The Most Common and Do-Able New Year’s Resolutions

As you write out your New Year’s resolutions, you know you’re going to complete every single item on this year’s list. Unfortunately, most people tend to write the same things every single year, hoping that this year will be the one. Luckily, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn how to complete people’s most common New Year’s resolutions and make 2022 your year.

What Do You Want to Do This Year?

Before we begin, let’s take a look at the ten most common New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Lose Weight/Get Fit/Diet
  2. Quit Smoking/Drinking
  3. Eliminate Debt
  4. Get Organized
  5. Learn a New Language/Skill/Hobby
  6. Spend Time with Family
  7. Travel
  8. Read More
  9. Reduce Stress
  10. Volunteer

Most likely, you’re looking to accomplish at least one thing on this list. Take the time to narrow what you want to do into a couple of goals. For example, a lot of people will create ungodly long lists in the hopes of living up to the “New Year, New Me” motto. When they do this, they’re setting themselves up for failure, creating a list of goals they’ll quickly feel overwhelmed by. By selecting 2-3, you’re more likely to accomplish what you want and won’t feel like you’ve “failed” within a few weeks.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

If you work in the business world, you’ve probably heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and occur within a specific timeframe. So, what does this look like in action? Let’s say your goal is to “lose weight.” This is vague and can mean 100 different things to 100 different people. When we set a S.M.A.R.T. weight loss goal, it becomes something like, “I want to lose 50 pounds over the next year by working out three times a week, making healthier eating decisions and aiming to lose 5 pounds a month.”

Make Sure Goals Motivate

Another problem we frequently see with New Year’s resolutions are goals that really don’t motivate. Non-motivational goals fall into two camps: too hard and too easy. If your goal is to travel more, you’re probably not going to hit all seven continents in seven weeks (if you can, seriously, please take us with you). On the flip side, you’re likely not going to find a lot of satisfaction traveling to the same vacation spot you’ve had for seven years. Look for something in-between. So, if your goal is to travel to a foreign country, look to include a couple of different cities/states/countries while you’re there. For example, if you want to go to Spain, why not include a few days in Portugal or France as well? By including a few bonus stops that won’t break the bank, you’ve created a more motivating goal.

Write Your Goals Down

Break Down Goals

Your New Year’s resolutions are likely pretty big goals, and this can quickly overwhelm just about anyone. Instead of putting something monumental and getting lost in the process of completing it, break your goal down into measurable steps. How does this work in action? Let’s say you want to quit smoking, and right now you smoke a pack a day. In the first month, aim to get your smoking down to about 10-15 cigarettes a day by the end of the month. You’re already halfway there! The following month, look to cut your smoking down by a third to a half again. By the end of the year, you’ll have quit smoking entirely, and you’ll have been able to do it by slowly weaning yourself off through small stepping stone goals.

Write Goals Down

Writing down your goals may seem passe, but there are plenty of reasons to bring out the pen and paper, including:

  • You’re more likely to remember things you write versus typing them out.
  • Your goals will be clearer and more concise.
  • You can easily post them anywhere. A lot of people find putting their goals someplace they see every day, whether on their bathroom mirror or on the fridge, keeps them on track and make better decisions every day.
  • If you regularly review them, they can become a great motivating tool to see how far you’ve come on your journey.

While it’s perfectly fine to put your goals on your phone, most people find writing them down gives them regular motivation; however, typing them out and making them your lock screen or wallpaper is also perfectly fine as well.

Tell Your Friends Your Resolutions

Your friends likely have a lot of the same goals as you, so now is the perfect time to connect with them. When you tell others your goals, you’re more likely to complete them due to the instant accountability telling someone about the goal establishes. If you find someone who has the same goal, look to partner up with them. For example, if you want to read more, the two (or more) of you can start a book club, meeting once a month to discuss your latest book.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

 Look, making a major life change is difficult, and you will slip up. Whether it’s a piece of cake on your diet or splurging on something for yourself, you’re going to have hiccups as you work to meet your goal. If an oopsie happens, make sure you:

  • Take a breath. There’s nothing stopping you from working towards your goal for the rest of the day.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Far too often, people put themselves through a guilt trip that actually dissuades them from pursuing their goal.
  • Reevaluate your goals. Sometimes we set ourselves for failure by making huge goals no one can complete. Look to see if your goals are achievable and make adjustments as needed.

