Submitted Date 01/04/2019

Farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye and good riddance to 2018. 2019 has finally arrived and you've got some promises to pledge. New Year's resolutions typically have a 30 day lifespan. That means by the end of January most people have given up on their drastic life adjustments and returned to their old ways. Big changes are hard to sustain. But little differences in your life can have longevity. So here are eight New Year's resolutions that can stand the test of time.

1. Diet Days
Diets and fitness routines are the top contenders for New Year's resolutions. But while gym memberships are at an all-time high, so are waistlines and BMI. Obesity, heart disease and type-II diabetes are serious concerns associated with being overweight. So how do you confront ambition with reality and commit to a lighter life? Take it one day at a time.

Set a goal of eating healthy just one day a week. Of course you can go farther and change your eating habits full time. But dieting just one day out of the week is easy on your mind and simple to stick to. Plus, it's pretty flexible. What does “eating healthy” even mean? Whatever you want it to.

Have two salads not drowning in cheese and creamy dressing. Eat low carb and low sugar. Replace breakfast and dinner with a fruit and veggie smoothie or high protein shake. Do anything you want. Cut calories, cut fat, bring your lunch to work, or skip the chips, chocolate and cocktails. Just make that one commitment to yourself every week.

2. Reward Your Will Power
Whatever your goals are, celebrate your wins. Give yourself a healthy gift when you accomplish your tasks. Don't over indulge or go overboard; you don't want to backslide and develop a pattern of self-sabotage. But when you keep your word to yourself it's good to pat yourself on the back. It will keep you motivated and create little milestones in between the big ones. Who said resolutions had to be hard?

3. A Dollar A Day
Save $1 every day. Just a buck. Not much to make a difference, but enough to make you smile at the end of the year. When you see those extra $365 smackers at the end of December you'll have to decide what to do with them. You can keep saving, treat yourself, or spread the wealth.

If you can't do a dollar, buy with cash and save the change. Put your coins in a jar, tin, box or piggy bank at the end of each day. Using physical money will help you spend a little less. Then when your container is full get some coin wrappers from the local bank or dollar store. You can go back to the bank and exchange your change for bills or deposit them into your bank account. Those coin counting machines actually charge you sales tax and keep some of your hard-saved moolah.

4. Plan On Charity
Pick a charitable cause to donate to every week or every month. It can be informal, like giving a few dollars to street performers or panhandlers you cross paths with. Or it can be official tax deductible donations to organizations you support. You can also make monthly clothing donations to drop sites or the Salvation Army. You can also volunteer your time at a homeless shelter or animal shelter. Becoming a big brother or sister to at risk children is a great way to give back and positively impact your community.

5. Pay It Backwards
Once per week or once a month pay for the food of the person behind you in line at a casual or fast food establishment. Pay the whole bill or set a limit, up to $10, $15 or $20. If the person you paid for spends less than the amount you offered, send the remainder to the person behind them. For an added bonus ask the person behind you to do the same. This charity train could take off or be a nice gesture that ends with you. Either way you know you've put some positive energy into the atmosphere and have a fun story to tell your friends.

6. Courteous Customer Service
Pledge to be nice to service industry workers. It can be difficult at times to override your sense of pride, expectation of consideration and demand for courtesy. But you probably live a better life than the person being underpaid to serve you. Customer service and retail workers' lives suck. They may try to pass that onto you but you don't have to make it worse. Be polite, ask for what you need, then go on with your life.

7. Sharing Is Caring
Tell the people you care about how you feel. Tell them you appreciate them. Now, while they're here, when everything is fine. Don't wait until a near miss, an emergency, or a tragedy actually strikes. Tell them you love them, you need them, you want them, and you're better because of them. Tell them now. Today. And every chance you get. Without, you know, making it weird.

8. Weekly Check-In
Loving others starts with loving yourself. Since most resolutions end in failure and defeat, why not make being nicer to yourself your accomplishment in the first place? Throughout the year create a list of positive traits. Write down things you like about yourself, how you responded to strife in a healthy and constructive manner, or how your character has improved. Add to it at regular intervals, like once a week or a few times per month. Every day is too much pressure. Once a month leaves room to forget or ignore positive aspects of life during the long breaks.

Promises are easy to make but bad habits can be hard to break. Commit to something you know you can do. These resolutions don't shake up your life too much, but encourage incremental changes that ultimately lead you to being a better person. You'll get a lot of leeway and feel motivated to continue, instead of feeling pressure to proceed or afraid to fail. Don't punish yourself for the year before. Reward the work you're doing now. No matter what's going on around you 2019 can be a great year if you make it one. Decide to dedicate your year to little shifts in the right direction.

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