New Year&#039;s http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/265/all en-US How to Host a Great New Year's Eve Party for Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-a-great-new-years-eve-party-for-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-host-a-great-new-years-eve-party-for-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000010753226_Large.jpg" alt="new year&#039;s eve party" title="new year&#039;s eve party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hands down, New Year's Eve is my favorite holiday &mdash; and I've thrown some parties, y'all. Some of them have been major blowouts while others have been small gatherings. Personally, I prefer the intimate shindigs &mdash; and so does my wallet. If that's your goal this year &mdash; and it should be &mdash; this post is for you. Out with the old, in with the new, as they say. And here are several ways to shave a few bucks off the bill while you're at it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas?ref=seealso">Class Without Tons of Cash: Frugal Cocktail Party Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>1. Limit the Guest List to a Friendly Few</h2> <p>Sure, it's fun to invite all your friends and their friends and their friends' friends to your New Year's Eve party, but it requires a massive budget; that's a lot of mouths to feed, after all. In reality, every name on your guest list is a dollar sign, and the tighter you keep it, the less you'll have to spend. So instead of inviting the whole neighborhood and the next town over to your soiree, extend an invitation only to those few friends with whom you enjoy spending time and who are totally okay with a run-of-the-mill, at-least-we're-together, end-of-the-year celebration. You'll have a better time entertaining seven people instead of running around trying to please 70.</p> <h2>2. Repurpose Your Christmas Decorations</h2> <p>You don't have to run out to the party store for New Year's Eve decorations if you already have Christmas swag. You can keep your holiday house like it is &mdash; less hassle; still festive &mdash; but if you want to give it a different look, get creative and repurpose your existing decorations. Instead of tons of color, concentrate on a simplified palate &mdash; think white, silver and gold &mdash; and decorate accordingly. Store the Santas for this fete and focus more on the seasonal aspect of the celebration and you're good to go.</p> <h2>3. Shop for Snacks in the Seasonal Section</h2> <p>The day after Christmas everything holiday related goes on sale &mdash; and that includes any food items in festive packaging. In the first few days after December 25th, you can expect at least 40% to 50% off, but if you wait until a day or two before New Year's Eve, you can probably score a greater discount. Normally I'd tell you that if you want the pick of the litter, it's ideal to scoop up the deals early (like right away), but that only applies to decorations and other Christmas paraphernalia. Festively packaged food items, on the other hand, tend to stick around until the very end of the post-holiday purge. Time your trip just right and you can feed your friends an incredible array of snacks for anywhere from 50% to 90% off the regular retail price. If that's not winning, I don't what is.</p> <h2>4. Cut Back on the Booze Selections</h2> <p>You and your friends will probably want to drink on New Year's Eve, and it's easy to bust your budget on buying enough alcohol to satiate their thirst. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you don't have to provide enough booze to get everyone blitzed out of their mind; you're not throwing a party at the Playboy Mansion. Secondly, what you serve is up to you &mdash; not them &mdash; so whatever you provide is at your discretion.</p> <p>I've found that a great middle ground is to offer beer and wine (domestic light beer and cheap bottles of wine are fine; I prefer Miller Lite and Barefoot, respectively), but if you want to offer liquor, I recommend creating a signature drink that reduces the number of bottles you'll have to buy while at the same time giving your party a personal touch. You also can give your guests the option of bringing their own booze. I always let my guests know what I'll have on hand and leave it up to them to bring a beverage of their choice if what I'm serving isn't exactly their favorite. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-tasty-two-ingredient-cocktails?ref=seealso">20 Tasty Two Ingredient Cocktails</a>)</p> <h2>5. Skip the Full Meal and Serve Apps Instead</h2> <p>It's not cheap to feed a crowd these days, which is why you should forget about slaving over a hot stove to make a full-blown feast for your New Year's Eve guests. In addition to the deeply discounted snacks you scored, a selection of hot appetizers will suffice &mdash; and you can still totally pull off quantity <em>and</em> quality in this regard. Shop the warehouse clubs for party-size platters and frozen snacks that you can pop in the oven. Pizza also is a filling-but-affordable crowd pleaser. You can really save some dough by picking up premade crusts, sauce, and cheese &mdash; you can make about six pizzas for under $20 if you shop smartly &mdash; that'll put smiles on everybody's faces.