Setting New Year’s resolutions can be fun, and reaching your goals will feel rewarding once you’re done. Take the time to create S.M.A.R.T. resolutions, regularly reevaluate as necessary, enlist a friend and don’t beat yourself up when you have a setback. By following the above tips, you’ll reach your goals in no time.

25 Activities To Do In The Winter

As the weather gets chillier and festive holiday cheer abounds, indoor and outdoor winter activities are guaranteed to keep you entertained this season. Whether you love unwinding by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa or prefer a more sporty activity like ice skating, the winter season has something for everyone. Here’s 25 ideas to make this winter you best one yet.

  1. Make hot chocolate bombs. These tasty hot chocolate powder and marshmallow-filled treats require a special mold (here’s a link to purchase) and some assembly is required for the chocolate globes. We love this recipe.

2. Take a drive to see the holiday lights at night. Check your local media outlets for neighborhoods with special holiday decor and light displays for the public to enjoy.

3. Ice skating. Strap on a pair of skates and take a spin at your local ice rink! This is also a great way to stay physically active in cold weather.

4. Bake a panettone. This Italian sweet bread with candied fruits is a winter holiday favorite that takes a bit of time (the dough needs to rise overnight) but is well worth the wait and effort. Recipe here.

5. Create a scrapbook of winter memories. Rather than leaving all of your memories on your phone, print out your pictures this year and chronicle your wintertime adventures like experiencing the season’s first snowfall or the winter solstice.

6. See The Nutcracker. Whether it’s watching the movie on a projector while cozy at home or seeing the ballet in person, this family-friendly classic is full of magic and winter adventure.

8. Camp out in your living room. Assemble a pillow fort or break out your sleeping bags, light the fireplace or put a Yule Log video on Youtube, and bring out the snacks for an impromptu indoor camping night in.

9. Try a winter photo shoot. Gather friends or family for an informal winter-themed photo shoot using DIY backdrops, such as garlands, or a snowy outdoor scene.

10. Visit a local museum you haven’t been to yet. From modern art to natural history, there’s probably a museum or two you haven’t visited yet. Winter is the perfect time for this indoor cultural activity.

11. Create a winter-themed music playlist. Get into the spirit of the season by compiling a list of your favorite wintertime songs on Spotify to play and share with your loved ones. You’ll be surprised how many songs have a winter vibe.

12. Make a dream or vision board. Have big goals for the upcoming New Year? Find inspiration from images online and in magazines to make a visual representation of your dreams and goals for the future. This can be made digitally on gomoodboard.com or by using a poster board, magazine clippings, and a glue stick.

13. Make fake snow. Missing real snowflakes? This simple two-ingredient recipe means you can have snow even if you’re in a warmer climate. 

14. Go on a winter scavenger hunt. Write down 10 things to search for around town or near your home – everything from spotting a pine cone or a Santa hat works – and the first person who checks everything off the list wins.

15. Take a day trip. If weather permits, go on a long drive to explore back roads, semi-local attractions, and finally visit those spots you’ve always vowed you’d stop at one day.

16. Make waterless snow globes. This craft is relatively easy to do if you’re handy with a glue gun. Go here for directions.

18. Visit winter markets and bazaars. Need last-minute gifts or decorations? Check out the goods and support local artisans and makers at festive markets and bazaars in your area.

19. Have a winter-themed movie night. From Frozen to Eight Below, films with wintry settings full of snow and frigid weather are a delight to watch while curled up in blankets on the couch with hot chocolate.

20. Make pomander balls. If you love the scent of winter citrus and fragrant spices, try your hand at making pomander balls. Simply stick whole cloves in firm oranges in the pattern of your choice. For additional scent, you can roll oranges in a mixture of spices, including cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. If you’d like to hang your pomander, run a long, thin wire through the middle of the orange and make a loop at the top.

21. Make a snow angel. Enjoy a snowy day by laying down on the snow and spreading your arms and legs to create one.

22. Make a winter-scented potpourri. Fill your home with the scent of wintertime by combining spices and fruit like nutmeg, apples, and cranberries on your stovetop. We love this recipe.

22. Refresh your space. Get a head start on spring cleaning with a winter refresh – go through your closets and decide what items to keep, donate, or toss. Be honest about what you’ve actually worn this year, what fits, and what you no longer love or want to wear. You’ll make room for the new and any holiday presents you may receive.

