Good Habits to Start in 2019
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31 Good Habits You Should Start on New Year's Day

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Good Habits to Start in 2019
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Kickstart 2020

Sure, everyone says they're ready for a total reset every Jan. 1, but there are indeed many personal habits that you can improve easily — and often for free. These range from the basics such as exercising more and eating better to finding easier ways to save money and expanding your vocabulary. When combined, they just might add up to a "new-and-improved" you for the year.

Plan Your Day
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Plan Your Day

If you feel your life is a spin on one giant hamster wheel, there is hope. Set aside time every morning — even five minutes — to simply close your eyes, breathe deep, and focus on what the day will (and won't) bring. Savor the sense of calm.

Make Lists
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Start or Finish a Book
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Read More

Speaking of books, decide that this year you will finally read those books you've always wanted to. It might be a classic. It might be a bestseller. It might be a favorite you've wanted to revisit. Reading, by nature, slows you down and is an enriching habit.

Related: Amazing Libraries in All 50 States

Failing to Max Out Retirement Funds
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Save Your Coins

Empty your wallet or pocket every evening, putting the coins in a jar or other container. You won't miss the change, which adds up pretty quickly. Soon enough, you'll have quite a few "found" dollars for a guilt-free splurge.

Expand Your Vocabulary
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Expand Your Vocabulary

No one likes a show-off, but expanding your mind — and your vocabulary — is an investment in yourself. You can buy an inexpensive "word a day" calendar, but why not just open up a dictionary to a random page every day and see what awaits?

Recycle
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Recycle

Sometimes recycling seems like such a chore that we're tempted to skip it. Maybe we really don't know how — which might be even more complicated now that recycling needs are in flux around the world. Find out what your community's guidelines are and decide to follow them. Mother Earth will thank you.

Reusable Grocery Bags
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Reuse Those Bags

In some towns, it's a rule. In all towns, it's a mindful practice. Cut down on waste and bring your own bags, whether it's to the grocery store to the boutique. Once you make it a habit, you'll feel good about helping the environment.

Related: 25 Earth-Friendly Habits That Can Save You Money

Volunteer
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Commit to a Cause

If you've done a random walk-a-thon to raise funds or participated in a community clean-up, you know how rewarding it feels to give back. Select a cause or organization you're passionate about and make donating your time, money, or expertise an ongoing part of your life.

Related: 35 Reputable Charities to Help This Holiday Season

Clean As You Go
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Clean Up as You Go

It happens before you realize it: You spend an entire morning picking up around the house — and by nightfall, all evidence of your work is gone. It takes effort, but instead just stop leaving things until later. Move the newspaper from the table when you're done. Fold the laundry when the dryer is done. Dump the trash after dinner. A neater house is worth the small steps.

Related: Spring Cleaning: 51 Things to Toss Right Now

Exercise
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Eat Healthier
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Eat Healthier

If you're coming off an indulgent season — and that includes most of us — you can still turn things around. Think about an eating plan that will work best for you, whether it's something very regimented or simply being a bit more aware. Avoid second helpings. Add more vegetables. This is basic stuff, folks.

Related: 26 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

Take a Positive Approach
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Take a Positive Approach

We all can be our own worst enemy. If you make a mistake, think about what you could've done differently and move on. Stop dwelling on the negative.

Related: 26 Ways to Relieve Stress for Personal Peace

Be Nicer
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Be Nicer

Everyone's can have a bad day, but your bad day doesn't have to ruin someone else's. Try to simply be nicer, to the grocery checkout person to the post-office clerk. One small step …

Offer Compliments
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Offer Compliments

How good do you feel when someone says your outfit is so nice — or you made a great play at the company's softball game? Try to spread good will by complimenting those around you. You will find it makes you feel pretty good, too.

Related: Great Compliments For Everyone in Your Life

Follow the News
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Follow the News

It seems like you have to be tuned in 24/7 to keep up on every last nuance of the news of the day, but that can be a daunting and draining effort. Decide to allot time to keep up on the basics, but try not to become overwhelmed. Focus on what you need — and want — to know.

