Illustration: Clayton Junior

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Rule 7: Resolutions Can Be Small and Fun!
Yes, this can be the year you finally give up sweets or master the headstand in yoga or get a new job. But why can't it also be the year you read more books, laugh daily and daydream freely? These habits belong on everyone's list.

Daydream More

When your mind wanders, you might want to follow it. Research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that daydreamers tend to have better working memories—and a separate study found that people whose thoughts drifted when they took a work break were more inventive when they returned to a creative project (listing possible uses for objects like a brick) than those who tried to stay focused during their break time.

Watch Crazy Car (or Cute Baby) Videos

Science continues to show how beneficial laughter can be. You already know it can defuse anger and anxiety, but a study last spring also discovered it could reduce short-term memory loss in older adults. (When we're stressed, we release more cortisol, which, over time, may impair memory. Laughter, on the other hand, can decrease levels of the hormone.)

Join a Book Club

In 2013, 23 percent of American adults didn't read a single book. That's too bad, as science shows that getting lost in a page- turner can do your body good. Marketing research by Mindlab International found that reading could lower stress levels up to 68 percent—and was shown to be a more calming activity than listening to music.

Just Say Hello

Last February, O launched our "Just Say Hello" campaign after learning that an estimated one in five Americans suffers from loneliness. Research has shown that people with stronger ties to friends, family, and coworkers have a 50 percent greater chance of outliving those with fewer relationships. Vow to reach out, whether it's to an old friend or a stranger you regularly pass on your way to work. It could be the easiest thing you do for your health all day.
— Arianna Davis