Whenever a year comes to a close, you always get the urge to look back and examine how you lived your life for the past 365 days. Perhaps you had a list of resolutions for 2012, and you were only able to tick off a few completed goals because you weren’t able to keep most of the items on your list. Don’t just cry in a corner because you weren’t able to accomplish anything, but rather use your previous list as a guide to help you approach things differently this 2013. A new year presents you with a fresh opportunity to make things better, and even though it’s been said over and over again, you have to treat each day as a chance to make the changes that you want in your life.

Maintain an exercise regimen

A typical list of New Year resolutions usually starts with an aim to improve one’s well-being; you should also start yours with an exercise or fitness regimen. The catch however, is actually trying your hardest to stick to it. It’s been a problem for most people to keep fit because they keep making promises they can’t really keep. They could also have the wrong mindset about weight loss and keeping fit. Be as realistic as you can and don’t take the plunge without weighing your options against your actual capacity. For instance, you can say you’ll hit the gym thrice a week this year – but you can’t really do it if you’ve never even tried running on a treadmill your entire life. Keep it simple; say, you’ll bike to work or walk to places within a one kilometer radius instead of taking the car. In no time, you’ll notice that you’ve shed off some excess pounds (and even minimized your carbon footprint).

Eat healthy and sustainably produced food

Fresh is best, they say. This year, make it a point to consume only the good stuff. Choose organically produced food products and frequent restaurants which offer healthy options. You can even invent some recipes if you do the weekly grocery shopping (fresh ingredients, please) or if you don’t want to feel frazzled over getting food on the table, you can check out the Internet and do your research to replicate the healthy dishes a lot of enthusiasts put online. If you can’t do this, then maybe try to at least lessen your fries, soda, or burger intake. It’ll help you a lot.

Learn something new

Educate yourself each day. If you’ve been reading books for most of your lifetime or just letting yourself rot before your computer doing hardcore Java coding, try to embark on a new activity that involves the exertion of some physical strength. You might be a walking Wikipedia; but if you can’t swim or ride a bike, then perhaps you’ve missed out on a lot of things in life. Learn how to bike or swim. Climb a mountain. Take Capoeira lessons. On the other hand, if you already spend seven days a week in the gym and you’re just an inch closer to being Arnold Schwarzenegger’s doppelganger, then perhaps you need to invest more on the mind. Pick up that classic novel you’ve skipped reading back in high school. Learn a new language or take a workshop on upcycled crafting. Try to see the world with a different perspective and live life with a more holistic approach.

Live with less and cut the crap

Rummage through the items in your room. Take out all the stuff you haven’t used for six months up to a year, give or take. Set up a garage sale or organize swaps with friends. Give your old stuff away to your siblings or donate it to the less fortunate. In the movie Fight Club, Tyler Durden describes humans as by-products of a lifestyle obsession. He says we succumb to “working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” Maybe we should start to realize that consumerism has machinated us and turned us into mechanical beasts to get the stuff we think we want or need. Stop stressing about the latest iPhone! As long as you can still make voice calls or send voicemail on your mobile phone, you’re still doing okay.

Widen your personal network

Find like-minded individuals to learn from and collaborate with. Welcome new ideas from them to widen your worldview. Engage with these people. Who knows, they might be able to help you become more mindful of your lifestyle and serve as your support group in keeping your 2013 resolutions in check. Just try to remember that change – especially good change – that comes in little packages can help you become a better person not just this year but also for the future.