</p> <h2>6. Hack Your Way to Delicious Desserts</h2> <p>Every New Year's Eve party needs some sweet stuff, but you can go over budget very quickly if you're not careful. To throw a party for under $100, you need to avoid premade, store-bought desserts all together. That means alternatively you'll need to put on an apron and get in the kitchen, and even if that's not your strong suit, you can churn out a few crowd-pleasers. Jell-O &mdash; both the gelatin and pudding &mdash; is cheap in the box, and you can use either one of those treats as a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jello.com/recipes/">base for all kinds desserts</a>. If you want to get a little fancier (still without spending much), try this&nbsp;recipe for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kingshawaiian.com/recipes/kings-hawaiian-cream-puffs/">easy-breezy cream puffs</a>.</p> <h2>7. Turn on the TV and Break Out the Board Games</h2> <p>Usually I'd tell you to turn off the TV when hosting a party, but New Year's Eve is an exception to that rule. Whether you're a traditionalist who likes to ring in January 1st with New Year's Rockin' Eve or a glutton for punishment with Anderson and Kathy, you'll find hours of festive entertainment that that'll not only provide a bit of background noise but also start a few conversations. Bring out some of your favorite board games too (you don't want guests occupied solely by the TV) for a few rounds of friendly competition. All this fun is for free.</p> <h2>8. Ask Your Guests to Bring a Bottle of Bubbly</h2> <p>In addition to limiting the booze selection you're offering, you may want to consider asking your guests to bring a bottle of bubbly. Most attendees will bring a host gift anyway, but by asking specifically for champagne you'll have more room in your budget for food, and it'll ensure that there's plenty of variety when it's time to clink glasses. Salud!</p> <p><em>Do you have more ideas on how to host a New Year's Eve party for cheap? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-a-great-new-years-eve-party-for-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-of-the-most-costly-new-years-eve-parties-ever">8 of the Most Costly New Year&#039;s Eve Parties Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-non-depressing-ways-to-spend-nye">5 Frugal, Non-Depressing Ways to Spend NYE</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-avoid-awkward-moments-at-white-elephant-parties">4 Ways to Avoid Awkward Moments at White Elephant Parties</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-charming">How to be charming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-host-an-oktoberfest-party-on-the-cheap">16 Ways to Host an Oktoberfest Party on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment cocktails hosting New Year's New Year's Eve parties Sat, 27 Dec 2014 10:00:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 1273736 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Things to Do Before the New Year http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-before-the-new-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-things-to-do-before-the-new-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4682447648_0178d6dc77_z.jpg" alt="couple with champagne" title="couple with champagne" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before you know it another year will have passed and we&rsquo;ll be on to 2013. In anticipation of that eagerly awaited fresh start, I thought it pertinent to remind you of a few loose ends you might want to take care of so you can kick off January 1 with a clean slate. To help you stay on track, here are 25 things you should do before the New Year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-things-to-do-today">25 New Things to Do Today</a>)</p> <h3>1. Do a Deep Clean of Your Home</h3> <p>Many of us do a spring clean, but our homes could probably use concentrated TLC more than once a year. So you can tackle all the problems areas head on, I&rsquo;ve written this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">check list on how to clean your home in the fall</a>.</p> <h3>2. Concentrate on Unfinished Projects</h3> <p>You know that project you were excited about for a couple days then pushed to wayside for any number of reasons? Revisit it and finish it so you can enjoy a sense of accomplishment and have peace of mind before the year ends.</p> <h3>3. Make Last-Minute Donations to Boost Your Tax Deductions</h3> <p>Round up anything you don&rsquo;t want anymore, and send it off to an organization that can put it to better use. Look under the bed and in the attic, rummage through the garage and basement, and pull things out of your closet that you no longer want or need, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-out-for-a-cause-make-a-noncash-tax-deductible-donation">giving them to a good cause</a> so you can write the donation off later.</p> <h3>4. Plan Meals Based on What&rsquo;s Already in Your Fridge and Pantry</h3> <p>Instead of going grocery shopping for the last month of the year, make a list of ingredients using what&rsquo;s already in your fridge and pantry and plan meals based on what you have. You&rsquo;ll save money and get rid of foods that will expire if you leave them in there too long.