21 Simple Things to Do to Prepare for a Successful 2013

Sea ChangeWell, the apocalypse never came. No earth-rending seismic activity rearranged geography. Nary a tsunami wrought despair and destruction on coastlines, nor did the turn of the calendar awaken an ancient, many-tentacled evil force hidden deep below. We experienced neither a global awakening of consciousness, a visit from the original extraterrestrial architects of our physiology, nor an explosion of eschatological novelty. What that means is two things: the prophets of 2012 got it wrong, and you have to plan for the rest of your life.

Let’s start with 2013. How are you going to make sure it’s a successful year? What steps will you take?

I’ve got a few suggestions. This may seem a bit untimely coming on the heels of Christmas Day, but I wanted to encourage you to start thinking about where you’ve been and where you’re going. Whenever you have some time off from family and friends, consider getting some thinking done. Consider taking a few preliminary steps toward making 2013 a good year.

1. Install F.lux on your computer.

It takes a minute. It’s free. It will have a measurable impact on the quality and duration of your sleep, which will set the stage for health and productivity. There’s literally no reason not to install F.lux (even if you’re going to be photo-editing or something that requires the full spectrum, you can always turn the program off for a bit).

2. Buy blue-blocking glasses.

F.lux is great, but it only works on select electronic devices. What about everything else, like the TV, that light overhead, or (if you’re willing to look a little strange) the grocery store after dark? Glasses that block blue light will help you to go about your business in this modern life without pushing back your melatonin secretion, allowing you to get to bed at a reasonable time.

3. Find a local grass-fed beef supplier.

Grass-fed beef makes a big difference. It really does. And yes, it’s generally more expensive than grain-fed beef, but if you find the right local supplier and buy directly from them, you can get a better deal.

4. Buy a chest freezer.

If you’re going to switch to grass-fed beef and want the best deal you can find, you’ll want a chest freezer to enable bulk buying (or even cowpooling). You’ll save money and have steady access to good meat, but it’s also fun to weird out visitors with your giant meat locker. Bonus points if you position a sheep’s head such that it’s looking right into the eyes of whoever opens the door.

5. Buy a journal.

A journal gives you access to a free, unlicensed (but effective) therapist, and it allows you to conduct real n=1 experiments to figure out what works for you – and why. If you want to make any changes in the new year, a journal will help you make sense of them.

6. Get a library card.

Part of having a successful year is focusing on the mind – not just the body. I love reading and find books to be a quite powerful influence on the mind. If you think you’re in the same boat, go grab a library card – they’re usually free and woefully underutilized – so that you can start the influencing off right.

7. Find out where and when all the local farmers markets are.

So you’ve long told yourself that you’re going to “start shopping at farmers markets more,” but it never really materializes. That stops in 2013. To help your chances, compile a list of all the local farmers markets. Figure out where they are, when they run, and which ones fit into your schedule. You won’t be able to avoid going if you can’t make up a ridiculous excuse like “I don’t even know when it is!”

8. Treat yourself to a few quality cooking tools.

A good knife, a well-made wooden cutting board, and a solid enameled cast iron pot don’t just make cooking good food easier, they make it more enjoyable. If you want to start cooking more but haven’t been able to really get going, the first step is to get cookware that’s worthy of the food you’ll be making.

9. Find an Asian market near you.

Asian markets are teeming with interesting, delicious, nutritious, unique (at least to many people) foods. Want fresh (often living) fish and shellfish? Check out the seafood section. Want twenty different kinds of leafy greens? Check out the produce section. Want that spice or herb whose health benefits you read about on some blog somewhere? Check out the spice section. Having an Asian market nearby will be a helpful ally in the coming year.

10. Look for a seafood wholesaler.

If you’re lucky enough to have a seafood wholesaler near you, take advantage. You’ll be able to get oysters, crab, fish, and other sorts of sea creatures almost directly after they’re caught/harvested without the few days of lag time that can make a huge difference. Seafood is a big part of a healthy Primal eating plan, so be sure to have a good source.

