9 Ways to Be a Better Person in 2018

Here’s what we’ve learned about living your best life in 2018, using lessons from some of our most-read Styles stories of 2017. We encourage you to be a better prepared, less anxious and more showered person in the new year.

Julia Rothman

1. Make your bed

This small act will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment, which, the thinking goes, will lead to other similarly virtuous deeds.

“Want to Have a Good Day? Try Making the Bed First” by Katherine Rosman

Julia Rothman

2. Wear weather-appropriate shoes

Melania Trump was reminded of this best practice when she spurred the internet’s ire by departing for hurricane-ravaged Houston in stilettos. (She wore sensible shoes upon arrival.) It’s never a bad idea to put your best foot forward, literally and figuratively.

“Melania Trump, Off to Texas, Finds Herself on Thin Heels” by Vanessa Friedman

Julia Rothman

3. Wash your hair

You know how there are always stories telling you you’re shampooing your hair too much? Well, as with everything, a backlash is brewing. Dermatologists and hairstylists blame the blowout bar phenomenon, saying that dry shampoo will buy you an extra day or two, but nothing more. Remember that your scalp is skin and, just like your face, it needs regular washing.

“Are You Not Washing Your Hair Enough?” by Bee Shapiro

Julia Rothman

4. Schedule sex

As the Sweet Spot co-columnist Cheryl Strayed advised a reader who felt deprived: “I know this sounds incredibly unsexy, but I’m a fan of appointment sex. It doesn’t rely upon magic to make it happen. It’s on your to-do list. (Which doesn’t mean that magic won’t be made.) Like so many worthwhile things in my life — writing, exercising — I’m not always in the mood to have sex, but afterward I’m always glad I did. It’s the just-do-it model of doing it. And it works.”

“The Love Is There. The Sex Is Not. (Well, Only Once a Month.)” by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond

Julia Rothman

5. Accept the things you cannot control

We reported on the wedding of 98-year-old Gertrude Mokotoff and 94-year-old Alvin Mann, who, like so many couples before them, met at the gym. The groom, who also earned a bachelor’s degree in history last year, shared this advice on living a long life: “Of course, one part of it is medical science, but the bigger part is that we live worry-free lives; we do not let anything we cannot control bother us in the least.”

“She’s 98. He’s 94. They Met at the Gym.” by Vincent M. Mallozzi

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6. And if you still feel stressed, distract yourself with a real-life fairy tale

If you are in dire need of some fun and frivolity, just look across the pond. In 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will bless the world with a thoroughly modern royal union.

“Meghan Markle Is Going to Make History” by Vanessa Friedman

Julia Rothman

7. Embrace your age

Let your hair go grey and leave those wrinkles alone. It may just be the start of a revolution. If we want to ensure a less ageist culture, then the battle begins in the mirror, wrote Ashton Applewhite. “For movements to have power, their members have to embrace the thing that is stigmatised, whether it’s being black, loving someone of the same sex, or growing old. That means moving from denying ageing to accepting it, and even to embracing it.”

“Working to Disarm Women’s Anti-Aging Demon” by Ashton Applewhite

Julia Rothman

8. Pack condoms

Because you never know when the world might end. “Survivalists absolutely adore condoms,” wrote Alex Williams. They’re light, compact and can be used as a canteen, fire starter, elastic band, slingshot, fishing bobber or signalling device.

“How to Survive the Apocalypse” by Alex Williams

Julia Rothman

9. If you suffer a setback, just keep going — and going out

Make like Hillary Clinton after her election defeat, when she popped up at a Broadway play, an Italian restaurant and a hotel cabaret.

“Wait. Is That Hillary Clinton? Let’s Go Say Hi.” by Laura Holson

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