This list is in no particular order and a bit uneven in significance:
1) Enjoy rich foods as a treat instead of a staple: If I want to eat foods like cookies, biscuits and gravy, or french fries I have to make them myself.
2) Eat foods my grandparents would recognize as food. [Thanks, Michael Pollan.] For the most part, I've replaced boxed cereals with whole grains (such as oats, millet and quinoa) and canned soups with fresh made soup. For convenience I buy canned whole tomatoes or beans, not tomato or bean soup, then make my own soup. It's wickedly delicious and freezes well as single serves.
3) Wear the shoes and clothes already hanging in my closets before buying new things.
4) Use up scented soaps, lotions and personal care products before bringing more home.
5) Deciding not to spend money on storage containers. The Container Store is very appealing, but even better: Either have a place for it, use the stuff, or give it away.
6) Not taking the people who sell fruit, newspapers, flowers, shine shoes and deliver your groceries, or mail, or pass out flyers for granted. Realize that the folks who work at a fruit stand get up at 3 AM to buy their produce, plus stand outside in the cold, wind, or rain day-after-day earning their living. Far from being faceless, these human beings have families and are pursuing the American dream. Each worker is someone's son, father or brother. Ever wonder what their lives are like over a 24-hour day? You just may be their face of kindness. Treat these workers with courtesy and respect. Look them in the eye and smile.
A little bit of change matters. No step in a positive or humane direction is too small.
As Oprah remarked, "Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right." And Benjamin Franklin said, "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." Have a Healthy and Happy New Year everyone. Let's enjoy life!