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Dan Bernardi
[intro-text size=”25px”]Out with the old, in with the newbs[/intro-text]

We’ve  officially kissed Y2K’s quinceañera goodbye and are moving on to its big sweet sixteen. Knuckle deep into the new year means it’s time for a progress report. Have you failed your New Year’s resolution yet? Maybe you forgot to make one..? Hey, nobody’s perfect! Even if you already blew it harder than Cleveland’s frigid January wind, don’t give up just yet. It’s never too late to improve yourself or try something new. Here’s my guide to a few classic resolutions despite annually botching my own, so take it with a grain of salt…unless, of course, you’re trying to cut back on salt.

Less is More

They say winners never quit and quitters never win, but if you smoke a pack a day and practically live at the bar, it might be time to get on the wagon. It’s usually tough to give up anything that comes with a sin tax, but breaking these habits could possibly save your life. In other unfavorable cases, you’re enjoying too much of a seemingly harmless thing. Whether it’s binging on Netflix, creeping on social media, or spiraling into a vortex of increasingly odd Internet porn- be honest with yourself; you know when it’s overkill. Total abstinence may not be your thing; however,s even cutting back on the bad stuff is a huge benefit. It’s true; that red meat isn’t gonna eat itself, but if you can manage to trim down the portions, you may just be able to add a few extra months to that miserable,vice-less existence of yours.

Ties that Bind

With over seven billion people on the planet, botched relationships are to be expected. Maybe you’ve burned some bridges or just slipped into an interpersonal rut, but that doesn’t mean you’re relegated to being a boring spouse, an intolerable, insufferable asshole boss (I’m looking at you, Tom), or a lousy friend for the rest of your life. No matter what your standing is in any relationship, you can always improve the connection. Be considerate, put in the time, and for God’s sake, avoid talking anything controversial because chances are that’s what fucked you in the first place. When you’re done mending fences with family and friends, or if you’re a sad sack of shit with none of either, consider finding a way to contribute to the world in which you live. Volunteer or donate; a few of the seven billion could use it.

Work it Out

Diet and fitness are two words that in practice, burn calories. Out loud, they burn ears. You keep telling yourself that this year’s gym membership is going to be more than wallet padding, but you end up routinely eating your fourth meal at three in the morning, and it turns out that you’ve never even had a gym membership. Your body is a temple, yet you treat it like an outhouse, so here’s an exercise for you: get completely naked and look at yourself in the mirror. If you like what you see, keep it that way and don’t get cocky. If it’s not your ideal, perfectly sculpted slab of sexcellence, or if by some freak occurrence the mirror shatters at the sight of you, it’s time to shape up your body. But that’s only half the battle. Your mind is equally important, so kill two birds with one stone by jogging to your next therapy session.

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Take the Leap

Variety is the spice of life, so if your life is starting to taste like hospital oatmeal, you may need to shake things up a bit. With the sole hope of injecting a shred of excitement into our ho-hum lives, some of us have a burning desire to pursue interests or activities that are so out of the ordinary and out of our comfort zones, we’d have to be out of our minds to follow through with them. Buy a Rosetta Stone and learn to sing in fluent Choctaw, teach yourself how to crochet sleeved blankets out of animal hair, or get totally bonkers and read a whole book. If you want to experience something you’ve never done, somewhere you’ve never been, taken there by someone you’ve never met, get out there and get daring, or get roofied. Until then, a little daily spontaneity can go a long way. Surprise yourself.

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