11. Browse Meetup.com for relevant local groups.

Blogs and Facebook and Twitter aren’t enough for us. We are social animals, after all, who need face to face contact. If your friends think you’re insane for eschewing grains and buying bulk butter, check out Meetup.com for relevant groups (paleo, Primal, hiking, weightlifting, camping, etc.) and then go join them.

12. Start drafting a Friday “Success Story” to submit.

Write the first paragraph in which you give your background, your experience hitherto, your justification for wanting to do it all better. Then, finish the story in 2013 – and make it a good one.

13. Join a gym if you haven’t.

I prefer working out in nature, preferably doing something I love like Ultimate Frisbee or stand up paddleboarding, but not everyone’s like that. A lot of people need the gym atmosphere – not to mention the equipment – to get a good workout. Plus, paying money for something will often get you to use it. Sure, a lot of gyms fill up around New Year’s with temporary fitness buffs, only to empty out around the middle of February, but I think MDA readers are a different sort. And hey, I still go to a gym to do certain things; it’s just not my favorite way to exercise.

14. Browse Craigslist for used fitness equipment.

Some people need to join a gym in order to get a workout, but others find home gyms work best. If you’re of the latter group, Craigslist is a fantastic place to get great deals on quality equipment. Try searches like “barbell” or “kettlebell” or “weight vest” or “squat rack” or any other equipment you covet.

15. Find info on all the adult sports leagues nearby.

You know you “need to play more,” but how? You can’t just head down to the local park as a grown adult and join a random game of tag with a bunch of other adults out playing. See, until we reach critical mass and get most adults out there ready and willing to play, you’re gonna have to search out play-willing adults. Find some adult sports leagues for the coming year to help you play more in 2013. If you’re a ten-year old reading this, enjoy your ample supply of willing peers (cause it won’t last forever).

16. Clean out your fridge and freezer.

That half-eaten avocado with a spoon still sticking in it from last week? Toss it. The container of Greek yogurt you left cracked open so that part of the top layer crusted over? Get rid of it. That congealed red hemoglobin slick from the time you thawed a roast and never cleaned it up? Clean it. Get rid of all the old greens, rearrange the inefficient jumble of containers, and clear out the freezer to make way for all the fantastic food you’re going to be eating, making, and storing in 2013.

17. Get your knives sharpened.

I know most of you aren’t doing this regularly. If you haven’t gotten your knives sharpened recently and you aren’t one to maintain them yourself, take them to get professionally sharpened. It will make a huge difference, and cutting meat and slicing veggies and fruits will become a pleasurable act.

18. Spend a day or two recharging in nature.

Go for a long hike, take a weekend trip out in the woods, camp on the beach, rent a cabin. Just spend an extended amount of time away from civilization, deep in wild nature. Think about your big plans for 2013, or just use the time to do nothing but experience nature (perhaps with a spiritual encounter or two) and get away from it all. Whatever you do, it will help you prepare for a successful 2013.

19. Don’t indulge too much.

Indulge in the pleasures of social contact. Indulge in good company. Indulge in a little bit of good wine, too, for these can all be net healthful activities. But don’t indulge to the point of obliteration. Don’t wake up on January 1 feeling like death. Be sensible, take precautionary measures, and be ready to take on the new year.

20. Go for a long walk.

Walking is good for thinking. And physical health. But you should take a long walk to prepare for a good 2013 mostly because it’ll help you think about what must be done.

21. Get ready to take advantage of The Primal Connection promo on January 8th.

My new book is coming out on January 8th, and if you enjoyed or gained something useful from The Primal Blueprint, you’ll want its sequel – The Primal Connection. I wrote the sequel because while the ancestral model has been used to great effect in the realm of diet and exercise, its potential to guide us to a fulfilling and balanced life has gone largely untapped. That changes with The Primal Connection. Though they play a large role in our health and happiness, we are not the food we eat nor the weights we lift; we are much, much more than that.

In addition to The Primal Connection, I’ve got several new ventures, products, and services on the docket for the upcoming year – so stay tuned! I have a strong feeling that 2013 is going to be a successful year for a lot of you.

Thanks for reading, and share what you’ll be doing to prepare for a successful 2013 in the comment board below!

