Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Try Something New in 2010

It’s the beginning of another new year and everyone is busy thinking of ways to improve their lives. Take the opportunity of a new calendar year to get off to a fresh start. Here are 7 tips that you can follow to help you start the New Year off right.

1) Eat well. Although many of us try to make healthier food selections, it is seldom people stick with it after the first few weeks. Write your food intake into a food diary. This will help you to take responsibility for what you are actually consuming.

2) Plan how to pay your bills for the next few months. If you find you are constantly late paying bills, have them automatically taken off a VISA or MasterCard account. Label binders for each bill that comes into the home, and make sure to write PAID on them once you have sent in your payment. Then put them in the binder so you can keep track of what you have paid or what has yet to be dealt with. Get in the habit of sending off a payment as soon as the bill comes in the mail. Bills inevitability must be paid, so why wait two weeks to put the cheque in the mail? Don’t procrastinate; get it over with and off your plate as soon as possible.

3) Spruce yourself up! Many people become so caught up in helping their family and friends that they neglect their own personal needs. Change your hairstyle, revamp your wardrobe or try a new way of putting make-up on. If you feel better about your overall appearance, you will be more confident and ready to take on new opportunities both at work and in your social life. Make 2007 the year to become more outgoing and personable along with your new or improved looks.

4) Make a list of long term goals. Your New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be one particular goal. You can create a list of what you would like to accomplish all throughout the year. Don’t panic thinking you have to have accomplished something in the beginning of January. Most goals that are worthwhile will take longer to plan out and execute. Keep a day planner to help keep track of all appointments and to remind you of set goals each day. Try having a goal for each month.

5) Sleep regular hours. Try to get up at the same time each day even on weekends. You can always take a quick nap later in the day if you feel too fatigued. By keeping the same routine, it will be easier to get up when Monday rolls around. Be productive on weekends and get involved in activities that you truly enjoy. Make the most of your free time to live life to the fullest.

6) Get involved in a workout regime. Although many people enjoy working out at public fitness facilities, you don’t have to spend hours at the gym to have a healthy body. Choose a sport or activity that you enjoy and get active. Walk or bike places instead of hopping in the car. Walk around the block or your yard for as little as 20 minutes a day to experience the benefits of good cardiovascular endurance. Don’t forget to take the time to cool down and stretch after your workout. Stretching increases flexibility, prevents muscle soreness and allows the body and mind time to relax from a busy day.

7) Become part of your community. Give a little of your time to others outside your family circle. Join a club or league or donate some of your spare time to volunteer work. You will feel good about yourself for interacting with new friends while helping others who are in need. It is a win-win situation and a great the opportunity for self growth.

Give yourself a break. Don’t let the thought of a new year and new responsibilities stress you out. Take a deep breath and enjoy each day as it comes. If you pre-planned activities and have your priorities in order, you will be much less likely to worry about minor details as they surface.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Use what you have – the cure for your post-Christmas financial blues

It’s a new year - time for new resolutions and goals. Here’s one that will help you get organized while warding off the post-Christmas financial blues – use what you have. You’d be surprised at how many items you have lying around that you’ve never used. Items that, by using them, will create more space in your home and save you money. For example:

1. Use those gift cards and certificates you received over the past year. It’s a great way to get what you want or need without spending money. You can even stretch out their value through end-of-season sales. Just be sure to check the expiry date before using them.

2. Those decorative candles? They were meant to be lit and to burn out, so use them before you buy new ones.

3. Check your books and magazines. There’s always one you haven’t read. Consider canceling subscriptions for any magazines you don’t read regularly, and get rid of any item you aren’t going to read.

4. Take an inventory of the food that you have and think about ways to use it. Got pasta and tomato sauce? Add meat and cheese to your grocery list and make lasagna. Even your freezer is likely to have several items that you can prepare. This will save you money and reduce clutter in your cupboards and fridge.

5. Why rent when you can catch up on movies you’ve collected, or programs you’ve recorded? When done, take the movies you don’t need to keep and donate them, or give them to a friend.

6. Built up a lot of points on your merchant loyalty cards for air travel, products or services? Now is the time to redeem them.

7. You probably have more beauty supplies than you realize. It’s time to take stock and start using them. This is also a great way to clear out products that are past their expiry date. If you have items you don’t plan to use, like shampoo, drop them off at your local women’s shelter.

8. Have a lot of loose change around your house? Gather it up and use it. You can roll it up and put it in the bank or divide it up and give it to your kids as lunch money.

9. Instead of a new hobby or craft, revisit one that you set aside. You’ll save money on supplies.

Remember, when it comes to excess or unused items around your home, everything old is new again. For example, consider cutting up old towels to make new cleaning cloths. And consider giving your extra or unused linen and kitchen supplies to someone who’s just purchased a new home or rented an apartment.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Start the New Year Right

It’s a new year and a time when people like to start fresh and sample some new approaches to areas in your life you would like to improve. You have seen the development of the organizing and redesign shows take over our television stations. It’s been called the latest trend, the new dieting, but finding improved ways to organize your life is here to stay. Why- there’s just so much return on investment.

One thing we often forget when making changes and it’s especially true this time of year is the importance of starting slow and making small goals:
1. Your desk is a workplace- remove other non- work related items and place them elsewhere. Hang photos on the wall and place awards, personal objects and knickknacks on a shelf or credenza.
2. Keep the things you use the most close by within easy reach and items that you require only occasionally further away. This includes files, supplies and personal items.
3. Get rid of the extras- how many of one item do you really need-157 pens, 4 coffee mugs- give away, throw away or return to the stationary/supply area.

And speaking of extras we usually have between 5-10 extra pounds that we have put on over the holidays. Looking for healthy time saving ways to get back on track:
1. Plan your meals and grocery list ahead of time. You can save time and money. Eating healthier during your day will keep your energy up and your waistline down.
2. Stick to the outside aisles at the grocery stores. This is where we find our core foods like fruits and vegetables. It’s a great time to eat more fruits and vegetables. Think of these as a healthy snacking alternative. Try a fruit you’ve never had before.
3. Cut back on your portion sizes especially when eating out. Order half portions or ask for a to go container for the remainder of your meal. This also gives you another meal you don’t have to prepare.

Use these tips to kick start a healthy and happy 2010!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

News Years Resolutions or Fatal Attraction?

Are you like most people? Have you set and broken many of your New Years Resolutions already? Have you spent time focused on your deficits and shortcomings? The law of attraction says we will draw those things towards us that we spend time thinking about.

Quote from author, Ellen Goodman:
“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential.’

Attract more of the positive and create brighter possibilities:

1. Don’t get caught up in the New Year hype.
2. Instead of focusing on making a resolution, focus on what you have accomplished last year and how you can take those positive events and use them towards making this year the best yet.
3. Look back on how you made your special memories and how you can create more to last a lifetime.
4. Picture those activities you shared with loved ones.
5. Think about what you are most proud of in your career.
6. Live your life with meaningful intent.
7. Take charge of your own well-being, embrace it and enjoy everything that the New Year has to offer you.

Realize that you can do whatever you set your mind to do.

Resolve to evolve into the person you want to be by attracting what you want.