</p> <h3>5. Reconnect With a Friend With Whom You&rsquo;ve Lost Touch</h3> <p>Most of us are well-meaning people, but sometimes life gets in the way. If you&rsquo;ve lost touch with a friend or family member this year (or for a few years even), give them a call or send an e-mail to reestablish the connection.</p> <h3>6. Clean Out Your E-mail Inbox and Folders</h3> <p>Follow-up on unanswered e-mails, delete expired messages, and otherwise organize your e-mail and its folders to make life a little easier on yourself when it&rsquo;s time to get back to work.<b>&nbsp;</b></p> <h3>7. Get Your Receipts Together to Start Preparing Your Taxes</h3> <p>As soon as the New Year starts, I&rsquo;m ready to go to the tax guy. My taxes are usually filed by the end of February because of this proactive procedure. It&rsquo;s a huge burden lifted. Get busy now to save yourself a lot of stress later.</p> <h3>8. Schedule a Physical With Your Doctor &nbsp;</h3> <p>If it&rsquo;s been a while since your last checkup, get to the doctor to make sure all is well.</p> <h3>9. Go to the Dentist for a Checkup</h3> <p>I know, I know &ndash; nobody likes the dentist. But it&rsquo;s important to take care of your chompers on a regular basis. If you&rsquo;ve skipped a couple cleanings, get to the dentist as soon as possible.</p> <h3>10. Hit the After-Holiday Sales to Stock Up for Next Year <b><br /> </b></h3> <p>This is one of my favorite activities! After Christmas has gone for another year, hit up your favorite discount department store to stock up on wrapping paper, gift bags, and all manner of holiday paraphernalia at big savings.</p> <h3>11. Make Short-Term New Year&rsquo;s Goals</h3> <p>Notice I didn&rsquo;t call these &ldquo;resolutions.&rdquo; The reason for that is because resolutions are a waste of time because we think too big when making them. Instead, think about smaller, reasonably attainable goals to concentrate on in the new year. I promise you&rsquo;ll have more success in achieving them than those lofty goals you&rsquo;ve made in the past.&nbsp;</p> <h3>12. Host a Holiday Party to Spread the Good Cheer</h3> <p>Get everybody together for one last hurrah before getting back to the grind.</p> <h3>13. Cut the Clutter in Your Home by Selling Unwanted Items Online&nbsp;</h3> <p>This is never a bad idea, but it&rsquo;s very useful this time of year to help offset the cost of the holidays. Sells old books, DVDs, clothes, electronics, appliances &ndash; really anything that you think someone else could use &ndash; to earn a bit of extra income as the year comes to a close.</p> <h3>14. Update Your Resume Just in Case</h3> <p>You never know what can happen in the blink of an eye, so it&rsquo;s best to be ready. Update your resume and bio so you can start looking for a new job if you lose the one you have or so you can start the New Year hitting the ground running in the search for a better job.&nbsp;</p> <h3>15. Change the Oil in Your Vehicle</h3> <p>Every six months or 3,000 miles. If you&rsquo;re past due, get to the mechanic now.</p> <h3>16. Go on a Mini-Vacation</h3> <p>The holidays can take a toll on your sanity &mdash; I know that better than anyone. If you&rsquo;re at your wit&rsquo;s end, take a few days off by taking a mini-vacation in a nearby, inexpensive place where nobody knows your name.</p> <h3>17. Use Up About-to-Expire Daily Deal Coupons&nbsp;</h3> <p>I have more deals than I have time, so I plan to concentrate on using them up instead of spending more money before ringing in 2013.</p> <h3>18. Start a New Exercise Routine</h3> <p>A lot of people plan to start exercising Jan. 1 or shortly thereafter, but why not get a head start? Start your new exercise routine now so you&rsquo;re already in the thick of it when the new year begins.</p> <h3>19. Create a Monthly Meal Plan for January</h3> <p>I started doing this a few months ago, and it&rsquo;s been a blessing for my health and wallet. This December, sit down and create a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals">monthly meal plan</a> &mdash; at least for dinner &mdash; so you know what you&rsquo;re eating every night of the week. It&rsquo;s really incredible how much healthier your eating habits become when your meals are on paper.</p> <h3>20. Complete Small Home-Improvement Projects</h3> <p>By small, I mean change burnt-out light bulbs, tossing out dead plants, washing the windows, etc. Ya know, those things you&rsquo;ve been meaning to do but keep putting off.</p> <h3>21. Update and Consolidate Your Contacts</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s no better time of year than holiday time to update your contacts &mdash; especially if you plan to send out cards or host a party. Your workload will be all the much easier than trying to do it in piece meal.</p> <h3>22. Revamp Your Budget to Save More Money&nbsp;</h3> <p>Sit down and evaluate your financial situation. If you spent too much this year or didn&rsquo;t save enough (not always one in the same, mind you), make a plan to cut out some expenses you can live without and implement strategies to save more money along the way.