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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110 thoughts on “21 Simple Things to Do to Prepare for a Successful 2013”

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  1. Great suggestions, Mark! I second the nudge to check out Meetup.com. Living in the Pacific Northwest, winters can get long and depressing if I don’t make time to come out of hibernation every once in a while and do things I enjoy. Meetup offers so many options for every one of my interests! Yoga, MovNat, Paleo Potlucks, Active Play, etc. Just last week we played cold, wet glow-in-the-dark Ultimate. It was a blast!

      1. One thing, though — under Washington, DC, you like Rockville. Rockville is in Maryland. Just a technical detail…and how sad is it that DC doesn’t have a Meetup group?!

    1. shamra, this might be a little bit strange but i feel compelled to tell you that you are stunningly beautiful.

    2. I live in the Pacific Northwest and love the overcast winter (I get a weird version of SAD that affects me i the summer, strange I know!). I think us PNWers are so fortunate to be able to get some good rain gear and enjoy the greenery all year round!

  2. Thanks for the list, how about an advanced list for the people that have already completed most of this one?

    Also, Flux is a great program!

    1. Suggestion: I do not know about you, but I think local human interaction is getting more lame as the means to communicate has increased.

      -Birthday texts instead of a phone call or a card.

      -Going out to eat where people communicate more on their facebook and through texting than talking in person with the people around them.

      -People talking on their cell phones while interacting with service staff.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love tech and there is a time and place for it. Yet the dark underbelly I see is rudeness, and is seems to be accepted!

      Point: Be more humanly personable. Put down your personal electronic device.

      1. +1000

        Although I have say I just received a unintended benefit to electronic induced social slackeritis. My Mother In Law, with whom I no longer speak to other than civilities, keeps herself buried in her iPhone when visiting. We’re both much happier and so is the family. I did point out to hubby, though, that I don’t think there’s a point to driving 8+ hours just to check email in someone else’s living room.

      2. Agreed- one great way to do this is to see live entertainment. Go see live stand-up comedy in a club, or live music anywhere. It’s fun to be part of a live audience. Ask the people sitting around you how they came to be fans of the performer.

      3. Totally agree PBon… It has really gone out of control… I look at people and just wonder. It really is sad. It appears to be an addiction much like smoking to people. They just have to have it!

      4. That is a good thing to add too. I have imposed rules about that in my house. No phones/tv/electronics during while we are eating dinner, and it does not matter if we are at home or a resturaunt. Youre completely right, it is extremely rude. Unfortunately I cannot control what other people are doing, only those in my family.

        Along with that, we make sure to schedule family reading time, where all the electronics go off and we sit and silently read books…actual books not virtual ones. It sounds stupid to have to schedule those things, since we should just do them anyways, but it is effective.

      5. I recently saw a quote supposedly from Einstein that said “I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots.”

      6. I agree with you! Even my 85 year old mother will sit and play words with friends when we’re there for a visit now. Crazy!

  3. Mark,

    Are you sure I didn’t write this post?!?!

    Walk as much as you can in 2013 folks! One of my 13 resolutions is to “move” (since dancing and what not counts) 4,000 miles. That’s just over 10 per day. Three hours. That’s nothing!!

    Please do join a meetup group, especially a Primal/Paleo one if you are in Grand Rapids, Austin or Chicago!!!!

    1. I just bought ble light blocking glasses on Amazon 2 weeks ago and it was the best $10 I’ve ever spent!!!

        1. Not sure if toad bought them, but I did (and so did all the reviews on Amazon) they work like butter. My eyes on occasion have teared up when watching tv, but that probably means I was watching too much of it. Gone are nights where I can’t seem to get tired even though I’ve been up for 16+ hours. It’s a small but very effective investment.

  4. 18 & 20 are the best. and i can’t wait for the primal connection to come out. been waiting a long time to read it.

    1. I have an advanced copy and am nearly ready to say that it’s the most important book for 2013. I’m 60 pages in.

  5. Meetup scares me a bit. I’m not a super sociable person and I feel like I’m intruding on some all-inclusive group. It doesn’t seem like new members often join my local Paleo group.

