1) Eat Healthy and Exercise Regularly
Ah, the infamous resolutions to eat healthy and exercise regularly, code word for "lose weight." Generally, people use the holiday season as an excuse to binge one last time before the New Year. We rationalize that extra helping of Christmas dinner with the thought that it will be our last bout of unhealthy eating, for it is certain we will be at the gym every week post-holidays. In fact, each January, gyms offer promotions and deals to those who want to take action on this resolution. However, according to Time Magazine, "60% of gym memberships go unused and attendance is usually back to normal by mid-February." This statistic is undoubtedly due to the mere fact that we live in a world of lazy people.
2) Drink Less
This infamous resolution comes to head on day one of the New Year. That "I'm never drinking again" feeling you get after your New Year's Eve shenanigans, with your head in the toilet and your pounding headache and your makeup smeared down your face that goes unnoticed until Pauly at the neighborhood deli/coffee shop points it out to you that morning. Drinking less kills many birds with one stone: It helps you lose weight, it helps your insides stay healthier, and it helps you make better life decisions. Why is this resolution always broken? Because most of humans' social activities revolve around alcohol in some way, and the confidence/fun/innuendos that alcohol brings trumps caloric intake and liver protection any day.
3) Learn Something New
It could be French, it could be the clarinet, it could be how to cook something other than microwavable Stouffer's lasagna. The sky is the limit, and in this great world, there are so many fascinating things to discover. You may also discover, however, that the spitting-sounds of the French language repulse you, that the average price of a clarinet is over $50 and that you'll settle for Stouffer's if it means you don't have to do dishes at the end. Looks like you'll be saving something new to learn for the following year after all.
4) Quit Smoking
To quit smoking is an ongoing resolution that reaches its peak at the start of the New Year. If you really want to, kudos to you. We know you know its harmful effects and inevitable death sentence. Yet why is it that only an estimated 15% of people who try to quit manage to stay cigarette-free six months later, according to Time? But hey, best of luck (cough you'll need it cough).
5) Better Work/Life Balance
Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs says we need both safety and belonging to reach self-actualization. Under safety comes employment, and under belonging comes friendship, family, and intimacy. In looking at the hierarchy, accomplishing safety comes before accomplishing belonging, making the latter more prized, or more valuable. Working is great: it brings in income, the food on your table, and the vacation you take over the summer. Sure your mother might get on your last nerve, or your friends give you tough love about your semi-pathetic breakup. But it is those people who embody the un-tangible items in life that simply cannot be ignored for your job as an accountant, lawyer, writer, and so forth. If you don't believe me, read his theory on human motivation. Brilliant stuff.