23. Start a book club. Winter is the ideal time to curl up with a good book and catch up with dear friends – combine the two by starting a book club. Select a book that’s set in wintertime and set aside a time to meet virtually or in person to discuss the book’s plot and overall themes.

24. Play a board game or complete a puzzle. Snowed in? Grab a board game like Monopoly or Candyland to keep your mind occupied. Have a lot of time to keep your kids busy during winter break? A 1000 piece puzzle will do the trick.

25. Organize a clothing swap. Invite friends and family over one evening to share and swap gently used clothing, outerwear, and accessories. Any leftover items can be donated for people in need in the true spirit of the season.

– We hope these activities keep you entertained (and warm!) all winter long-

Top 10 Easy Budget-Friendly Crafts for Fall

Spend some time this Fall making fun crafts that are easy on your wallet. Decorate your home and make exciting costumes with the whole family! Simple and easy instructions make spending time crafting a breeze. From beautiful fall lanterns your kids will love to DIY gifts for your friends and family, this fall will be the craftiest of them all.

Ditch the DIY crafts with long lists of expensive items to buy. These top 8 crafts for fall have 5 components or less each and are inexpensive to purchase. With these ideas, cheap doesn’t mean tacky or clunky. Each one of these fall crafts is fun, fabulous, and easy to make. Try making them with your friends, family, or co-workers!

1.   Fall Leaf Lanterns

Nothing says fall like leaves and warm light. This project is simple, easy, and ecological. All you need are a couple of cheap items from your local dollar store and some fall leaves. It’s impossible to mess up and a great activity to do with kids! Try this idea out for a centerpiece on your table or on top of the fireplace.

For this craft you’ll need:

  • A mason jar or vase
  • Modge Podge
  • Leaves from outside
  • A paintbrush
  • Tealights

2.   DIY Fox Ears Headband

Looking for an easy DIY costume? You can easily make this no-sew costume with a few simple items. This versatile craft can be used to make all different types of animal ears for endless possibilities. This costume project can be made with low-cost materials like felt, plastic headbands, and hot glue. Easy enough to make with children and fun!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Felt
  • Hot glue
  • Thin plastic headband
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie

3.   Crayon Drip Pumpkins

If you have kiddos in the house then no doubt you have crayons. Possibly even hundreds of broken crayons, which is perfect because they’re exactly what they need for this project! This beautiful way to recycle crayons and decorate for fall is cheap and simple, perfect for everyone. Make rainbows, stick to your favorite shades, or go monochromatic. Try it out this week!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Pumpkins
  • Crayons
  • A hairdryer

4.   Mummy Candles

Super cute candle holders are just a few steps away! These spooky little mummies are simple and fun to make. An excellent choice for little ones and great for brightening up the house for movie night, these mummies will light up the night. Get ready to spend an afternoon of fun making these little guys and prepare to bask in the glow!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Mason jars
  • Large googly eyes
  • First aid gauze
  • Tealights
  • Hot glue

5.   Fairy House Jack-O-Lantern

Creating a fun fairy house out of your jack-o-lanterns is a great way to use biodegradable ingredients. For this simple project, all you need is a pumpkin, a carving knife, a tealight, and a good imagination. You can add your own personal style to this craft with paint, flowers, and maybe some glitter too. Create a whole fairy garden with your family this fall!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Pumpkins
  • A carving knife
  • Tealights
  • Decorations

6.   DIY Coffee Cup Candles

This craft makes for a great gift for the holidays or a decoration. Transform your old mugs into wonderful candles with your choice of essential oil. You’ll be surprised at how easy candle-making can be with a few cheap ingredients from your local craft store and a whole lot of fun. Customize your signature scent and light up your home with candles that will impress your friends!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Candle wax flakes
  • Scented oil
  • Candle wicks
  • Mugs
  • A pot

7.   Easy DIY Bat Costume

If you or your kiddo need a costume in a hurry, this easy DIY bat costume is the perfect project for you. You can easily put together this costume with simple sewing or alternatively hot glue. Making this costume for the whole family will undoubtedly win any costume contest. Get ready for tons of batty fun and adorable memories!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • 1.5 yards of black fabric of your choice
  • 6 inches of elastic
  • Thick black fabric (or felt)
  • Hot glue or a needle and thread