      1. Tasha, I know the feeling. I found out, though, that Meet-up folks a super open and friendly, by-and-large. I joined several groups out-of-the-blue, where I was the only one who knew no-one. By the end of the first outing, I had new friends and was welcomed from the get-go. Think of it from the organizer’s standpoint–they probably fear not having people join up as much as we might fear joining a group, so your very presence is heartily welcomed!

  6. Any suggestions for blue-blocker glasses that fit over prescription lenses? According to one Amazon review, those mentioned, do not (although they look like they *might* fit).

    1. For blue-blocker glasses designed to fit over prescription glasses to to lowbluelights.com. Of course, they’re more expensive then the ones mentioned about ($70-80).

  7. This was a great article except for one thing: the Mayans never said the world was going to end or any other new agey crap. That was created and perpetuated by white people.

  8. I don’t like gyms because they are full of phony, superficial people like me.

  9. Nice post. A very good list, especially the reminder about knife sharpening.

    But #19 baffles me. It links to the hangover post, which suggesst, among other things, drinking until you’re buzzed and then stopping.

    Huh? When you’re buzzed is when you’re least likely to stop. The natural reaction to a buzz is to maintain it by continuing drinking. Seems to me that undercuts the primal rule of avoiding toxins. Alcohol in moderation is encouraged on this blog, so a topic I think is post-worthy is why alcohol, in many people, doesn’t lend itself to moderation. (To begin with, alcohol releases dopamine, which makes us feel good, so we want more, so we drink more, which cuts against moderation and increases toxicity intake.)

    I dig the Primal Blueprint, but I think its take on alcohol is unrealistic and to some extent, self-contradicting (see above).

    Also, I haven’t seen anything on here on the differences between men and women and how they process alcohol. There’s a big difference. If we’re going to delve into things as specific as the upside and downside of stuff like spirulina, I think it makes sense to explore pretty much every facet of alcohol, which is everywhere and consumed by many.

    Just sayin’. Again, nice post, except for #19 and its link to the hangover post,


    1. I’m sure it’s true for some, but not me–I like my wine, but if I get to the point of buzzed, I start to feel kind of poisoned, or at least over-alcohol-ed…fumey…not pleasant.

    2. I agree. The main difference I see in how men and women process alcohol is the guy is the one always buying the drinks for the woman. Come on now ladies, open those purses up! And just because you buy me a drink, I don’t owe you anything more than a thank you.

    3. I see your point on alcohol consumption, but I don’t see how it is different to, say, overindulging on fruits, nuts or dark chocolate. It seems to me there’s a certain level of willpower necessary to ensure that indulging in occasional treats doesn’t lead to falling off the wagon. But it comes to individual levels of control. Some will be able to hold back after a couple of glasses of wine, whereas others are probably more likely to succeed if they abstain, just as with everything else.

      1. Just to be clear, I’m not necessarily advocating abstention. I’m simply saying that: 1) I think alcohol and its effects on the body in brain need more exploration here; and 2) some of the ideas on alcohol that I’ve read here don’t seem realistic.

        A couple of examples: stopping drinking when you’re buzzed, and limiting yourself to “a glass” or two. There are a lot of folks out there who can’t do those things, because of the way alcohol affects their physiology. Moreover, there are a lot of people out there, many of them women, for whom a glass or two (especially two) is way to much – especially when consumed on a regular basis.

        Another big problem with alcohol is that it lends itself to self-deception. There are lots of folks out there telling themselves they don’t have a problem with alcohol when in fact, they do. Think of how many “glass or two” “I like my wine” folks there are out there who are actually drinking most or all of the bottle.

        As for the idea that there’s no difference between drinking too much and overeating nutritious food (fruit, nuts, etc), I say of course there’s a difference. Just about anything can be over-consumed, including alcohol, but the thing setting alcohol apart is that it’s a toxic, addictive drug. It delivers instant pleasure with no nutritional benefit. It can and has ruined people’s lives. Kind of hard to imagine how fruits and nuts might do that.


        1. This is a really good point. I really can’t have even one glass of wine. It turns into two and then into the bottle (so it won’t “go off”)…and then I feel like death the next day.