</p> <h3>23. Clean Up Your TiVo&nbsp;</h3> <p>My TiVo is clogged with all kinds of content I thought I wanted to watch, but really don&rsquo;t. If you&rsquo;re like me, get rid of the junk. Mid-season replacements are coming anyway &mdash; so you&rsquo;ll need the extra room.</p> <h3>24. Make Provisions for a Disaster or Other Emergency&nbsp;</h3> <p>Let Hurricane Sandy be a lesson to us all. Turns out we&rsquo;re not prepared for impending disaster. To make a terrible situation like that a little more bearable when it strikes, start stocking up on disaster supplies now so you&rsquo;re not left scrambling (or worse, up the proverbial creek without a paddle) when the &quot;ish&quot; hits the fan.</p> <h3>25. Count Your Loose Change, and Deposit It Into Your Savings</h3> <p>Have a jar of coins you&rsquo;ve been keeping all year long? Count it out, wrap it up, and deposit it into your savings account. You&rsquo;ll be surprised at how much is in there. Doesn&rsquo;t look like much, but it adds up quickly.</p> <p><em>Have any ideas to add to this list of things you should do before the New Year? Let me know in the comments below. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-before-the-new-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sock-it-to-me-15-uses-for-old-socks">Sock It to Me: 15 Uses for Old Socks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lessons-in-frugality-from-the-walking-dead">Lessons in Frugality From &quot;The Walking Dead&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting General Tips Lifestyle acheiving goals decluttering New Year's Tue, 11 Dec 2012 11:00:33 +0000 Mikey Rox 955764 at http://www.wisebread.com New Year, New Resume http://www.wisebread.com/new-year-new-resume <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-year-new-resume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cinderella.jpg" alt="Cinderella" title="Cinderella" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="161" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If one of your new year's resolutions to find a new job, maybe it's also time for a new resume. After all, isn't your current resume <em>so</em> 2010? Here are four tips for improving your resume for the new year.</p> <h2>Be Unique</h2> <p>If there is something unique or memorable about you or your work experience, include it in your resume (within reason). When I graduated from college, I had little enough work experience that it still made sense to include my high school job&nbsp;acting at an amusement park on my resume. In ever single job interview I had that year, the reviewers mentioned how my resume stood out because I used to work as Cinderella.</p> <p>Once I had more work experience, I (reluctantly) knocked&nbsp;the amusement park&nbsp;off of my resume.&nbsp;But since&nbsp;then I've included a&nbsp;&ldquo;Special Skills&rdquo; section that briefly lists similarly memorable information.</p> <p>Another great place to make yourself be memorable is in the subject line of&nbsp;your email if you&rsquo;re applying online. Online job postings can net hundreds or even thousands of responses that can be difficult to sift through. When I was a full-time freelance writer, I started changing the subject line of my emails from things like &ldquo;Experienced copywriter available&rdquo; to &ldquo;Spunky and experienced copywriter available.&rdquo; The number of responses I received shot up as soon as I made the unique addition of &quot;spunky.&quot;</p> <h2>Be Honest</h2> <p>Don't include skills because you think you can fudge your way through the interview and learn what you need to know before&nbsp;starting the job. If you really think you need to know how to use Photoshop or WordPress to get the kind of job you're looking for, take the time to learn now. Several employers test an&nbsp;interviewee's skills during the interview, making for pretty decent chances that you&nbsp;will get caught.</p> <h2>Be Specific</h2> <p>Look at how you describe your work experience. If you&rsquo;re only listing what your job responsibilities were, you could be doing yourself a disservice. Highlight tasks you worked on and their outcomes. Did you help streamline a regular office procedure? Head a major project that increased ROI? Include these on your resume.</p> <h2>Be Succinct</h2> <p>Unless a job asks for your full <a href="http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/curriculumvitae/a/curriculumvitae.htm">Curriculum Vitae</a>, it&rsquo;s best to keep your resume to a page. Include information that is the most pertinent to the job you are applying for, but without making it seem like there were major gaps in your employment (if you worked for five years as a&nbsp;chef and are applying to be an accountant, it&rsquo;s better to list your&nbsp;chef job than to make it appear as if there were five years you just didn&rsquo;t work). This might mean creating separate resumes for different job applications, but the time spent targeting your resumes can be worth it.