15 Ways to Be a Better Person in 2016


We rolled up our sleeves and combed through the Styles archive of 2015, sorting through the many tips and tricks scattered throughout our stories. On subjects like what you wear (and what you wear under that), what you consume and how you love, here are some ideas for improving your existence in the coming year.

1. Wear comfortable underwear.

“I only wear granny panties,” said Julia Baylis, 22, part of a new generation of women saying no to the thong. Mayan Toledano, 27, added: “What’s sexy for us is being natural and comfortable.”

2. Drink coffee.

“It’s one of the biggest sources of antioxidants in the American diet,” said Dan Buettner, a longevity expert (who also does not say no to red wine with dinner).

3. Stare into the eyes of someone you love (or want to love) for exactly four minutes.

Not two. Not three. Four. “Two minutes is just enough to be terrified,” said Mandy Len Catron, the author of a Modern Love column on the exercise. “Four really goes somewhere.”

4. Don’t ghost.

Meaning don’t break up with someone by simply disappearing from their lives (and their phones). One day it could be you on the other end of that unanswered text.

5. Be nice to babies.

Even if they’re screaming on a plane. Nyfesha Miller became a social media star after taking care of her seatmate’s bawling infant on a flight earlier this year.

6. Dress in a way that makes you feel powerful.

“If you feel good in your clothes,” said the tennis champion Novak Djokovic, “it affects you psychologically somehow.”

7. If you divorce, play nice.

And maybe you’ll even be able to pull off the unthinkable: the post-divorce family vacation.

8. Toss the cigarettes.

Even if “quitting smoking is the khakis of existence,” as the writer Choire Sicha put it. “But also? I feel like anything could happen,” he added. “Unencumbered, naked and glassy, I feel perilously close to a dozen superfun midlife crises. I could move to anywhere before I even knew I had done so.”

9. Get a pet.

It may be true that you can’t really cure depression, you can only get better at living with it. But Sadie the kitten seemed to help one depressed man.

10. Take on a seemingly impossible task.

When you feel as if you’ve hit rock bottom, maybe it’s time to challenge yourself — just as “Fat Guy Across America” Eric Hites did when he decided to bike across the country.

11. If you would like to keep your marriage together, stick it out.

It may help to consider the maxim that Modern Love writer Ada Calhoun recalled: “Life is suffering — and yet

12. Put sex first.

To save a relationship that seems in danger of running aground, try something new in couples therapy: tackling bedroom issues before diving into the rest of it.

13. Make sure you are the boss of your electronic devices.

Rather than the other way around. Try instituting a few rules for when you do (and don’t) use your phone.

14. Relish the phrase ‘I’m too old for this.’

“There is also something profoundly liberating about aging: an attitude, one that comes hard won,” wrote Dominique Browning. “Only when you hit 60 can you begin to say, with great aplomb: ‘I’m too old for this.’ This line is about to become my personal mantra.”

15. Be generous to those who have helped you.

Like the father who invited his daughter’s stepfather to join the wedding procession on the big day.

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