          There’s a very interesting book – Potatoes, Not Prozac which goes into some of the physiology and psychology of addiction in some depth; but the point is made in many other places as well:

          If you have a problem with carbs, you have a problem with alcohol. What you may be craving is not even the alcohol, but the sugar content.

          For people like me, no alcohol is the way to go. I recently spent a night out with my girlfriends drinking tea and we had the *best* night – great conversations, and I remembered them the next day !

        2. this is a valid point but i remember Mark addressing that on his alcohol post a way back…in that tolerance level and addiction is different for every person so each individual needs to assess their own comfort and tolerance for booze. Mark can only provide some guidance based on his personal experience and research but we all have to take responsibility over our lives and what we ingest. if we rely on others to tell us exactly what to do under every circumstance…recipe for disaster.

        3. It really is different for every person. I rarely drink and when I do I never feel like drinking enough to get more than buzzed. Drinking (an being drunk) holds very very little interest for me and I really only do it socially if I feel like it. Now if you put a chocolate chip cookie in front of me that’s a totally different story. Every person has their “poison” and he or she needs to be aware of where the line is.

        4. Alcohol seems to be a snare. Even for people who don’t seem to be predisposed right now for alcohol problems might change at a later time. How could abstaining from alchohol be a bad thing? If I can help other folks out who might have problems with alcohol by not drinking myself, why not do it? This is a personal choice and people have to make their own choices. I’ll make my indulgence peanut butter!

        5. Well, to be fair, there are nutritional benefits (antioxidants for example) from wine. Moderation is obviously key.

  10. I love that you suggested getting a library card! I was just thinking about how we sometimes ignore the brain aspect of our Primal/Paleo selves!

    1. Yes the library card definitely needs to get put to more use. Talk about a easy way to read more for free.

  11. We got f.lux a few months ago, and aside from the nice yellow light after sunset and melatonin benefits, there’s the unexpected pleasure of knowing exactly when the sun sets, if one of us is in front of the computer. Takes you out of your digital world and reminds you of the cosmos.

  12. For me, I want 3000 subscricers to my blog.. Also I will be going to the gym for building abs.. Many people wants to change theirselves in the new year and also I have seen many gave up on the first day 😛

  13. Thanks for these great Suggestions Mark! I especially like F.lux, installed it just now! Now I need to find an equivalent app for my android cell phone. Thanks for all you do Mark!

  14. Excellent list and I really like how the suggestions are achievable on any budget. It’s not about the money!
    For me – 2013 is about continuing my “health journey” (urgh I need another phrase, I always feel a bit Biggest Loser when I say it), more personal experimentation, blogging (share the love), go to a Meet-up and have a go at Crossfit.

  15. According to what I’m researching, F.lux only works if you jailbreak your iOS which is not an option for me.

    Does anyone else have a workaround so that I can install this on my iPhone or iPad?

    1. Check Mark’s last-minute gifts suggestion post–for the iPhone, I just got the filter from LowBlueLights.com. About $10 I think. I didn’t want to jailbreak mine either. The filter is a yellow plastic thing that is like sunglasses for the phone…

    2. IOS on iphone comes with a low contrast option that is designed to reduce the battery power that the normal screen colors use use. On my phone I have it set to change contrast when I click my main button three times. It drops to a different contrast and the blue light is reduced. You can go to settings and accessability and turn on invert colors

  16. My question too! It tells me safari can’t open f.lux on my iPad so no download.

    I put on my blublocker glasses at night when I use my devices or watch tv, etc. I can put them on right over my reading glasses, no problem. Blublockers.com good selection.

  17. Great suggestions! I’m especially glad you included F.lux, because that’s one thing I’ve been meaning to do for months and just haven’t gotten around to it. I think this is the extra nudge I needed to finally install it!

    I like the suggestion to find an Asian market as well, but I always wonder about the quality. They don’t have labels (e.g. grass-fed, wild-caught, etc…) like Whole Foods does, so I’m never sure what quality I’m actually getting! Any insight into this? I’m definitely familiar with my local Asian market, but that’s because I buy strange animal parts for my cats to eat (:

    1. FYI: My good friend living stateside but is from Japan advised me to be careful when purchasing sea vegetables, (seaweed), after the nuclear power plant shake down a year+ ago. All the packages that I buy are unreadable by me (I don’t read Japanese, nor many other languages), however they most definitely are all labeled.