</p> <p>Want more resume-writing advice, or&nbsp;are you just starting out with your first resume? Check out Paul Michaels&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">12 steps to writing a great resume</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-year-new-resume">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-dumb-things-employment-recruiters-see-people-do">6 Dumb Things Employment Recruiters See People Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-get-hired-be-memorable">Want to Get Hired? Be Memorable.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-entry-level-jobs-with-surprisingly-high-salaries">12 Entry Level Jobs With Surprisingly High Salaries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-credit-score-affects-your-job-search">Here&#039;s How Your Credit Score Affects Your Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting customized resume New Year's resume writing Mon, 03 Jan 2011 13:00:09 +0000 Meg Favreau 419027 at http://www.wisebread.com Get In Gear For The New Year: 5 Tips For Making Resolutions http://www.wisebread.com/get-in-gear-for-the-new-year-5-tips-for-making-resolutions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-in-gear-for-the-new-year-5-tips-for-making-resolutions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dickclark.jpg" alt="Dick Clark&#039;s Rocking New Year&#039;s Eve" title="Dick Clark&#039;s Rocking New Year&#039;s Eve" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The New Year is infamous when it comes to resolutions &mdash; not because most people manage to turn over a new leaf but because we declare big goals, work towards them for a few months and then forget about them. This situation didn't come about because we don't want to achieve those goals, but because the system is more than a bit arbitrary. If you want to complete your New Year's resolutions this year, going about it a little differently may make things easier. The tips below can help you reach a goal with a little less struggle.</p> <ol> <li>Decide what you can do by Feb. 1. Most resolutions don't lend themselves to being completed in a month. But if you can set a goal to reach by the end of January, you'll have some absolutely concrete and obtainable that you can work towards, you've got a better chances of completing 1/12 of your resolution in that first month. Maybe your resolution is to build up an emergency fund containing several months worth of expenses. If you try to save every penny you can during January, you're likely to burn out about the time the end of the month rolls around. But if you set a goal of getting just $400 into your savings account, you'll be able to see the end &mdash; and you'll get a buzz when you actually complete that first step.&nbsp;</li> <li>Consider the underlying causes of your resolution. Many resolutions aren't as simple as deciding that you just aren't going to do a particular something anymore. If, for instance, you want to stop going out to eat in 2009 and work on eating at home more, think about why you go out to eat. Maybe the way your schedule is currently set up leaves no time for grocery shopping or cooking &mdash; and without a few changes to your schedule, you'll be back at the restaurant in a few weeks.</li> <li>Talk to your loved ones, and make sure they understand your resolution. For most people, having someone who simply knows about your goal is enough to motivate you &mdash; after all, no one wants to fail to achieve a goal and then have to tell someone about it. Furthermore, you can often get a little help. Resolutions like working out more often are easier when you have someone else to do the work with.</li> <li>Write down your resolution. If you've written down your resolution, it's just that much harder to forget about. Adding milestones or incentives and placing your resolution somewhere you'll see it regularly can help you keep your goals in mind. You might consider keeping a note about your resolution in your wallet or on your computer &mdash; somewhere you'll be inspired to take actions that will move you towards your ambition.</li> <li>Think about your resolution now. Sure, you've still got time before the month ends, but I've heard a few New Year's resolutions decided at literally the last moment. Those are the ones that typically don't make it to the next morning &mdash; let alone the next month. But spending a little time thinking about your resolutions can help you commit yourself to carrying though, and give you a chance to think about why you want to work toward a particular goal. Incentives can be a great thing, whether you're working towards a little piece of mind or towards a big vacation.</li> </ol> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-in-gear-for-the-new-year-5-tips-for-making-resolutions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes">15 Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips">10 Ways to Get More Out of Business Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-benefits-of-being-a-morning-person">9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity New Year's resolution Tue, 16 Dec 2008 19:57:41 +0000 Thursday Bram 2650 at http://www.wisebread.com Successful New Year's Resolutions http://www.wisebread.com/successful-new-years-resolutions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/successful-new-years-resolutions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000048308512_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="champagne glasses fireworks" title="champagne glasses fireworks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Now that the Christmas festivities are over, the next order of business is the new year. That means resolutions.