We hear people promise that they're going to make some sort of drastic change in their life every time they realize that the calendar reads January 1. Unfortunately, these kinds of New Year's resolutions so often set us up to fail. People end up setting the bar far too high and that gives them moral license to give up midway through the year. I'll admit that I've gone so far as to purposefully set goals I know that I'll never achieve so that I can easily forgive myself once the inevitable occurred.

This year I've decided to make small doable changes that might not seem like much at first, but they'll be much easier to stick with.

Very Simple Diet Changes

Since it's hard to find the time and energy needed to commit to drastic changes, take a look at some simple alterations you can make to your diet. Studies indicate that even seniors can end up with a youthful metabolism if they have the right diet and exercise program. Instead of trying to bust through with some sophisticated regimen right away just start eating breakfast if you skip it.

While it might sound counterproductive, eating breakfast can help reduce the urge to snack later in the day. Eating a few lower calorie foods in the morning may stave off your need to consume some denser ones later on. While some people in the media have been attacking fruit lately because they're high in sugar, I'd much rather eat something loaded with natural sugars than a processed meal bar later in the day.

Don't forget about water either. We're made up of more than 60 percent of the stuff and yet few people get as much of it as they need. Replace just a few cups of coffee a day with some ice cold water and you'll really start to feel the difference. It's an incredibly easy change to make.

Some people even start their day by having a glass or two. Drinking water in the morning can boost your metabolism and make you feel fuller so you eat less later on.

A Couple Basic Routine Changes

The holidays are just about the only time I get to see my extended family any more. I'll be honest and admit that I worry about them. Just calling them or texting them a couple of times a month even can help stave off those concerns and help reconnect with people I seldom get a chance to speak with. Even though it doesn't seem like much, writing a single email to my cousins would do far more than all the worrying in the world.

At the same time, though, it's a good idea to slash overall cell phone usage. That probably sounds impossible for many people. The average person now installs over 80 apps on their favorite device. I don't think I could go cold turkey.

Sociologists have said simply turning off audio notifications and keeping the phone out of sight when you're having dinner with friends can go a long way toward breaking the chains of addiction. These are also both very simple things to do.

Make a Day for Riding

Plenty of people start the new year claiming that they're going to ride their bicycle to work each day, which might be great if you live in Florida. January is a cold month in many places, so a better idea is to circle a date on the calendar in the spring or summer you can dedicate to going out for a ride. Once you start you might find that it's more addictive than you thought.

Placing the date on a warmer day of the year makes it far less likely that you'll be able to simply tell yourself that the weather isn't right for cycling.

Reducing Stress by Thinking About it Less

Perhaps the most important change I plan on making is to love life just a little bit more during the year. One of the biggest barriers to self-improvement that I deal with is the fact that I never want to celebrate success. Every time I finally do achieve something I end up finding some way to turn it into a failure instead.

As a result, I always take a few steps backward once I finally do have the chance to enjoy a little success. My guess is that many of us want to destress ourselves during the coming year. I'm also fairly certain that many others are like me in that they get far too worked up about their stress levels. Stress is literally a problem for every single living person. By pushing thoughts about it toward the back of my head, I plan to make much less of a problem for myself over it.

Maybe the most vital resolution to make for the new year isn't something tangible. Rather, it's crucial that you recognize you really are a good person on the inside.

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Author, Freelance writer