New Years Resolutions

Fuel Your New Year’s  Weight Loss Resolutions With Fast Results

If your scale is your worst enemy, it may be time to adopt a workable weight management strategy. A New Year is the perfect time to recommit oneself to health, wellness and shedding those extra pounds.

Experts say that fast results can help you stay motivated and see through your bigger weight loss goals.

“Early weight loss is a strong predictor of long-term weight loss,” says Dr. Anthony Fabricatore, Vice President of Research and Development at Nutrisystem. “Seeing immediate results can do wonders for self-efficacy.”

Here are some tips for losing those crucial first five pounds quickly, so you’ll be motivated to keep it up: • Commit Yourself. Be mentally ready. Make a commitment to meet goals and eliminate temptations right from the start by getting rid of junk food in your pantry. • Convenience Counts. Life can get in the way of dieting if convenient options aren’t readily available. Have healthful ready-to-go meals and snacks on hand, particularly during dangerous times of day when cravings kick in. • Stop guessing: Individuals make more than 200 food and beverage decisions daily, according to researchers at a leading university. Eliminate guesswork by opting for portioned, prepared meals. For example, the new Nutrisystem My Way program, features meals free of trans fat, partially hydrogenated oils, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and saccharine which can be combined with fresh grocery choices like salad, fruit, smart proteins, low-fat yogurt and unlimited non-starchy vegetables. After providing answers to some questions, My Way also helps determine grocery items and exercise plans built for your metabolism. For a quick start, consider the new one-week Fast 5 kit, promising a five-pound weight loss in your first week backed by a money-back guarantee. It includes seven days of breakfasts, lunches and dinners, plus shakes with formulations for men and women to meet their unique nutritional needs. • Keep moving: Find a regular exercise routine with which you’ll stick. Stay motivated by teaming with friends. While one of the best, low-impact and low-cost forms of exercise is walking, short and intense workouts are beneficial too.

“Some evidence indicates a single, strenuous four-minute workout is as effective to improving health and fitness as a longer workout,” says Meghan Nichols, Registered Dietician and Project Manager of Research and Development at Nutrisystem. • Drink more water: Sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re actually thirsty. Before eating, drink water to feel fuller. Replace sugary beverages with the good stuff — eight glasses daily is a good target. • Get support. Friends and family can be great cheerleaders. And an expert dieting coach can answer your questions. Visit for support, where trained counselors are available seven days a week via phone and email. • Track progress. Tracking your journey can help you keep focused on end goals. Make it convenient by downloading a free app you can use from your phone that features tools to plan meals and track weight, workouts and measurements. Give your New Year’s diet resolutions more chance for long-term success by achieving quick, modest results right out of the gate.


New Year’s Resolutions For Small Businesses

(StatePoint) It’s not just individuals who can benefit from New Year’s resolutions. Businesses can also use the new year as an opportunity to reflect on how to improve in the year to come.

With that in mind, here is a resolution checklist for small business owners: • Get your books in order: Make sure to update balance sheets, compile income statements and assemble cash flow statements. • Evaluate goals:  Did you meet your goals this year? What helped you achieve success? How can you improve the following year? Clearly documenting your goals and making them accessible to your staff will keep them top-of-mind. This can be anything, from bringing on a certain number of new employees to hitting a sales goal or expanding product offerings. Once you`ve set your goals, devise a plan that will get you there, with monthly or quarterly checkpoints, so you can ensure you`re on track. • Protect data: Small businesses say that data is their most valuable asset. Are you adequately protecting it? Many small businesses only back up files once or twice a month, which can result in a tremendous loss. Cloud backup is the best way to ensure you get all your files back easily in the event of a disaster. Save yourself a headache and protect your files automatically. A secure and affordable service, such as Carbonite for example, will continually create copies of all your files and store them in the cloud. Once the files are backed up, you can remotely access them from nearly any Internet-connected device — which can help keep you connected in an emergency or when you’re traveling.

Make sure data protection is a key component of your end-of-year planning — it will help set up your business for success in the new year. More information about small business backup can be found at• Mitigate your current tax burden: Understand your tax deductions and book all deductions before the end of the year. Implement new tax strategies to mitigate your 2014 tax burden. Remember, all business models are different. Consider consulting an expert tax analyst to find out what’s best for your business. • Be social: Explore new avenues for advertising. Social media provides an easy and inexpensive platform for gauging your customer’s desires, branding and getting the word out about your product or service. There’s no time like the new year to reassess what’s working for your company and what isn’t. Take the opportunity to set your company up for a successful 2014.


New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

(StatePoint) Running a home can be a full-time job. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have that kind of time. This new year, resolve to check off all the items on your to-do list without working harder. You can accomplish this by finding smarter solutions to maintain your home efficiently.

Pest Control When it comes to pest control, a false sense of security during the cooler months can get you in trouble, as all homes are susceptible to pest invasion year-round. The experts at Terminix say the best way to prevent rodents from entering your home is by sealing holes and cracks outside your home. Install a good, thick weatherstrip on the bottom of all doors. Be sure the door from the garage is sealed extra tight. If you’re using firewood indoors, never bring more inside than you need at one time. Firewood can harbor insects like beetles, spiders, ladybugs, ants, cockroaches and centipedes. It’s important to have a professional periodically inspect for signs of pests and take preventative control measures.

System Maintenance Creating monthly and annual maintenance schedules for your home’s major systems and appliances can save you time and money later, according to the experts at American Home Shield. Start by adding these tasks to your monthly calendar: clean the dishwasher drains to prevent clogs and breakdowns, flush the garbage disposal with water and baking soda to prevent odor and grime, and change the filters for your air conditioner and heating system to improve air quality. Annual maintenance should include checking your washer’s hoses for leaks, cleaning the lint from your dryer ductwork, caulking leaks around windows and doors, and having your heating and cooling systems professionally serviced. Look into home warranty plans with a broad network of professional service contractors and the ability to place service requests 24/7. A home warranty provides coverage for breakdowns of home system components, such as HVAC and plumbing, and also major appliances.

Deep Clean Keeping your rooms clean can make a house a livable, comfortable home. Prevent clutter with organizational tools like baskets, shoe racks and coat hangers. To avoid extra mopping, consider asking guests to remove their shoes before walking through your home. Such measures may save you from spot cleaning, but nothing can save you from the task of home cleaning in the long term. For a thorough, deep clean and to ensure small details aren’t overlooked, consider using a professional cleaning service.

Tough Jobs No other item in your home can affect the appearance of your home like carpeting. Schedule a carpet cleaning for a fresh start to the year, and have the carpets cleaned every six to twelve months. Likewise, a trained technician can ensure proper care of surfaces like hardwood floors, tile and grout and also upholstered furniture. Without adding too much work to your already busy schedule, you can resolve to give your home the care it deserves. For more information on professional brands that can help, visit

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