8.   $4 Dollar Tree DIY Halloween Wreath

Decorate your door with a festive Halloween wreath! You can make it spooky, leafy, or even witchy. It’s all up to you and your local dollar store. You’ll be amazed at how festive and fun these cost-effective decorations can be. All you have to do is piece them together and you’ve got a brand new wreath you can use year after year. With easy wreaths like this, everyone can decorate their own!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • A wreath form
  • A Halloween door sign (or fall-themed)
  • Garlands
  • Hot glue

9.   Happy Fall Wooden Entry Sign

Make your entryway as cute as can be with this adorable wooden entry sign. This craft is cheap to make and can be tailored to your liking as you see fit. Go crazy with paint, ribbon, fabric, and more! This project is great for the whole family. You can each make your own or collaborate on one big sign altogether. Your creation awaits!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Wood background for the sign
  • Paint
  • Hot glue
  • Lettering template
  • The decor of your choosing

10.   Book Page Leaf Garland

Enjoy this classy-looking garland that is great for the entire fall season. Great for kids that are able to cut with scissors, this garland will liven up any room. For next to nothing, your entryway, mantle, bookcase, or door frame will look beautiful when you add this finishing touch. Take it a step further and stamp the leaves with fall colors or throw in a bit of synthetic greenery.

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Old books
  • Cardstock
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Hot glue
  • Floral wire

Spending time making crafts this fall is a wonderful way to bond as a family and enjoy decorating together. There’s something about making things yourself that provides a sense of accomplishment. Making these crafts will be fun, exciting, and won’t break the bank. It’s a win-win-win all around. Try your hand at any of these simple and easy projects and you’ll have a fall to remember!

Saving money this Fall

Fall is officially here, and we want to help you save some money! It is an interesting time of year, between back to school and the holidays. There may not be a lot going on, which give a lot of opportunities to save money. In this article we will share some tips and advice on how to save up a little extra cash for the holidays.

Create a budget: This is a great way to make sure that you not only don’t over spend, but you also save. Whether it’s groceries, going out to dinner, other forms of shopping or anything else, try to make a limit ahead of time and don’t spend over that amount!

Now is not the time: Now is not the time for big purchases. Wait until the Holiday’s come around and see how much excess money you have laying around. You know you’ll be spending on big meals and gifts in November/December, so for October it’s time to take a step back.

Take advantage of free entertainment: What do we mean by this? There are many activities you can do in the fall that don’t cost a cent! Drive around and look at the leaves changing, go for a nice hike or walk and maybe even rake some leaves and jump into them!

Open the windows: Fall is that in-between time when it may not be too hot or too cold. Don’t waste money on heat or air, and let the 60 degree weather into your homes for as long as you can!

Yard Work: Instead of paying a company to come rake your leaves, and cut your grass, do it yourself! This is also another fun activity that could involve the entire family.

These are all great suggestions, and now it’s up to you to carry them out and save!

Staying in shape this summer!

Staying in shape is extremely important, but it can be tough when Summer brings on barbecues, pool parties and more. No matter what your plans are for the summer or what your everyday routine is, you can’t forget to try to be healthy. Here are some friendly and fun tips on how to stay healthy and in shape this summer!

Walking: Simple but easy, walking is an awesome way to stay in shape. Are you heading to a beach or pool by where you live? How about walking there instead of driving! The more walking you do the better, this summer. Up your walking to a slight jog or run for an even better workout.

Bike Riding: Maybe walking isn’t intense enough for you, and that’s when you can bike! Even if you don’t own a bike, most cities have bike rentals for real cheap. The best part about biking, is if you are in a scenic area it doesn’t even feel like exercise.

Utilizing your Grill: You most likely have access to a grill, well it’s time to use it. In addition to burgers, hot dogs and fish on the grill, you can grill up some awesome vegetables. Some of the best veggies to throw on the grill are corn, onions, peppers, zucchini and asparagus.

Go outside and play: Kids always want to go outside and play, and it is never a bad thing to go out and play with them. Whether it’s bike riding, kicking a soccer ball around, shooting a basketball or playing catch, this is an easy way to keep moving.

Dancing: This may sound funny, but dancing is actually an awesome way to burn some calories. Toss on some of your favorite music and get grooving!

While it is important to keep moving and eat healthy over the Summer, you also want to let yourself have a day to relax! Sitting by the pool with a nice cold drink helps with mental health which is just as important as physical. What is the point of good weather if you can’t en joy it anyway?