BARSTOW - New Year's Day is a time for visiting friends and family, watching football and, of course, resolutions.

At the start of every year millions of people around the world make New Year's resolutions to change aspects of their lives. The resolutions cover everything from reducing stress to volunteering at a school or homeless shelter.

"My resolution is honestly to not stress over money during the next year," Desert Community Bank customer service supervisor Candice Rhoden said. "Money comes and goes. It's been a stressful year, so my goal is to try and get around that."

Rhoden said bank customers have been telling her that their goal is to get out of debt or to save more money before next Christmas. She said a good way to achieve those goals is to set aside small amounts of extra money as you get it to keep from spending it. Consolidation loans are also useful because they can be used to pay off multiple smaller loans and often have lower interest rates.

"The more money people can pay on bills early on the better," Rhoden said. "It lowers the amount they end up paying in interest."

A common resolution people make is to lose weight during the new year. Dr. Donald Case said diet and exercise are essential parts of a weight loss plan. The most important part of an exercise regiment is to find something that you find interesting, such as sports or watching TV while running on a treadmill. Exercise also increases metabolism and allows for higher calorie intake.

Case said that when it comes to your diet, drinking more water and cutting back on juices, sodas, carbohydrates and high-fat foods is key to losing weight. He also recommended avoiding restaurants that serve large portions.

"We all grew up with our moms saying we had to clear our plates because the starving kids in Africa would love our food, but portion size is an important factor," Case said. "You should eat till your content not when your plate is clear. Whatever calories you don't use in a day your body converts to fat."

Many people also use the new year as a time to try and break old habits such as smoking. Clarence Smith, director of substance abuse programs at Vista Guidance Centers, said a good way to start quitting smoking is to find other people who are quitting or who have quit to form a support network. The network of people can help one another during times when one member is having trouble.

"People need to understand that with addiction it's a chemical thing not just a behavior," Smith said. "It causes cravings and withdrawal. It'd be nice if you could just quit, but the body goes through physical changes."