  18. Great list Mark.
    Wow, I never knew about the blueblock sunglasses for night time. I’ll start wearing mine after the sun goes down too! I’m a blue block fanatic and it’s actually my business selling them the last 7 years. Now I can use this info. to add to the benefits of wearing them during the day. For prescription lens wearers, you can try clip-ons or overs. Whoever paid $70-80 for a pair is getting ripped off. Mine are all between $10-20.

    1. Not good to wear in the daylight. We need the blue light to signal vitamin d production and to let the circadian body clock know we are receiving sunlight. 🙂

  19. Beware Asian stores. Most farmed seafood comes from Asia. Irradiated foods became the norm to allow the shipment of foods from China. One of the most popular being…spices.

    1. Agreed. Be sure to check your brands, even your “go to” brands. I was consistently purchasing Wild Planet canned fish that were “Product of the USA”. I lowered my guard and blindly bought more. Then I noticed some were from Vietnam. Even my Vietnamese co-worker who grew up there expressed her concern regarding Vietnamese processing plants.

      1. hey thanks ron…wild planet is my go-to but i never check the source on the package…i will now.

  20. I utilize my gym at least 4 times a week. In the new year my goal is to use the gym less and get outdoors more especially when the weather is nice. Once I get a good outdoor routine going, I may consider canceling my gym membership.

    1. Hi Chika, I’m Chico. It’s fantasticaly nice to meet you but that’s all I get, and I’m pleased. Think about all of those co-gym-participants that will sufer the loss of your extrodinary appearance, honestly I feel for them.

  21. Interesting post- will have to research blue blocking glasses and F.lux….

    Intriguing stuff although my shaman teachers say the end of the Mayan calendar means a new beginning.

    It’s the start of the cycle of 13 heavens(we’ve just come out of the last cycle of 9 hells)

    What about the heart?

    I like the idea of random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty especially now in this self obsessed world.

    My goal this year is to open my heart and give love to myself and others rather than staying closed and looking to get love and avoid pain.

    It’s a whole different focus.

    Take care.

    1. My friend is a real yogi. As in, I live at an ashram, I wear nothing but white robes, a turban, doesn’t eat anything that has eyes except a potatoe, I devote my entire life to the practice and teaching, is talking about the transition to an enlightment period. Coincidental with the Mayans? I dunno.

      1. At least the clothing and food bill is low. 🙂

        One of the many constants of humanity is the attempt to predict the unpredictable. We like to think we’re in control and ironically Apocalypse predictions feed directly into that.

  22. I disagree…. 2012 was major, and most definitely the baktun did turn. We’re definitely going in to a better world but we all must do our part. Mere wishing isn’t going to make it happen, we draw it forth in to this world. That is how we create the world- from the light of the higher worlds. Definitely we must send forth good will and peace to all people everywhere.
    A walk is good way to feel more peaceful, so I will be going on many this year. The blue light blocking thing is also on the list. Ugh, computer addiction- so stressful.

    1. People on the verge of society, thousands of years ago: This civilization is going downhill. People listening to what the to what the rocks and rotting fungus is telling them. Let’s write a prophecy that exclaims all will be well. For the optimisits, it will be self-fullfilling.

  23. I love that you included a library card! I used to buy all the books that I’d read, and then I moved twice within six months. The books were a pain! Now I not only save money by using the library, but I’m not responsible for giving books a home!

    1. My city library is in the middle of the thug bus line and its filled with sleeping homeless people. So I’ll stay at home with my Kindle.

  24. Superlike!!! I do most of the list, but so great to be reminded of more. You are awesome, Mark!! Thank you!!
    And love reading everyones comments too!