Get Outside
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Get Outside

For most of us, the bulk of every day is spent inside, whether it's in the car driving to work, in the office, or back at home. Sometimes a simple walk outside can change your perspective. Make it a point to enjoy nature more.

Related: 11 Cities Where It's Fun and Easy to Walk 10,000 Steps a Day

Finish Projects
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Finish Projects

Instead of feeling you have 10 things to do, decide to concentrate on just one or two for a set amount of time. A messy garage, a box filled with old snapshots, a spice cabinet filled with outdated products … tackle your tasks one at a time and you just might end up with a few actually done.

Related: 20 Gifts for Disorganized People

Take Care
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Take Care

Are your nails raggedy or your hair looking a bit shaggy? Decide to keep up on your appearance. It's not shallow, but an investment in your professional appearance that builds your self-esteem.

Build a Spiritual Focus
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Build a Spiritual Focus

It's hard to go it alone. You don't necessarily have to be religious, but in tough times, it's good to have something solid to believe in. Meditate, attend services, read self-help books — anything that helps nurture your soul.

Live Your Life
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Live Your Life

Time flies, as the saying goes. And often, we realize we've done something but not really paid attention. Decide to really be a part of your own life. Smell that dinner cooking. Watch TV without paying bills at the same time. Be aware.

Do Research, for Fun
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Do Research, for Fun

If you've always had an interest in something — oceanography, architecture, or film history — delve into the topic. Hit the library. Explore the internet. Learning things for your own enjoyment offers personal rewards.

Related: 49 Fulfilling, Productive Things to Do in Retirement

Learn a Skill
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Learn a Skill

Being open to learning something new, from a craft class to a new language, doesn't just expand the mind but also yields some nice rewards — think a new handcrafted scarf, to the satisfaction of navigating a foreign menu in the country's native tongue.

Related: 10 Cheap Online Graduate Degree Programs to Jump-Start a Career

Job Training
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Job Training

Decide to brush up on your job skills and apply them daily. The next time the boss is looking to promote someone, your name just might be at the top of the list.

Related: 20 Secret Tips to Get Your Dream Job

Nix the Gossip
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Nix the Gossip

Whether it's in the office or the gym, it's tempting to join in the gossip. It might be fun in the moment — but when it's negative, you can easily get swept up in drama that you don't need. Break free.

Related: 38 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid at Work

Clip Coupons
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Clip Coupons

Yes, some people take clipping coupons to the extreme (and there are the TV shows to prove it) — but taking a few moments to clip coupons as you peruse the Sunday papers or cruise the coupon websites will not only save you money but give you a little feel-good boost next time you shop.

Related: 23 Fascinating Facts About Coupons

Encourage Unity
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Encourage Unity

During trying times, it's important to know you have a refuge. Whether it's with your family, close friends, or a community group, make sure you do all you can to keep the bonds strong.

Incorporate Fun
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Incorporate Fun

Quick — when was the last time you blew a bubble, threw a Frisbee, or ran under a sprinkler? Add more fun to your life.

Related: 62 Ways to Beat Boredom on a Budget

Laugh More
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Be More Mindful
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Be More Mindful

If your days are all about finding lost keys, misplaced reading glasses, or the like, you need to slow it down and be more mindful. Pay attention to the task at hand. Be in the moment.

Listen Closely
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Listen Closely

It's a frustrating thing to be talking to someone and they're checking their phone, looking across the room, or acting otherwise distracted. Decide to be the one person who actually listens to the person they are talking to — and who knows, you may start to get that same respect.

Plan Your New Year's Resolutions
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Revisit Goals

As the new year proceeds, keep checking in on the goals you've set for the year. There's nothing wrong with starting anew on something you've let slide. As long as you don't give up completely — no matter what habit you're cultivating — it just may stick after all.

Related: 10 Strategies to Actually Keep Those Resolutions