TOM’s guide to New Year’s resolutions

  • Lifestyle
  • December 23, 2015
Image: Ian Schneider

Read more. Eat well. Sleep. Save money. Travel. Those are the staple resolutions.

Forget about all of the tired, regurgitated resolutions that you recycle unfulfilled year in and out.

Here are some of our favourite practical and realistic goals for 2016 that will fundamentally make your life better:

1. Write down your goals. Less than 10% of people fulfil their resolutions, but the ones who write them down have a much higher success rate. Take it a step further and make a list of what you want to accomplish each day, week, and month. Forget an app; go old school.

2. Get a comprehensive health check. You probably know how often you can go between hair cuts and bikini waxes, but it’s harder to remember when you’re due for certain health screenings. Make sure you schedule these in for the start of the year – skin check, breast checks, pap smears etc.

3. Read more. Hardly an original idea, but it’s seldom accomplished. This year, try being specific. Make a list of 10-15 books – a healthy mix of fiction, non-fiction, and a few classics you should have read in college. Get started with Marie Condo’s, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or The Rosie Project by Melbourne’s very own Graeme Samson for something light-hearted and funny.

4. Stay in on Friday nights. Your weekend will become infinitely better, and your bank account will benefit too. Enjoy early morning exercise and weekend brunches instead.

5. Spend more time with old people. The greatest generation now makes up less than 12% of the Australian population. Find someone older and wiser and take them to lunch from time to time.

6. Plan regular weekends away. These are little gems in the midst of busy lives. Get away from your life for a few days to relax. It will make you a better friend, partner and parent.

7. Take a class. Sign up with a friend to make it more fun and help you see it through. It could be anything – cooking, yoga or photography.

8. Forget about unrealistic health pledges. You don’t need some insane diet or detox regime. Eat sensibly, organic and local where you can, drink in moderation, and exercise; it’s simple.

9. Laugh more. Socialise. Enjoy your drinks, with or without alcohol. Host dinner parties and picnics. Upgrade your friends if necessary. It’s the life in your years, not the years in your life.

10. Say no to fitness gimmicks. You don’t need to start taking the stairs or parking as far away from the Health Food store entrance as possible. And don’t prepay for thirty personal training sessions. Take up a competitive sport instead. Remember that feeling as a kid when you’re on the court or field, not thinking about anything else? Most of us have forgotten how great that feels. So find someone to do a dance class or play tennis with.

11. Declare the bedroom technology free.Does this even need an explanation? It means more time for reading, sleep, and sex.

12. Stay in on New Years Eve. It’s rarely lives up to your expectations anyhow. This year, stay home with friends, family and maybe a bottle of something nice. Then start January 1 early and productively.

Content adapted from John LeFevre, creator of @GSElevator on Twitter, and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Straight To Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, And Billion-Dollar Deals