  25. Good list, but one word of caution for those joining sports leagues. Beware sports where you strap something – i.e., cleats, especially, but also hockey skates – to your feet. I learned this the hard way in 2012 (double sports hernia surgery required after months and months of agony). Man (or woman) was not meant to run around full speed with things strapped to their feet so they can stop and change direction on a dime. Groins, knees, and/or ankles will break down no matter how good a shape you’re in, and particularly if you’re over the age of 30 (I’m 36). Take it from me, who couldn’t even play with his kids in the backyard for almost a year because of this ridiculous injury – stick with more “natural” play/movements or take it very, very easy.

  26. this is an AWESOME list and i say that mainly because i’ve actually already got a lot of it done. ;o
    library is the BEST and most undervalued resource around. FREE BOOKS! it’s actually how i read Mark’s book! i love that it allows me to see if it is something i want for my library or not.

    one thing i did today too was buy a daytimer! my daytimers were once sacred and now with smart phones (which are very useful don’t get me wrong) all we have is a list of stuff we did with no indication or hint of what was important and why (exclamation points!!! little faces!). i am psyched for my moleskin!

    1. Oh my goodness. You have inspired me to reinvest in a day planner too! I simply love the convenience of my iPhone calendar, but there is something visceral about writing in a planner with a pen in my handwriting. There is a definite swing back toward simple living as we become overloaded with technology… and I love it!

    2. Melissa – I figured out this year that it would take me 10 years worth of Daytimer/paper calendars to equal 1 smart phone. A decade!!! And by then the smart phone would be toast.

      I do use the computer for some planning, but I also us paper. It’s just nicer – more real somehow – in addition to be multiples cheaper than the electronic equipment.

    3. I have used a paper pocket calendar for years. I love that I can see at a glance that not only am I available at that particular time but see whether the week is too bookeed up.

  27. As a primal librarian I thank you heartily for including libraries on this list! Want to learn correct form for weight lifting? Library has the book. Want to learn to can? Library has the book. And if you don’t want to read the book – the library probably has the DVD, magazine and/or access to journal articles in databases as well – not to mention free internet access for reading MDA when away from home!

    1. Just clicked your hyperlink, nice!

      My library by me: stinks! I offered a book donation and they declined. I offered to purchase one of every book from the Mises Institute and with an annual scholarship to the state university.

      I put my post tax money where my mouth is and I have several scholarships I offer nationwide.

      Did I mention the donation was to a state university? You know, the type of program that offers all access to their shelves via a state-wide loaning program. Yup.

      Truly it is difficult to foster reason based thinking grounded within the idea of the individual.

  28. Look at me! I already follow pretty much ALL of these tips! 🙂 I especially follow the grass-fed beef supplier, the Asian Market shopping and the daily walking 🙂 No doubt following these tips will bring a Happy New Year to everyone!

  29. Kill two birds with one stone:

    Go to Meetup, join your local rock climbing gym, and climb/boulder with your fellow meetup-ers.

    Worked for me! Now I’m making regular trips to climb outside.

    Way, way, way more fun than any other strength and/or balance exercises I’ve ever done at a traditional gym.

  30. As an avid cook, I’m so happy to see “Get your knives sharpened” on the list. The best home sharpening machine is the Chefs Choice 130. It’s an investment but SO WORTH the money if you care about your nice knives. My friends & family love it so much they bring their knives over to have me sharpen them.

  31. Well I have a few of these done already! 🙂
    I found a local grass-fed beef supplier and bought a chest freezer for my apartment (stocked up on a ton of meat from the Farmer’s Market to last me a few months–this strategy works SO well! Less time shopping each week). I also started a journal–but I started this way back in April 2011 when I actually started raw food and wrote down everything up until now (the posts are in my blog). That journal has been so helpful, I advise anyone to write down your thoughts and what you eat each day! It is interesting going back to read it all.
    And I definitely need to get the knives sharpened…goodness I’ve used those enough.
    So far for Christmas I’ve indulged just enough to feel satisfied and good about myself–it has definitely been more about the people this year, not the food!
    Hope everyone had a great Christmas and a happy new year!

  32. Prepare a new year from the book by Cormac McCarthy “the road” and the proposal of the Bill Gate denying my proposal toilet fertilizing because I address the human as a being respected him as a way to be anonymous a market member

  33. Our son starts kindergarten in 2013 so it will be a big year for all of us 🙂 We are getting a library card next week. And on my list of 2013 primal goals is to leave work on time instead of working late most nights, to have more family play time..

