1. Do It With a Friend. Even traditionally solitary activities like reading are more fun when you do them with somebody.
2. Go to Sleep. This one’s so easy. It’s a proven fact that a minimum of six hours a night will make you both happier and healthier.
3. Breathe In, Breathe Out. You may very well already be meditating and/or practicing yoga, but since positive reinforcement makes people happy, remind yourself that calming the mind in service of the attainment of happiness has time-tested and long-lasting benefits. Meditation can reshape your brain in positive ways, yoga can do the same for your bod.
4. Take the Inward Outward. Now that you’ve spent all this time nurturing your inner self with reading, and meditating, and yoga practicing, get over yourself a little. Take some of your newfound inner light, and send it out into the world. Volunteer.
5. Get Dirty. Put the antibacterial gel down and slowly walk away. A little dirt never killed anyone and research is showing the good bacteria found in soil can give a boost to your immune system and alleviate depression. Get outside, go to your park, touch some dirt and reap the benefits of being closer to the ground which most of us don’t get to do nearly enough.
6. May Old Acquaintance Be Forgot. Old habits, too. Old habits die hard, and so do bad ones. As you enter a new year with plans for health and happiness, take a moment to think of the one bad habit you have that you’d really like to rid yourself of for good.
7. Snap. At your friends, family, coworkers. Recalling good memories and celebrations increases a person’s happiness and looking at photographs is one of the best ways to do that. So the next time you’re the one behind the camera at an event or gathering, don’t worry that you’re missing out on the fun. Instead, know that you’re increasing your likelihood for future happiness and occasions for joy.
8. Veg Out. Shifting to a more plant-based diet has numerous health benefits including increased energy, lower cholesterol and—every New Year’s resolver’s favorite—weight loss
Best of luck, and a happy and healthy 2012 to all.