Men: Ways to Stay on Top of Your Game

Smile to Impress

Photo of man introducing himself to woman.

People start to get a sense of you within the first three seconds of meeting. Start off right by smiling. Besides making a good impression, it may also improve your mood and slash stress, boost your immune system, and briefly lower your blood pressure, too.

Pursue Goals With Passion

Photo of carpenter chiseling wood.

People who achieve a lot tend to have a strong zeal for what they do. One way to find your passions is to think about what you loved as a child. What excites you? Makes time stand still? That's a clue that you're on to something.

Focus on the Bright Side

Photo of man in cast with family and dog.

A good 'tude can keep your body humming. It may even slow signs of aging and help you bounce back from illness. Notice what's working in your life and make a plan to change what could be better. You want to appreciate what's good and move forward.

Get a Move On

Photo of man lifting weights on bench.

You'll gain mental sharpness, sleep great, and have better mental health. Aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week to help you control your weight, get stronger, and help your body from head to toe.

Mind Your (Table) Manners

Photo of man wiping mouth on napkin.

Put your best fork forward at meal time. Good table manners show that you're a class act and you think your friends are, too. Top table manners to cultivate include maintaining good posture, chewing with your mouth closed, using your napkin, and excusing yourself from the table when you get up.

Keep It Clean

Photo of man using nail brush.

Scrub up! Wash your hands for 20 seconds before you cook or eat. Ditto after you use the restroom. It's one of the simplest, least costly ways to help avoid colds and flu all year long. No soap and water handy? Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Smell Good

Photo of father and son applying aftershave.

A nice, clean smell can make you feel good, and that confidence boost can make you look better to others. Wear clean clothes. Shower daily, and always after a workout. Find cologne, shampoo, soap, and deodorant with scents that you like. For fresh breath, brush, floss, rinse, and follow your dentist's advice. If you wear a scent, only use a little.

Dress the Part

Photo of woman admiring well dressed businessman.

Looking sharp shows that you're prepared. To dress for success, start with classic colors: black, grey, or navy. Add same-color socks, a matching tie, and dark, polished shoes. Your hair and nails should be neat and clean. Keep jewelry and other accents low-key.

Be Kind and Polite

Photo of man changing tire for woman.

It's basic: Being nice to those around you shows you value them as people. Practice being polite. Think about other people and what you can do for them. They will notice and you will impress. Treating others well has been shown to make you feel better about yourself, too.

Be Prompt

Photo of woman waiting at restaurant.

Being on time shows people you're in control and that you respect them and their time. Use datebooks and set pings to remind you of meetings and tasks. Prepare for big events and meetings the night before. Try to figure out how much time a task will take. Plan for bumps that might throw you off, like rush-hour traffic. Give yourself more time than you think you'll need.

Gain From Giving

Photo of man serving food at soup kitchen.

People who often volunteer tend to be happier, with better self-esteem and a sense of purpose. People who give of themselves are also more likely to live longer and enjoy stronger relationships. It's a win-win for everyone.

Take Time Off

Photo of man fishing in middle of lake.

Take a break from time to time. It's not wasted time. It renews your energy, curbs stress and worry, and lets you enjoy and explore. You'll come back better.

LOL: Laugh Out Loud

Photo of man laughing with son.

Laughing helps your body, most of all your heart. Research shows that laughter is good for blood vessels. This may help keep heart disease at bay. Enjoy a funny film or see a comedy show with friends. Humor and health go hand in hand.

Practice Manly Limits

Photo of man taking sobriety test.

Knowing when enough is enough shows you're in control. Overdo it and you will feel the effects. If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than two drinks a day -- and of course, never drive after drinking. If you find it hard to set limits with alcohol, talk with your doctor or a counselor.

Learn to Love the Long Run

Photo of man running over foothills.

Success is rarely a sprint. It's more like a marathon. If you keep striving for what you want while prizing what you've got, you're doing well. Take pride in that.

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REFERENCES:

  • American Heart Association: "No-Fad Diet Tips."
  • AmeriCorps: "Volunteering Produces Health Benefits."
  • CDC: "Physical Activity and Health," "Wash Your Hands."
  • City of Cleveland: "Your Vacation is Crucial to Your Health."
  • Cleveland Clinic: "Get Your Life in Balance: Here's how to be a success in all areas of your life."
  • Corporation for National and Community Service: "The Health Benefits of Volunteering."
  • Duckworth, A. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2007.
  • Ekman, P. Psychological Science, September 1993.
  • Emily Post: "Top Ten Table Manners."
  • Forni, P. Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct, Martin's Press, 2002.
  • Harvard Health Publications: "Laugh and be thankful -- it's good for the heart."
  • Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine: "Associations Between Positive Emotion and Recovery of Functional Status Following Stroke."
  • Joy Hatch, life coach, Eugene, Oregon.
  • Kleinke, C. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1998.
  • Marquette University: "Dress for Success - Men and Women."
  • Mental Health America: "Stay Positive."
  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation: "Strange Smells."
  • Psychology Today: "The First Impression," "Fragrant Attraction."
  • Stepcase Lifehack: "How to Be On Time Every time," "Punctuality Counts."
  • The Denenberg Report: "How Civility, Good Manners and Politeness Work Miracles For Others and For Yourself As Well: The Case for Civility and Its Impressive Catalog of Health and Other Benefits."
  • The University of Oklahoma College of Law: "Dress for Success - Male."
  • Tulane University: "Dinner Etiquette Made Simple."
  • University of Maryland Medical Center: "Laughter is the 'Best Medicine' for Your Heart."
  • Utah State University: "Table Manners That Matter."
  • Wishard Health Services: "Smiling and Simply Having a Positive Attitude Can Improve Quality of Life."
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