    Thanks for a great post Mark!

  34. I’ve been thinking about something like F.lux for so long only to discard it as I thought no one but me would find it useful 🙂

    Does anybody know if Oakley makes lenses like those blue-blocking?

  35. Oh man, I’m so ready on a couple of these. I got a Kitchen-Aid Mixer, Knife Sharpener, and Immersion Blender for Christmas! <3

    Also picking up Archery at the beginning of the year. :3

  36. The earliest human ancestors (e.g.; homo habilus) lived roughly 2.5 million years ago. Archaeological evidence suggests that they used stone tools to butcher animals and cut or break bones to reach the marrow. Early man did not “come down from the trees” 200,000 years ago and did not resemble chimpanzees at that time. In fact, it was somewhere around 200,000 years ago that modern man (homo sapiens) first appeared. We have continued to evolve since then, and continue to do so now. Some think that we have evolved enough in the last 10,000 years to be able to adequately digest and metabolize grains; others do not. Speaking for myself only, I know that my body feels far healthier when I do not eat grains for extended periods of time. Some of us have also continued to evolve to the point where we can adequately express ourselves in writing; others have not.

    1. hahahaahahahahahahhahahahahah.
      That last comment made my morning.

  37. If you don’t want to eat meat, by all means, use the miracle of our omnivoric stomachs and eat plants.

    I think, however, the continued existence of the Intuit in arguably the most extreme conditions on the planet is the definitive argument against the idea that we “need” plant protein. As is the fact that the infant formula of last resort is essentially ground up meat. Babies aren’t into nutritional ideologies- when they fail to thrive, what saves them is meat in the absence of breastmilk.

    Since you’re into the devil/God, let me suggest that that these arguments are actually arguing that creation/God got it wrong. Why would something bad for us
    taste so good?

    Meat tastes good precisely because it *is* good for us.If you’d like to find the “nice face” of the devil, it’s in the human made sugar candies given to the innocents at holiday times. It’s how I would work if I were devil.

    And lastly, MDs don’t tell you to stop eating meat when you get cancer. (The good ones anyway.) Some will tell you to control your blood glucose to prevent uncontrolled feeding of the cancer cells. That’s best accomplished on a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet, which by definition is meat intensive.

    That meat itself is carcinogenous seems to be this random rumor floated around by vegetarians. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a link to a study and if it does turn up, dollars to donuts it will be a single study or two that’s completely correlation based. (ie – The studies that are used to suggest promising areas to actually study and draw real conclusions from.)

  38. Speaking of the “sand” motif and the opening paragraph … hurricane Sandy DID wreak considerable havoc on the eastern coastline and as far as the Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy goes, I hope it does spark the consciousness of many people who have been obstinate about the topic of violence in this country.

  39. Thank you – I’m going to start drafting my 2013 primal success story right now.

  40. And if your library doesn’t have the books you want to read, ask them to get them for you via inter-library loan or to purchase them! – your friendly neighborhood librarian…

  41. Joining a gym, and regularly going, is a great habit for those of us in miserable winter climates. Possibly less necessary in California.

  42. Any Primal folks in Puerto Rico, specifically the northwestern coast? It’d be great to find a like-minded group to discuss food on the island!

  43. Get out in nature. Last year I got tired no time off to camp out. I have a solo business. Working all week, Saturday emergency calls, gigs, family and friends on Sunday. I saw a post about 24 hour adventures. I took a flyer and started escaping to free forest service campgrounds in the mountains on Sunday afternoons, stay overnight, take a day hike or loaf and return Monday afternoon. The weekend crowds were gone and I had my pick of the best sites and deserted trails. Nothing cooler than listening to owls calling in the quiet night. There will be more this year. Also just bought a used mountain bike off CraigsList for $60 and am having a blast with it.

  44. Well this is a good way to start off the New Years, this is the key to a successful me,this list will steer me in the right direction for a healthie life. Thank you.

  45. I just downloaded f.lux and as I watched my screen change color, I felt so much more relaxed. Placebo effect or not, I am thrilled right now.