $20 a week, every Sunday, and put it into a drawer.
(Insert yours here)
See what I mean? Those are tangible, check-off-able things you can do every day and will add up over the year. It’s been gamified! You want to cook more? Make a modest (modest! It should seem too easy on paper, because it’ll be much harder in life) numbered list of tasks. Every time you do it, you’ll see and feel the progress of taking a step forward and you can see the evidence of your year and progress.
It’s like a diary of success that holds you accountable!
6. Toss Everything That Sucks
Simplify your life.
Throw out old clothes that you hate (by which I mean, give away) and any other clutter that holds you back, literally or otherwise.
Make space in your life. Leave it elegant and neat and see what new, lovely chaos will come to fill it. Sort through that chaos and take what you love. Toss the rest, and repeat it again.
That’s life, and the more space you give yourself to live in it, the happier you’ll be.
7. Remember Your Successes
Take pride in your accomplishments and they’ll come to you more easily.
Savor your failures and you’ll find them everywhere.
Resolve to have a better perspective on yourself and your improvements in the new year and watch as you step up to fulfill the promise of your attitude.
Feeling good provokes good results. It’s a rare and lovely synergy that should be savored.