It’s a New Year, so why not try to focus on the new you? And if you’re looking for inspiration, AskMen have a few resolutions all men should make.
With 2013 in full swing, inevitably many men will indulge in a bit of navel gazing. We will look at our flaws, faults, bad habits, and failed ambitions, and resolve to do better in the future. While we all know New Year’s resolutions are far easier to make than they are to keep, it doesn’t stop us from promising ourselves a more successful, more productive and happier year than the last one.
We’ve decided to offer a helping hand toward achieving that triumvirate of aims. These are New Year’s resolutions that every man should make – and that any man can manage. We aren’t suggesting very specific aims; rather, these are designed to make you think about what you really want out of life and you should interpret them in a way that is appropriate to you.
Read a big book
How many great books have we all heard of, but never actually read – and perhaps even lied about reading? This year, make a point of knocking at least one title off that list. There are so many big reads to choose from, from classics like War and Peace to contemporary titles like The Kindly Ones, that you are bound to find something that will appeal to you. Not only will it make you more erudite, as you discover why that novel is held in such high regard (and possibly improve your vocabulary) but it may just kick-start a new enthusiasm for reading.
Make an appointment for a checkup
It is a frequently repeated statement that men are singularly bad at visiting their doctor. By and large, men prefer to say nothing and hope that a problem goes away rather than be seen as a hypochondriac or a wuss. But we say this year is the time to change that. Make an appointment for that checkup, even if it is just to confirm that everything’s working the way it should be. The importance of your health cannot be overstated; take one small step to help yourself.
Devote more time to your hobbies
We recognize the importance of having good quality downtime. It is all too easy to come home after a hard day at the office, sit on the couch and watch TV. Remember when you used to have hobbies? Start devoting time to rediscovering those activities. It is a more fulfilling way to spend your time than doing nothing, and may also allow you to meet some new people. Whether it’s a sport, a musical instrument or some incredibly obscure activity, make time for it again.
Countless studies have shown that setting vague fitness and weight-loss goals are easily ignored. Much more effective is setting a workout routine to follow, which then lets the weight thing take care of itself. P90X is just one example of these challenging exercise programs that keep you motivated as well as yielding excellent results. Find one that suits your aims (weight loss, muscle gain, etc), and then get going with it. You will find you have more energy, you look and feel better, and those love handles will cease to be a concern.
Conquer a fear
We never promised that these would all be a walk in the park (unless you are afraid of parks). Everyone has fears of one kind or another, and overcoming them can be a real battle. The cheapest and most effective way to overcome your fear is to expose yourself to what you’re scared of until you get over it. If your fear is having a negative impact on your quality of life, 2013 is the year to make this resolution.
Help someone else
A great way to feel better about yourself is by helping those in need. We realize that not everyone has lots of time to devote to this, but whatever you can do to help is worth doing. Whether that is volunteering in a soup kitchen (especially helpful in the winter) or helping your elderly landlady carry out her garbage, make 2013 the year when you start thinking about making the world better for everyone else. It is very easy to become self-absorbed and forget there are always people in need of help. Don’t make that mistake this year.
Written by Steven Shaw, this article originally appeared on AskMen.