Another year has come and gone, and only foolish men believe they did everything right. In fact, the best men are those who can look back on a great year and find ways to improve for next. So even if we didn’t conceptualize at least a part of this story in the parking lot of a strip club at 4:30 in the morning on a Tuesday while muttering, “Well, this is happening” to ourselves, we’d still be thinking of ways to make personal improvements for the New Year. After a pensive ride home and many a lost dollar bill, here are the 14 resolutions every good man should be making for 2016:
Keep a Journal. Write Stuff Down.
Yes, a journal. A real, physical paper journal. Jot down your thoughts, plan your daily to-do list, write down reminders, and even talk about your feelings. These things are important. Computers get viruses, technology becomes obsolete, and shit happens. But paper is forever. Preserve your story, whatever it may be.
Buy Clothing and Tools that are Made to Last.
In the New Year, become a man of quality, not quantity. Support companies who make good products and stand by them. Whether you’re buying tools, wristwatches, or even socks, make sure they come from companies who care about quality, and who build and manufacture their products to last.
Disconnect For a While.
We live in a beautiful world, but you’d never know it if all you did was look at it from your TV or Facebook. Turn off your phone, unplug from the Internet, and get out there. Go on a hike, read a book, stare at some clouds—whatever you want. Just take your face away from the screen, and put it into the world around you.
Do Something Healthy.
Go get that gym membership you keep talking about. Grab those kettlebells. Try a standing desk on for size. Be happy and get healthy in the New Year, because you sure as hell didn’t do anything about it last year. Make this year the year you say goodbye to dad bod.
Eat Out Less. Cook More REAL Food.
We get it—you work really hard, and fast food is an easy, convenient, and generally inexpensive way to stay fed. But it’s also a great way to fill your body with a bunch of unhealthy crap. Cooking real food takes time, effort, and skill, but you’ll be a better, healthier man for doing it. Plus, ladies love it—trust us on this one.
Learn a New Trade or Skill.
We live in a world whose workforce is being consistently downsized and altogether replaced by technology. Drones deliver our packages, and robotic arms assemble our cars, which can drive and park themselves. Learn how to work with wood or metal. Take a course in welding. Learning how to work with your hands offers you an invaluable skill, while also giving you a new perspective on everything around you. Walking around a big city takes on a whole new light when you stop to think about the manpower, physical labor, and specialized skills that went into building it.
Read More Books. Preferably Non-Fiction.
It’s a flat-out fact that reading real, physical books helps stimulate your brain more than surfing the web or watching TV. For you, the New Year should be all about a healthy body and mind, and books are the best way complete that objective.
But why non-fiction? Because non-fiction books tell the very real stories of very real people. Non-fiction books will teach you new things and give you the motivation you need to be a better man. We recommend A Moveable Feast, Goodbye to All That, and Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media to start.
Go Somewhere New.
Everyone wants to go somewhere new. It’s an easy resolution to make, but one of the most difficult to keep. Traveling is often expensive, and going somewhere new and unfamiliar can be a bit of a harrowing ordeal. But aside from seeing the way other people live, or viewing a new piece of our world’s great landscape, you’ll learn more about yourself than you ever would in your office, at your home, etc.
Check Something Off Your Bucket List.
Life is incredibly finite, and at the rate we barrel through time, it’s best to live under the predisposition that this day may be our last. That said, do not wait to do something you want to do. Put together your bucket list, and make sure you check something off of it this year. You will never know what tomorrow has planned, so it’s best to live every day like it’s your last—because it may very well be.
You’re not sleeping enough. Go sleep. Then, when you think you’ve slept enough, go take a nap. You need the rest.
Save More Money.
It’s so easy to take all your money and throw it away on fancy jewelry, expensive clothing, bad tattoos, and delicious food. This year, be more mindful of your spending, and conserve a bit. Saving $50 a week over the span of a whole year will give you over $2,500 in savings to do whatever you want with.
Watch The Stock Market.
In fact, watch the stock market. The world’s most brilliant men don’t just save their money, but invest it in things they believe in. Start following analysts and reading investors news now, so that you know how to properly invest that extra $2,500 next year. Because you know what’s better than having money? Having more money.
Do Better Work, and More of It.
Stop working for the sake of working, and start working for the sake of improving. The only thing this world will remember you for when you’re gone is the work you left behind while you were here. Working for a paycheck is senseless, especially since you can’t bring that with you when you die. But working for a legacy? That’s the ticket.
Things Aren’t Black and White. Stop Treating Them as Such.
Human beings are known to carry certain predispositions. It’s either this way or that way; this path or that path. But never lose sight of the fact that, as the OG Ben Franklin once said, only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. Life isn’t a coin toss, so stop trying to treat it as such. Always look for the road less traveled, and don’t be afraid to blaze your own trail.