19 New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep in 2019
In a previous article we suggested that you forget New Year’s Resolutions and focus on making Little Changes instead. We still mean that, but we had to title the article this way to get your attention.
Here are 19 Little Changes you can make in 2019 that can have a positive impact on your life this upcoming year. Very little effort is required, and you have virtually ZERO excuses for not following through with them.
Pick 1, 2, 3, or all 19 of them. Start one of them today!
1. Do Some Daily D
Vitamin D is essential for proper immune function, and many of us end up with inadequate amounts of this important nutrient in the winter. Our bodies manufacture its own vitamin D from cholesterol when we are exposed to direct sunlight. If we are not soaking in the rays we should consider supplementing what we are missing.
Can you imagine yourself taking just one Vitamin D after breakfast each day?
That’s it. Look at you mastering this Little Change thing already!
2. Push Yourself. Sort of.
If you struggle to wake up in the morning and feel tired for hours after awakening, consider this morning hack: Do 10 pushups immediately upon waking up.
Just 10. This isn’t that pie in the sky exercise program you’ve been promising to start each new year for the last 10 years. This is 10 pushups that will trick your brain into thinking that when you wake up you mean business.
The first few days will be hell for sure, but sooner than you know it you will feel like you’ve just done 10 pushups as soon as you wake up.
Do you believe you can tackle 10 pushups each morning?
Just think about it: No matter how little exercise you get next year you can always feel good about your morning pushup routine. Now that’s psychologically satisfying!
3. Make Your Bed
Any daily discipline that has an immediate aesthetic benefit will make you feel accomplished. Making your bed doesn’t require a lot of effort, and may serve as an anchor for you during times of chaos or uncertainty in your life. The internal rewards and sense of satisfaction will likely accumulate for you over time.
Bonus Benefit: You’ll never be unprepared for a surprise guest.
4. Walk for 10 Minutes
This works out to a little more than a half mile per day for most people. Simply commit to 10 minutes. If the weather outside is too cold and you don’t have a treadmill, you still won’t need to join a gym. Walk around shopping malls, grocery stores, your workplace, or anywhere there is a lot of space.
Can you see yourself adding a few extra steps anywhere you can to equal 10 additional minutes of walking each day?
After all, no one is asking you to walk a mile in their shoes–just 10 minutes in your own.
5. See Yourself Getting More C
Vitamin C is associated with fewer colds, and shorter duration of sickness. Citrus fruits and beverages contain acceptable amounts of vitamin C. If these aren’t part of your daily diet, Vitamin C is an easy-to-take, inexpensive dietary supplement to add to your stack.
Can you see yourself taking one 500 mg capsule of Vitamin C each day?
Pretty simple, right?
6. Brighten Your Day with Bright Lights
Bright Light Therapy is increasing in popularity as it has been shown to help people start their day in a better mood and to help reset circadian rhythms. You can do this naturally by taking an early morning walk in the bright sunlight.
If your climate or schedule doesn’t allow for these morning walks, consider purchasing a bright light unit for your home. You can obtain one for less than $50. and simply place it in the room where you spend the most time doing your morning routine.
Imagine yourself applying makeup or carrying out any morning ritual while the Bright Light is working its magic in the background.
Change doesn’t get easier than this!
7. Read for 5 to 15 Minutes
We all have stories left unread. Imagine how much closer we would be to finishing them if we were to spend up to 15 minutes each day reading!
For these specific reading sessions, be sure to cap them at 15 minutes too. If you start spending an hour each day for your 15 minute reading time you are certain to break the habit.
If you get so engaged in the book that you must finish it sooner, create a special time apart from your designated 5 minutes to do this.
We recommend reading from paper if you already have a copy. This could help you get caught up on Christmas gifts from years ago.
8. Write for 5 Minutes
“One of these days I’m gonna write a book.”
Perhaps one of these days will be comprised of several 5 minute segments. You can begin archiving significant parts of your life 5 minutes at a time starting today!
Commit to writing for 5 minutes in the morning, afternoon, evening, or any two of these three.
If you don’t have a special notebook don’t let that stop you. Use your phone or other digital device to get you by. Don’t delay!
Like we suggested for reading: Be sure to cap your inspiration at 15 minutes per session. Once your brain learns that these sessions are taking longer than 15 minutes procrastination for future sessions is likely to ensue.
You can always reserve a special time to completely finish your thoughts.
9. Maintain Your Weight
Do you think we are aiming too low by suggesting you resolve to merely maintain your existing weight?
Consider that this is the way it works for most of us:
- Eat more since the New Year is coming when you’ll have to eat less.
- Gain a pound or two from eating more.
- Put off your New Year’s Resolution until the following Monday.
- Repeat steps 1 thru 3.
For many of us not gaining weight next year will be its own accomplishment. Otherwise, a resolution to lose 20 pounds next year could simply lead to the need for a resolution to lose 30 pounds the following year.
If maintaining is not enough, and you want to up the ante a little, move on to the next suggestion.
