—By Grant Stoddard
Maybe you really do believe that you need to stop smoking, cut down on alcohol and eat less sugar. If it'll make you look and feel better (and all of those will), we’re all for it. But research proves that New Year’s resolutions are easier to stick with if they're positive propositions: What you'll do (or do more of) instead of what you'll cut out or cut down. Below are ten 2017 resolutions that will actually be fun to keep.
1Check a big thing off your bucket list
Ideally, you and I will be around for many years to come. Tricking ourselves into living like we won't isn’t something we’re particularly good at doing. The thing is, the number of tomorrows we have left is diminishing at roughly one per day. Before you know it, your bucket list will become distressingly pertinent, perhaps even urgent. So instead of letting all those items pile up for your dotage, start checking them off. Perhaps you already have a shortlist in your mind, if not written down somewhere. Choose at least one, and give it a due date of December 31, 2017. Need ideas? Start with these amazing 50 Things You Must Do Before You Die!
2Have more fun
If you did it right, your youth was spent in the hot pursuit of fun. As you got older, there were things commonly known as families, jobs and responsibilities to consider. But that shouldn't preclude you from doing things just because you get a kick out of them. Give it a shot, and see if making space for things you enjoy doesn’t have you looking and feeling more youthful in no time.
3Invest in your appearance
Appearances matter both at work and in your social life. By updating and upgrading your look, you'll give your confidence a giant boost in 2017. Many men are taking advantage of a range of cosmetic treatments — including these new ones — and you can take cues from magazines and blogs and shop for better clothes, or even hire a personal stylist who can give you news-you-can-use concerning your clothing, grooming and hair.
4Treat yo self
What would your ideal day be? What would you eat, and where would you go? What would you do? Give it some thought, then design a day that’s all about you – without the pressure of it being your birthday. Turn off all your devices, set up an out-of-office email message, and take a day to consider nobody else's wants but your own. You might just discover that being unflinchingly self-centered for a whole day may result in you being more giving of yourself the rest of the time. It's just one of the 25 Ways to Be Happier Now, but make it something you do at least quarterly in 2017.
5Learn a language
Language informs the way we think, meaning that multilinguals can experience the world in a way that's inarguably richer that monoglots. Resolving to learn a new language in 2017 won’t just give you a better shot of getting from the airport to your hotel when vacationing overseas — it may cause you to address all kinds of things from a slightly different angle. And it'll keep you sharp, just like these 13 Tips for a Sharper Brain!
6Master a few dishes
Think about the three to five most incredible dishes you’ve ever eaten. Then flex your Google muscle and learn how they were made. Assemble the tools and ingredients you need to mimic, master and perhaps even improve upon them, imparting elements that are uniquely yours. Keep the ingredients you need on hand, and use them so often that putting them together becomes second nature. Having a skill that brings people sensory joy is truly a gift that keeps on giving. Stock your kitchen with the 25 Kitchen Gadgets Every Man Needs.
7Get Enough Sleep…
According to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, getting less than six hours of sleep a night comes with a 10% increase in risk of death! Studies have pinpointed seven to eight hours as optimal. Not only will getting sufficient shuteye in 2017 help you dodge the reaper’s scythe, you’ll also coast through the year feeling happier and more relaxed, while seeing better results in your work and enjoying more harmonious personal relationships. Invest in blackout curtains, a white noise machine, comfy pillows, and install software on your devices that cuts out the kinds of light shown to disrupt sleep. Employ these 10 Tips for Your Best Sleep Ever!
8Reach out more
People who need people are the luckiest people in the world — and there's plenty of evidence that they're some of the mentally and physically healthiest too. You might hear yourself saying something like, “I really should get in touch with Greg”. Yes, you really should. In fact, by putting off something so quick and simple, you’re should-ing all over yourself. The next time you tell yourself that you should make a connection, reach into your pocket and call or text that someone. You’ll be glad you did, and they will too.
9Have more sex
If only for the fun of it, having more sex sounds like a very worthwhile goal for 2017. But you may actually get more out of it than you bargained for. While speaking with the British Psychological Society in 2013, Dr. David Weeks explained that sex might not only make guys in their 40s, 50s and 60s look younger, it could also prolong their life span. “Sexual satisfaction is a major contributor to quality of life, ranking at least as high as spiritual or religious commitment and other morale factors, so more positive attitudes towards mature sex should be vigorously promoted,” said Dr. Weeks. “Sexuality is not the prerogative of younger people, and nor should it be.” To keep the home fires burning, check out our exclusive guide to the Secrets of the Best Relationships!
10Watch more comedy
Laughter, we’re always hearing, is the best medicine. It’s a natural stress buster and brings both short-term and long-term benefits, according to the Mayo Clinic. Whether it’s old episodes of Seinfeld or checking out standups as they come through your city, resolve to fill 2017 with plenty of belly laughs. You’ll be glad you did. Now check out the report that's already changed thousands of lives: 100 Ways to Live to 100!
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