As the different regions of the world counted down to a new beginning and fresh start in 2016, many had already decided that the New Year would bring some kind of change – whether it be big or small – in an attempt to either break a bad habit or start something positive in the seconds, minutes and hours following the actual confetti countdown.
Sure, New Year’s resolutions can feel meaningless and hollow because they’re personal challenges and those are the easiest to break. But the real key to trying to better oneself may be more in the setup than it is in the execution.
Although we are several days into 2016, there’s still ample time left to achieve something truly meaningful and enriching. As much as we’d like to tell you to quit smoking or to start exercising more, our advice is decidedly more “Highsnob” than “High Blood Pressure” when it comes to advising the modern man.
Still need a path to forge in 2016? We’ve got you covered.
Save a bit of cash for a rainy day
Although Highsnobiety’s readership is decidedly global, a study of a typical American’s finances should serve as a major wake-up call and warning sign to everyone out there.
A study released almost a year ago exactly revealed that more than 60 percent of Americans do not have enough rainy day funds set aside to deal with even the slightest – yet unplanned – occurrences.
According to CNBC, “Just 38 percent of Americans said they could cover an unexpected emergency room visit or even a $500 car repair with cash on hand in a checking or savings account.”
While skeptics might say that these people are probably reckless with their finances, the same study found that 82 percent of respondents stated that they stuck to a budget.
Find a recipe, try it, and perfect it to your own personal taste
Many avoid cooking because they view it as too hard and too time-consuming. Thus, people turn to takeout and fine dining as their main sources of eating despite it being a less financially-viable – and often unhealthier alternative – than simply going to the grocery store.
However, not everyone is blessed with skills in the kitchen like Action Bronson or Eddie Huang. But that’s no excuse. Following a recipe is not hard. Hell, you can even use popular culture to guide your eating habits.
Consider the aforementioned hirsute chef-turned-rapper, Action Bronson, whose culinary references are so abundant that there was even a cooking guide created for those wanting to turn his audible treats into actual culinary delights. From spicy coconut curry to wonton soup, let Bronsolino be your kitchen spirit animal.
Although your general practioner might not agree with us, be sure to double the salt on any recipe you tackle. And if all else fails, coat it with sriracha and you should be just fine.
Buy a “hype” item because it’s something you want
If you look at two of the bigger “hype” releases this year, H&M x Balmain and the Air Jordan V reworked by Supreme, the general consensus amongst fashion enthusiasts is that the collections/collab weren’t visually appealing. However, as we’re all well aware, the items sold out immediately and pandemonium associated with both proved a valuable point; hype in today’s retail landscape has more to do with what others want than personal preference anymore.
Whether you’re a reseller or a collector, you’re at the mercy of the wills of thousands if not millions of other people who share a similar interest in making money/dressing with a certain aesthetic.
In 2016, take back your personal identity. If you were the first or you were the last to discover a brand, make sure your heart is in it for reasons that satisfy your own direct interests.
Break one aspect of your digital dependency
Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, or a new app like Beme, our new best friends all have flat personalities.
According to a study conducted by Bournemouth University in England, researchers actually believe that “warning” labels and messages should be introduced on digital devices to encourage responsible usage and prevent digital addiction similar in nature to warning labels that appear on nicotine and alcohol products.
Dr. Raian Ali, a Senior Lecturer in Computing at BU, told Science Daily, “Research has shown that excessive and obsessive usage and preoccupation about technology are associated with undesirable behaviors such as reduced creativity, depression and disconnection from reality.”
Even if it’s dropping one social media app from your rotation, or leaving your smartphone behind for an afternoon, the need to disconnect in 2016 is highly encouraged.
Watch a movie you love, then read a book that relates to the subject matter
It’s no secret that books serve as important pieces of source material for many of the most popular movies that come out in theaters. While we don’t suggest re-reading things that have already been adapted, we do encourage some kind of reverse engineering where you recognize a movie for what it’s depicting, and then go out and find a book (whether fiction or nonfiction) that explores similar themes.
For example, let’s say you loved the movie Donnie Brasco. Why not try out Making Jack Falcone which tells the story of a rotund undercover agent who would actually become so convincing in his assumed role of a gangster that the Gambino crime family wanted to “make” him?
Surprise a friend who lives in a different city
Planning a vacation can often feel like work. There’s the flight. There’s the hotel. There’s the “I don’t just want to watch TV in the hotel and I need to find activities” anxiety. And of course, there’s the credit card bill that comes in the mail which makes the whole trip feel more like an ordeal than an escape.
That’s the beauty of surprising a friend who lives in a different city. Whether it means hopping in the car or boarding an airplane, the rest is already taken care of. You’ve got a place to stay – which lessons the financial burden immensely – and you’ve got a partner in crime who can show you how “locals” take in the city.
Clean out your closet and donate items to charity
Chances are that most everyone’s closets are a little overrun thanks to the holiday season. Now is the chance to lighten your load a little while also doing a little charity work.
Conventional wisdom tells us that if you haven’t worn a particular item in the last 12 months, it’s not going to jump into the rotation in a surprising fashion like the cashmere equivalent of what Jeremy Lin did with the New York Knicks in 2012.
There’s even a handy little clothes hangar trick to keep tabs on what you’ve worn. Simply turn all the hooks so that they face you. When you wear an item, turn them the opposite way. You now have a visual record of what you’re wearing.
Find the nearest Michelin star restaurant to your home and dine there
Three-Star Michelin restaurants span the globe – including the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Macau, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.
While cities like Paris, New York City, Kyoto and Tokyo dominate the culinary landscape when it comes to recognition from the prestigious guide, fine dining is available to all if you’re willing to work for it. Whether that means traveling a few blocks, or packing up the car for an overnight stay, good eats are worth it.
Add a vintage piece from a family member to your daily rotation
The word “vintage” is thrown around a lot in fashion these days. But in many instances, it reflects a style, cut or pattern of yesteryear rather than something that was actually created decades prior.
We suggest you pick out something to add to your 2016 repertoire that has a greater significance to you on a personal level, as opposed to something that has been cosigned or designed by a tastemaker.
Maybe it’s a pocket watch from your grandfather or a beat up driver’s cap from a great uncle. Regardless, let your family tree keep you grounded in your sartorial choices.
Compare yourself to others less
Although this sounds pretty esoteric, this could be our biggest suggestion of them all. Thanks to social media, people are able to curate their lives and present it in a manner in which that they see fit. That means everyone on the outside looking in are getting the life equivalency of what Photoshopped magazine covers are to reality.
Your Facebook friends or Instagram guilty pleasures may choose to only show the Michelin restaurant they just ate at, or their wonderful vacation in a different city. This is not their real life.