A brand new year is just around the corner, accompanied by a clean slate and the challenge to improve. Regardless of your specific goals, the underlying theme should always be progression—in your workouts, your physique, your career, and your relationships.
Similarly, every year should be better than the last. No matter how great 2013 was, this year will be an improvement—it’s easy if you make the effort. Need a little guidance? We’ve rounded up our 50 favorite training, nutrition, and lifestyle tips to help you stick to your resolutions and make 2014 your best year yet.
1) Repair Your Windows
Many experts attribute the steep drop in crime in New York City over the past decade to an initiative that focused on cleaning up graffiti. Dubbed the “Broken Window Theory,” the idea is that improving an environment improves the way we behave in it. Make your home and workspace conducive to the lifestyle you want to live.
2) Improve Your Dating Profile
An OkCupid study found that dating profile pictures taken with bright light add seven years to your face, drawing eyes to the very wrinkles and blemishes you’re hoping no one will notice. Instead, take profile photos in the late afternoon in soft, natural lighting—study participants rated those as the most attractive.
After examining 372 subjects, a Southampton General Hospital study found that those with high blood levels of lutein, a natural antioxidant responsible for absorbing harmful blue light, had a significantly lower risk of developing cataracts. Lutein is highest in kale and spinach.
4) Fuel Your Furnace
Following a high-protein diet—40% of daily calories from protein—for eight weeks has been shown to lead to significant reductions in abdominal fat compared with a low-fat, high-carb diet. Shoot for at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight.
5) Do the Twist
When you perform dumbbell bench presses, rotate your wrists outward as you push the weights up. Your pinkies will face each other at the top. According to national-level bodybuilder and trainer John Meadows, owner of mountain dogdiet.com, you’ll feel a greater contraction in your pecs.