New Year's resolutions are daunting. We often set out sights on a rigorous exercise regimen or a grueling diet plan. Those are fantastic goals that are definitely worth working towards (if that's what you want to do, do it), but they're undoubtedly going to take a massive amount of time and effort to achieve.

This article focuses on bite-sized goals, but they still pack a serious punch. Anyone can do them. In fact, I personally challenge you to do them. I've set some of these as personal goals in the past and plan to do more of them for 2018.

1. Sincerely compliment at least one person every day

Do this every single day. It will change you. It can be someone you know, it can be a stranger, it can be an who ever you want it to be. Find something you like about someone every day and give them a sincere compliment.

Go beyond the basic "I like your shoes." Get in the habit of taking your compliments a step further. "I like your shoes. They look so comfortable! My sister would love these. Where did you get them?"

Try to compliment someone new every day. Take to social media if you need to. You've probably got plenty of Facebook friends. Send a message to an old high school friend and tell them how much their friendship meant to you back in the good ol' days.

For at least a few seconds every day, this goal ensures that you are going to feel good and someone else is going to feel good because of you. This is what it's all about.

2. Sincerely compliment YOURSELF at least once every day

Whoa, didn't see that one coming, did you? This resolution is even easier than the first one (I hope). Look at yourself in the bathroom mirror every day and give yourself a sincere compliment, out loud.

Don't compare yourself to others. Just search within yourself for something that is truly good or that you simply like about yourself, and say it out loud. Too many of us are overly and needlessly self-critical. This resolution is designed to help us love ourselves again.

3. Express sincere gratitude for something at least once every day

Notice that this goal also includes the keyword "sincere." That's because these daily goals can quickly become robotic and monotonous. That's not good. Avoid that. But I digress.

I'm a firm believer that you can't truly be happy without being truly grateful. Find something every day to be grateful for. Express it in a sincere way (there's that word again) of your choosing. Say it, pray it, send it, sing it, write it or do whatever you need to do to just make your gratitude known.

4. Give someone the benefit of the doubt as often as you can

#mentalhealthawareness #unityplace1 #benefitofthedoubt #compassion #mentalhealth

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Opportunities to do this may vary, but I'm making the assumption that most of us have the opportunity to do that every day. If you're reading this article, chances are it popped up somewhere on a social media platform. Being constantly connected with friends, family, organizations and complete strangers gives us plenty of opportunities to make snap judgements about people, some of which are less than flattering.

When you have the opportunity to judge someone harshly, assume they had the best of intentions. Avoid gossiping about them behind their back. It's a happier way to live.

5. Serve someone at least once every day

Don't make this one a bigger deal than it needs to be. Serving someone can be as simple as folding the laundry or taking out the trash so your spouse doesn't have to do it. The point here is to go out of your way to do something to lighten someone else's load.

This is another one of those things that'll brighten the day of everyone involved. Multiply that by 365 and you've got the foundation of a great year.

6. Let an opportunity to complain pass you by every day

Choose wisely. Where are you channeling your energy? #gratitude #complaining

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Remember when you were a kid and your parents would tell you that "complaining never did anybody any good"? They were right.

If we try hard enough (and too many of us do) to find things to complain about, we will. But for most of us, opportunities to complain come along without having to look for them. When they do, fulfill this resolution by choosing not to make a negative comment.

The goal here is to steadily remove complaints from your vocabulary throughout the course of the year.

7. Make your neutral face a smile

At the grocery store, driving to work, sitting on the couch with your spouse ... there are so many opportunities to smile. Let's take advantage of them more often.

You're doing more than just giving off the mere impression that you're happy. Yes, we smile when we're happy, but research also suggests that the reverse might also be true. Smiling makes you happier. According to the research, smilers even report experiencing less pain than their frowning counterparts.

I'm not saying we should mask our true emotions. If you're sad, be sad. But if you're not sad, get into the habit of smiling. It makes life a little brighter.

A quick word on accountability

I'm the kind of person who needs the threat of consequences to get some things done. It's unfortunate but true. That said, holding yourself accountable doesn't necessarily mean you have to "punish" yourself for flubbing on your resolutions. Consequences can be positive too.

For instance, if you forget to compliment yourself one day (resolution number two), compliment yourself three times the next day. For every compliment you forget, multiple by three for the next day.

This pattern of accountability can apply to almost all of these resolutions, but if you'd like, get creative and invent your own personal system of positive accountability.

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