10. Give Up ONE Bad Food Category
If you’ve been unable to switch to a low-carb, or a low-fat, or a vegan, or whatever restrictive diet overnight, consider giving up just one unhealthy food category for this upcoming year.
The co-founders of Little Change challenged themselves to not eat fast food for 6 months to help them reach their workout goals. It’s been 10 years, and neither have eaten fast food since that initial challenge.
Bad eating habits are easier to break when you break them one at a time.
11. Reframe Your Biggest Annoyance
Many of the things that lead to us getting sad, scared, or angry have more to do with how we process and relate to the event when it occurs, rather than the event itself.
You can learn to reframe just about anything that happens to you to reduce the emotional turmoil that follows. It becomes its own habit over time, and a healthy one at that.
Here are some common struggles to consider reframing for the next year.
- Commuting (to prevent road rage)
- Interpersonal conflicts
- Socially awkward encounters
Some people go from a job they hate to a job they enjoy simply by changing their self-talk about work, and they do it without changing jobs.
12. Reduce Caffeine by Switching to Green Tea
Although coffee has many health benefits of its own and caffeine is associated with reduced risk of some diseases, many of us drink more caffeine than we should.
If you are prone to anxiety, anger or insomnia, reducing your caffeine intake will reduce these unpleasant sensations.
In addition to having only moderate levels of caffeine green tea has other health promoting benefits. Green tea contains a unique amino acid known as l-theanine which promotes relaxation and focus. A double win!
Ounce for ounce switching out coffee for green tea will reduce your caffeine intake by up to 75%.
The high quality product above is sourced from Japan, so it is unlikely to contain toxic levels lead and other heavy metals common in green tea beverages and supplements.
13. Start Caring for a Plant
When we become mindless of the miracles of nature we miss out on the beauty that can be found in everyday life.
One way we can get back in touch with this awesomeness is by becoming a caretaker; being a steward of life itself.
We recommend growing a plant from seed so that you can watch the entire process of life emerge from the soil.
If you don’t believe you have time for this part, simply pick up an inside plant from your local nursery to care for this winter.
14. Limit Device Time to 2 Hours
It’s amazing how much time we spend on our devices that could otherwise be spent building or maintaining relationships, or being productive in some other way.
The 2 hour limit suggested in the headline is just a suggestion. To arrive at a goal for yourself track how much time you are spending now, and then attempt to reduce it by a significant amount.
For example, if you spend 3 hours each day on your phone, limiting it to 2 hours gives you back an hour of your day and is a reasonable challenge.
If you don’t know what you’ll do with all this extra time, check out our next suggested resolution.
15. Dedicate One Hour Each Week to Meeting New People
Although we staunchly support independence and individualism we won’t deny how interdependent we truly are.
Whether we like to admit to it or not, human beings are social beings and we will always need some like-minded people in our lives in order to flourish.
Should our present circle of friends or family unexpectedly leave our lives we will need an ongoing support structure to maintain optimal health and well-being.
Take one hour each week to seek out like minded individuals at Meetups, community events, sporting events, church groups, or other gatherings.
You may feel that little nagging fear you have of aging alone slowly diminish.
Can you see yourself investing in your future for an hour a week, for a full year?
After a full year you’ll likely have plenty of friends, so you can take off the next year or two.
16. Drink at Least 20 Ounces of Water per Day
Let’s face it. You are unlikely to drink 8 glasses of water per day, and that guideline is arbitrary anyway.
That being said, we should have some pure water each day and remain hydrated. 20 ounces is certainly a reasonable goal.
Find a 20 ounce refillable container, fill it with water, and carry it with you throughout the day. Commit to drinking all of it before you retire for the evening.
17. Cook at Home
The average American household spends $3,000 each year ordering takeaway or dining out.
The $13.00 you spend on average for a restaurant meal can be made at home using $4.00 in groceries according to moneyunder30.com.
Calculate how many lunches and dinners for which you would like to save $9. each and commit to making that number of meals at home. The people at moneyunder30.com put together some great resources to help you dine in easily, and inexpensively.
For example, committing to cook 3 meals each week that would have otherwise been prepared for you will save you $108. per month. That’s more than $1,200. per year.
Wouldn’t you rather spend that money on a vacation?
18. Make Coffee at Home
Agree to make your $2.50 cup of coffee at home Monday thru Friday, and you just saved yourself an additional $50.00 per month!
By reducing the amount you outsource your food and beverage preparation you’re already saving up to $1,800. per year. Now that’s a part time job!
19. Learn Something New Each Day
“You Learn Something New Every Day”
Not really. At least not something that is meaningful or useful. This type of knowledge must be intentionally sought out.
Whether it’s a new vocabulary word, a foreign vocabulary word, or how something works; learning something new every day will keep your brain healthy and reduce the risk of cognitive decline later in life.
Of course we’d love you to see you learn several new things each day since knowledge is power, and we want to empower you.
But we’re also all about the Little Change, so let’s just agree to one new thing each day.
Can you imagine knowing 365 and a quarter new things at this same time next year?
Let us know what your new year’s resolution is gonna be this year in the comments below!