Be 'Better' in 2016

Image from  New York Times

Image from New York Times

It was brought to our attention that the New York Times yesterday published a piece on "15 Ways To Be A Better Person In 2016;" and suggested that we make a listicle of our own for the new year on how to be "Better" in 2016.

Game on.

1. Be Silly.

Photo/Stevie Rosenfeld

Photo/Stevie Rosenfeld

You are never too old for make-believe, dress-up, bad dancing or singing funny songs. Be silly! On the train. In the car. At your next business meeting. Next time you're hanging out with friends. Invite whimsy into your life. Act immature. Laugh too loud. Dance to the weather. There is no excuse for every day to not have some element of fun in it.

2. Help others.

Animals. Insects. Strangers. Old people. Young people. Lend a hand. It doesn't have to be monetary, and it doesn't have to take up all of your time. But every single day, try to make someone else's existence on this planet a little easier.

3. Grow Your Own Food

Even if it's just one thing: kitchen herbs growing in pots on a windowsill. A small, raised bed for tomatoes. Peas. Garlic. Pick your favorite piece of produce, and grow it. Cultivating your own food is one of the most supreme joys in this world. And getting your hands in the dirt reduces blood pressure, relieves stress and reduces your carbon footprint. We call this a win-win-win.

4. Make art.

Doodle. Paint. Fabricate. Color. Make art! Even bad art. Even art that blows away in the first gust of wind. Make art. Give it away. Hang it on a wall. Hide it under your bed. But please, please, please! Make it.

5. Make music.

Bang on a drum. Sing off-key. Take piano lessons. Pick up the trumpet you haven't played since high school. Making music relieves stress, bonds people together and will be the most fun you've had in ages. Impromptu sing-alongs strongly encouraged!

6. Unwind.

So much of life is go-go-go. We get it. But for every week that goes by without you taking a breath, you're missing out on so much: time with friends, your inner voice, your breath. So sign up for a yoga class. Take a walk by yourself in the woods. Lie in bed for 10 minutes after you wake up, just being perfectly still. Stretch. Lie on the couch all day (like tomorrow!)

7. Follow your heart.

Trust your gut. Heed your inner voice. Follow that passion. LIFE IS SHORT. Plan accordingly.

8. Make time for food with people you love.

Photo/Kenny Levezzi

Photo/Kenny Levezzi

Mealtimes are opportunities to catch up with the people who matter most to you. Do not waste this by eating in front of a TV, eating alone, grabbing your meals at drive-thru windows or rushing through breakfast so you can get on to wherever it is you're headed. Go out to eat. Host dinner parties. Make big breakfasts. Everything that happens when people are gathered around the table enjoying a meal, is priceless.

9. Surround yourself with the best people.

You can absolutely judge a person by the company he or she keeps. And you should keep company with people who inspire you to do excellent things. People who make you laugh. People who you feel proud to know. People who get you. People who push you toward greatness. These are the people you should call friends. Do not settle for anything less.

10. Be the change you wish to see.

You don't get to sit back and hope things will become different. From this second on, live like you mean it. Make the differences. Tread lightly. Give more. Take less. Act grateful. Reduce. Be mindful. Consider the planet. Consider each other. Be big. Be the action.

From everyone at Better Farm, we wish you a wonderful 2016 filled with lots of yums.


Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.