Here's the thing about New Year's resolutions: You don't need to flip a calendar over to loose that 10 pounds, begin dressing well, or start really putting money into that 401-K. You can begin that any day you choose—the coming of the New Year and the inspiration it provides is an illusion. Like an imaginary reset button, each of us feel as if this year, this year can be my year.
But honestly, why not? Why can't this year be your year? Truth be told, you can choose to make simple yet significant changes to better your life any damn time you like, and the beginning of 2012 is just as good a time as any to begin that journey.
1. Stand Up Straight: Men often don't pay attention to their posture, and the results are far more extensive than back problems. Most studies show that 75% of what we communicate is non-verbal. So you can flap your gums all you want, but if you're hunched over like a troll, you won't be heard or respected.
2. Listen: Few of us actually listen. Take the time to listen, to hear and understand the person trying to communicate with you. You'll be surprised at the impact it can have on your life.
3. Hit the Gym: The single piece of advice that shows up on every stinking New Year's list you'll find is some variation of "get your fat ass to the gym." There's a damn good reason for that. You will feel better, your clothes will fit better, you gain confidence—and thus make more money and have more sex. If you don't want those things, you are beyond help.
4. Wear Clothes That Fit: Sounds simple enough, but even the most aesthetically advanced men can be guilty of this sartorial crime. Fit is king in menswear. So in 2012, don't buy anything that doesn't fit and get rid of (or tailor) what you already own that doesn't fit properly.
5. Go to the Doctor: If you don't get a regular yearly check up, you're a fool. I can tell you that because in 2011 I found out just how foolish I had been. I consistently run 10 to 15 miles a week, watch what I eat, and never really get sick. Because of that, I hadn't gone in for a regular check up in 7 years. When I finally did, I found at the ripe old age of 31 I had inherited my father's extremely high blood pressure. Had I not attended to my newfound condition, I could have seriously taken years off my life. They don't let you wear cutaway collar shirts and double monk straps when bedridden in the hospital.
6. Tuck In Your Shirt: Tuck your shirt in. Just tuck it in.
7. Take a Book at Bedtime: If you made it through last year without reading at least one book, shame on you. The whole, "I don't have time" argument is truly rubbish. Instead of surfing them interwebs before bed or falling asleep with the TV on, spend 10 to 15 minutes with a book, and it will change more than your vocabulary.
8. Care for Your Shoes: After you spend all that hard-earned money on fine footwear, it is essential that you regularly clean and care for it after you pound the pavement. Try Venetian Shoe Cream for cleaning, buff them to a light sheen with a horsehair shoe brush, and store them in their very own pair of cedar shoe trees. And don't forget to give them at least one day of rest between wearing.
9. Make a Damn Budget: Rick Ross said it best when grunting, "Big bank take little bank." In other words, you need assets to acquire more assets, and if you don't have a fiscal plan to accumulate your wealth, you just might end up losing the funds you currently possess. It's not sexy or cool, but it is necessary.
10. Wear a Tie: Plenty of men hate wearing ties, and I just can't understand it. The necktie is one of the few pieces a man can use to add some much-needed levity to his attire. And it never hurts to be the best-dressed man in the room.
11. Get a Grown-Man Haircut: If you are over the age of 18 and have bangs or the messy/bedhead hair, stop reading right now and go to the barber. Bangs are for boys named Bieber and gelled, spiky hair reminds people that you haven't let go of Friends. Hey, I loved Ross and the gang as much as anyone, but it's time to move on.
12. Chase a Dream: If your life doesn't currently include earnestly seeking something you are deeply passionate about, your greatest goal this year should be to find it and pursue it with everything you've got in you.
For more of Jeremiah, direct your browser to his blog, A Headlong Dive.