The Easiest Ways To Have A Better 2016

The Easiest Ways To Have A Better 2016

Minute tweaks that'll make 2016 a better year

 

It’s your first day back at work. Your boss has upped his own paygrade. Sarah in accounts has upped her relationship status.

“New Year, New You” cries every magazine article, newspaper supplement and semi-inebriated Facebook post. Half of you will be determined to live by this mantra. This is year it’s gonna happen. The other half will not be so optimistic. You’ll recall posting the same status this time last year. Yet somehow you are not yet a millionaire / dating a cast member of Game Of Thrones / re-watching the Gopro footage of that round the world trip that got 8m views on YouTube and you laid in 3 different continents.

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His video got 8m views. His ability to say a single sentence that did not involve the words “travelling” “locals” or “vibe” dropped to zero. 

Have faith, downcast warrior of the commute. We’ve compiled a guide to help make 2016 that bit better. We’ve learnt it’s not about rebounding from the year before, dramatically altering your entire life. It’s about a load of small tweaks (if we ever say ‘hacks’, you can find us. And you can kill us.) that will make each day several percent better. We didn’t go far past GCSE maths, but we know all that compounded, could add up to a pretty decent 12 months. Here’s what we recommend:

On Exercise:

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She will literally kill me if I meet her for dinner without those cufflinks….

Remember why you’re doing it. Joining a gym, downloading a fitness app, writing down what your triathlon-buddy-Alex does in his morning workouts, can all start to feel a bit, stressful.

Instead: create a really simple routine. As in, “I’ll run, twice a week, and on Friday mornings, I’ll do 2 sets of press-ups before I get in the shower.” Why? Because that’s instantly manageable, and within a couple of weeks you’ll want to scale it up. Which is far better than going in all guns blazing and being injured before Feb.

On running: Outside is always, always better. Invest £6 in one of those Iphone armbands. Now, don’t time yourself. Instead, create a playlist, and start by running for 6 songs. Add a song a week. You’ll be knocking out 10ks before March.

On strength: Strength routines are 99% all the same. They’re either weights focussed, or circuit focussed. Start by doing a circuit. Once you’re down with your morning press-ups, end your second set with a series of burpees. Once you’re doing plenty of them, look at a local gym for weights. If you’re already in the habit of doing stacks of press-ups and burpees, a weights routine will be an easy habit to move into.  

 

On Dieting:

burger-comics-hamburger-heroes-Favim.com-1313441

Don’t. Just, don’t bother. Want to lose weight? Eat 1/3rd less than you currently do, only drink on the weekends and exercise. Spending £80 in Whole Foods makes your wallet thinner, not you.  

On The Commute

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Responding to repeated delays, the District Line now runs a sleeper train…

Read – actual books.

Your brain is like your body. It adapts to your environment. Social media, news feeds, 3 minute YouTube videos, Facebook’s constant video-autoplay stream – we’re getting ever better at processing lots of information quickly, but steadily worse at concentrating and thinking things through (we don’t have the attention span to locate the article where we read that but take our word for it).

Start reading books. On a budget? With Amazon’s Used Book marketplace you can pick up popular thrillers for less than a £1. Not much of a reader? Try doing it on the commute every morning. Reading fiction will set your imagination wandering. So when Dwayne your line manager asks for “some blue-sky thinking for our next presentation” you’ll be able to improve dramatically on your previous contribution of “Font needs to be bigger…”

Listen – to podcasts. Because we get it too. Sometimes, midweek, on the ride home, you are too knackered to keep reading. So listen. Podcasts have made an unlikely comeback, and boy are they good. Check out cult hit Serial, or for more topical stuff, NPR and the Economist do daily news updates.

Fashion 

ca. 1940s --- Tailor, James Federici, is pictured at work, sitting as he mends a jacket collar.  Ca. 1940s. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Chicks gonna be all over my ass in these mean threads.

Organise like a man. Think like a girl. Men in general react to fashion on a case-by-case basis. Need 2 new t-shirts. Need a pair of shorts. Then, when it comes to buying these, it’s whatever’s kicking about at your local TK Max. You can do better, for cheaper. Sign up to: Boohoo, ASOS and H&M. Whenever you’re bored on a lunchbreak, go on one of these sites and just look around. Like something? Save it. That’s the man part. Next, once you’ve got a nice list of bits and pieces, start thinking like a girl. Would that shirt go with those jeans? No? Pick another shirt then. There. Now you’re thinking in outfits. By the time you come to buy, you’ll have a condensed selection of kit you’ll want to wear all the time.

Eat & Drink – quality over quantity.

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The glory days before self-checkout…

Forget the Dryathlon. Wanna cut back? Force yourself to try a different beer every time you’re out for a pint. An ale. A blonde beer. Doing so will subliminally mean you think about the booze more, and drink slightly less. Try it. Same goes for food: once a week, take a stab at making something you wouldn’t normally: there’s tonnes of “easy to cook Italian/ Indian / Chinese / Japanese” food sites out there. Mixing up your diet will unconsciously wean you off of oven pizzas.

Social Media:

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 Is bad. According to everyone, all the time. But it’s also a necessity. So try rationing it. 3 log-ins a day – before meals. Failing that, only go online to post, not browse.     

Make weekends yours:

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Spend Sundays dreading work? It may not actually be your job. It may be your weekend. Having a good weekend makes life so much easier week to week. Plan something to do every Saturday. A trip to a food market. A walk with mates. A half-hearted jog that ends with a fry up at your local greasy spoon. If you feel you ‘did something’ this weekend, the following week will move faster.

Do a trip away:

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 11.55.30

Trips away are cheaper than big weekenders at home. We guarantee it. Remember, you don’t need a Stag, to go on a Stag Do…..

Don’t Panic: The year is 12 months long. That’s, that’s a while. So if you’re not into some kind of brilliant fitness routine / relationship / sexual position by the first week, don’t panic. You have time.

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