75 New Year’s resolutions to improve both your physical & mental health


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Most people focus on weight loss, fitness and ways to improve their physical health when it comes to New Year's resolutions — and that's admirable. But it's important to keep in mind that health isn't only about the body — it's physical AND mental. Stay fit, as well as happy, with these resolution ideas for 2014.

(And if you're looking for ways to improve your eating habits, check out our story on 25 realistic ways to improve your diet in the New Year.)  

  1. Pick a random spot on the globe. Go there. Learn everything you can.
  2. No more sizing up the other people in yoga class.
  3. Slow dance at home with your pets.
  4. Don’t chew gum, unless you are under 13 years old. Otherwise you look very silly, and no one wants to see the inner contents of your mouth.
  5. Remember to put deodorant on before heading to the gym.
  6. Sign a petition for something you care about.
  7. Sing more often, with great abandon.
  8. Instead of the usual after-work happy hour, hit the gym — then go to happy hour.
  9. Transform some tired old shoes with funky new shoelaces.
  10. Give your compliments to the chef.
  11. Recruit as many friends and family members as possible to workout with you this year.
  12. Try to duplicate a mix tape you made in your youth.
  13. Have a dramatic, life-affirming scene at a train station.
  14. Make friends with Billy Blanks.
  15. Listen to Black Sabbath.
  16. Help people and accept help when needed.
  17. Stretch before every physically demanding activity so you don’t hurt yourself.
  18. Remind old ladies how charming they look.
  19. Get better at describing smells, tastes and textures.
  20. Listen to your body. If it hurts or you get nauseous, stop the exercise.
  21. Challenge old men to arm-wrestling competitions.
  22. Get your name in the Guinness Book of Records.
  23. Your abs WILL look like a washboard by the end of the year.
  24. Memorize Leander’s letter to his sons from the last page of “The Wapshot Chronicle” by John Cheever: “Never put whisky in hot water bottle crossing borders of dry states or countries. Rubber will spoil taste. Never make love with pants on. Beer on whisky, very risky. Whisky on beer, never fear. Never eat apples, peaches, pears, etc. while drinking whisky except long French-style dinners, terminating with fruit. Other viands have mollifying effect. Never sleep in moonlight. Known by scientists to induce madness. Should bed stand beside window on clear night draw shades before retiring. Never hold cigar at right-angles to fingers. Hayseed. Hold cigar at diagonal. Remove band or not as you prefer. Never wear red necktie. Provide light snorts for ladies if entertaining. Effects of harder stuff on frail sex sometimes disastrous. Bathe in cold water every morning. Painful but exhilarating. Also reduces horniness. Have haircut once a week. Wear dark clothes after 6 p.m. Eat fresh fish for breakfast when available. Avoid kneeling in unheated stone churches. Ecclesiastical dampness causes prematurely gray hair. Fear tastes like a rusty knife and do not let her into your house. Courage tastes of blood. Stand up straight. Admire the world. Relish the love of a gentle woman. Trust in the Lord.”
  25. Conquer a fear. Attack it until it’s like warm putty in your hands.
  26. Respect your body.
  27. Make stuff with your hands.
  28. Write an original joke each day.
  29. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t succeed the first time.
  30. Invent your own cartoon character. Leave doodles of it in public places.
  31. Fight every injustice you encounter.
  32. Try at least five wacky fitness fads — just to keep it interesting.
  33. Walk to work. Then keep walking and take the day off. Have a milkshake.
  34. Don’t start a sentence with the word “literally” when what follows is a gross exaggeration.
  35. Challenge yourself more often.
  36. Listen to Erik Satie on a rainy day.
  37. Don’t listen to charlatans. The Charlatans U.K. are pretty good, though. You can listen to them.
  38. Don’t make up excuses that will keep you from sticking to your exercise plan.
  39. Read 50 pages a day.
  40. Watch “Top Hat” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at least once every year.
  41. No more getting on your knees to do a push-up.
  42. Watch foreign language movies without the subtitles.
  43. Only write with high-quality pens.
  44. Practice good form with each exercise you do.
  45. Go exploring. Don’t come back without an artifact.
  46. Smile like you just got lucky.
  47. Refuel your body with healthy foods.
  48. Take beautiful pictures and do not post them online.
  49. Blame it on the dog, if it will help your relationship.
  50. Drink plenty of water before, during and after a workout.
  51. Learn to identify all the birds in your area. Then expand your area.
  52. Support local businesses.
  53. Your ass WILL look fantastic by summertime.
  54. Write something nice in freshly poured concrete. Revisit the sidewalk in 20 years.
  55. Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.
  56. Do not curse out your fitness instructor in your head when they make you do an extra set of burpees.
  57. Remember: Only boring people get bored. There is always something awesome you could be doing.
  58. Grow stuff, indoors and out.
  59. Do not let a setback discourage you from reaching your fitness goals.
  60. Give a second chance to some of your most hated foods.
  61. Pick an obscure era or subject of history and master it.
  62. Learn to recognize and appreciate the smallest of accomplishments each day.
  63. Invent new sandwiches, often.
  64. Reread “Calvin & Hobbes.”
  65. Do not use your fitness equipment as furniture, clotheslines or tabletops.
  66. Do not play tiny words like “Xi” in Scrabble unless you can define them.
  67. Improve your vertical leap.
  68. Actually relax at yoga class.
  69. Support public broadcasting.
  70. Learn at least two decent parlor tricks.
  71. Incorporate the great outdoors more in your workout routine this year.
  72. Improve your backflip at the pool.
  73. Fight for your right to party.
  74. Just say no to giving up!
  75. Avoid a myopic point of view. See things from all angles.