A new year brings new opportunities to continue to grow. You don't have to tackle every item. Just pick five that resonate with you, and see what good you can do.
1. Stop texting and driving. Once and for all. No communication is worth the potential consequences.
2. Give up one social media channel. We vote Twitter.
3. Wake up 30 minutes earlier every day. Use that time to begin your day with something you're proud of.
4. Quit drinking during the weekdays. Alcohol shouldn't be a means to get through the week; it's a way to celebrate it coming to an end.
5. Learn to meditate. Nobody regrets doing this. And anyone who knows how always wishes they could do it more.
6. Send one physical letter or postcard a month. Instant replies are overrated.
7. Get a new plant. And don't kill it.
8. Drink more water. Every day.
9. Work at it until you can do a hundred pushups. Then work to do a hundred more.
10. Start a project or commitment that scares you. This is when you learn most.
11. Learn one parlor trick, and use it only when the time is right. Juggling, sleight-of-hand, mind reading trick… They're not always impressive, but always worth knowing.
12. Get rid of your CDs. Finally. iTunes match is only $25/year
13. Don't buy anything for a month. See what you're not missing.
14. Take a walk during the workday. Moving changes your brain. In the best way possible.
15. Think about the coolest thing your uncle ever did for you. Do that for your nieces and nephews.
16. Read your local alternative weekly every week. Your city is probably amazing. Find out why.
17. Quit doing that one thing where spouse or roommate is constantly requesting change. There's a reason they're asking.
18. Find a new place to volunteer. Then actually talk to the community where you're interacting.
19. When your family asks how your day at work went, tell them the good things that happened. Don't start off the conversation by complaining. Be honest, but don't be a drag. If you need to process something from work, that can happen after the initial “welcome home”
20. Go see more live music. It will energize you. It always does.
21. Play more games. Board games. Catch. Crossword puzzles. Pickup kickball. Cross-town scavenger hunts. Be okay with not winning.
22. Find balance and health in your sex life. Whatever your current situation. If you don't know what that means right now, it's worth thinking about more.
23. Take a class. Do the homework. Learn the skills. Interact with the others who registered.
24. Do a clothing closet purge. Toss out anything that doesn't make you feel like yourself.
25. Finally try to understand jazz. Or classic Broadway musicals. Or Opera. Or why Adele can sell so many records.
26. If you know you messed up, say you're sorry. Apologizing doesn't mean that you lost the argument. It means you're an adult.
27. Compliment people. Every day. Looking for the good things and work well done is a nice way to view the world.
28. Set up a monthly schedule to maintain your investment goods. Condition your boots. Clean and lubricate your bike chain. Scrub your cookware until its shiny. If you do things on the regular, then they're always ready to go.
29. Stop drinking soda. You really won't miss it.
30. Say “Yes” to something you wouldn't normally say “Yes” to. See what happens.
31. Say “No” to something you wouldn't normally say “No” to. See what happens.
32. Quit checking your email first thing in the morning. No one wins when you do this. Certainly not your inner peace.
33. If you want to be happy, the key is practicing humility and gratitude. There, you will find joy in what you have, not what you want.
34. Pick a band or musician that you know you're supposed to love but never resonated with you. Listen to them exclusively for three days. Find out what you're missing. I'll see you in a week, Pink Floyd.
35. Contribute the max amount to your Roth IRA. If you don't have one yet, this is the year to open one. Give your 65-year-old self a little help.
36. Ask someone else more about who they are. Find out what your colleague's wife's name is, or which neighborhood the guy from the coffee shop lives in. Remember those details, and use them to make real connections.
37. Remember, leadership doesn't make others into followers. It transforms them, too, into people who will change the world.
38. Always have two books on your nightstand. One fiction, one non.
39. Become a pocket knife guy. Man, those things are useful.
40. Reach out to that one guy from high school or college whom you've been wondering how he's doing. Actually find out.
Happy New Year, ManMakers.