This year, your first resolution might be to rethink New Year’s resolutions altogether. Instead of grand gestures (lose 25 pounds, exercise every day), think baby steps. It’s not a cop-out—it’s a wildly effective means of creating lasting change, says M.J. Ryan, author of AdaptAbility (Broadway, 2009). “Making a change takes focus; it requires your brain to not be habitual—but your brain is designed to work habitually because it conserves energy,” she says. “So do one thing, nail it as a habit, then do the next thing.” Small changes are a great way to start, she adds, because the quick success motivates you to keep going. Consider adopting one or two of the ideas below and let them become habits before choosing another. In a year’s time, you’ll have traveled a great distance toward greater health for yourself (and the planet), one baby step at a time.