</p> <p>Frankly, I'm tired of New Year's resolutions. I make them every year. I break them every year, often forgetting the resolutions by Martin Luther King Day.</p> <p>On the other hand, there are plenty of bad habits I'd like to get rid off before my next birthday in September. So here I am, finalizing my New Year's resolutions strategy. Let's see if we can break the losing streak in nought seven.</p> <p>I have two lofty goals for 2007:</p> <ul> <li>Get some exercise.</li> <li>Quit smoking.</li> </ul> <p>I agonized before typing those words. I'm an introvert, super lazy, and smoke like a chimney. Trust me when I tell you I'm scared as hell sharing these resolutions. Given my track record of not finishing what I start, there's a good chance of failure.</p> <p>But if I'm serious about growing as a person, not smelling like Uncle Joe's burnt ribs all the time, and not having to sit down every 10 feet, putting these resolutions out in public is the best thing I can do.</p> <p>So here's the game plan...</p> <h2>1. Aim for Something You Can Track</h2> <p>&quot;Lose weight&quot; or &quot;get more exercise&quot; are nice resolutions and all, but without specifics to focus on, they're doomed from the get go.&nbsp;Can you aim for a number or other measurable goal? The more focused the resolution, the easier it is to succeed.</p> <p>Instead of &quot;be healthier,&quot; how about one of these more specific resolutions?</p> <ul> <li>Take a 20 minute walk everyday after lunch.</li> <li>Run a seven-minute mile.</li> <li>Finish the company10k in an hour.</li> <li>Lose 20 pounds.</li> </ul> <p>For the exercising resolution, my trackable goal is 120 days in the gym. I want to be generally healthier, get more exercise, and have more energy. Factoring in my schedule and overall laziness, an average of three times a week at the gym is a hard, but achievable goal.</p> <p>For the quit smoking resolution, my trackable goal is to have 30 consecutive smoke free days within three months.</p> <h2>2. Set a Deadline &mdash; The Sooner, the Better</h2> <p>A deadline far off in the distance is quickly forgotten. Without a deadline, you may find yourself making the same resolutions year after year.</p> <p>For my goal of exercising at least three days a week, I need to get 120 days in the gym in a whole year (365 days). Hmm, looking at that big 1-2-0 number is kinda scary and having a deadline so far away (Dec 31, 2007) makes it easy to ignore the resolution for just another day.</p> <p>That really increases my chances of failure. I think I need to add a three-month milestone of 30 days in the gym by April 1. Doesn't seem so hard now, and hopefully by April, getting some exercise has become an indispensable habit that I'll continue for the rest of the year and beyond.</p> <h2>3. Be Accountable to Someone You Don't Want to Let Down</h2> <p>Having to tell someone whose opinion you respect when you've succeeded (or failed) is a big incentive.</p> <p>Remember that deadline? You can combine tips two and three into one &quot;I finally accomplished a resolution!&quot; party. Make that date <em>at the beginning</em> of the year!</p> <p>For me, I'm being accountable to you, the Internet. I figure you, dear Internet, are the scariest person I can be accountable to. God help me.</p> <h2>4. Use the Buddy System</h2> <p>The buddy system works for keeping us safe. It also works for keeping us motivated.&nbsp;Find a friend who wants what you want. Both of you now have a fighting chance of keeping this year's resolution.</p> <p>I have a buddy for both resolutions. There's plenty of people looking to quit smoking and/or get more exercise.</p> <h2>5. Do a 30 Day Challenge</h2> <p>I learned about the 30 day challenge from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/04/30-days-to-success/">Steve Pavlina</a>. It's a way to trick yourself into not being scared of the commitment. Steve says,</p> <blockquote><p>It seems too overwhelming to think about making a big change and sticking with it every day for the rest of your life when you&rsquo;re still habituated to doing the opposite. The more you think about the change as something permanent, the more you stay put.</p> </blockquote> <p>That summarizes how I feel about the quit smoking challenge. I love smoking. It's great after a meal. Or in the mornings with a soy latte and the New York Times. Trade that in for mood swings and cravings so strong I want to claw my eyes out? That's crazy talk.</p> <p>I'm using the 30 day challenge to track the nicotine intake. To break it down into a manageable chunk. I'm not going to be smoke free every day, but 30 consecutive smoke free days within the first three months is doable. One month, four weeks, 30 days. No biggie.</p> <h2>6. Visualize the Result</h2> <p>Why are you making this resolution? It's not because you suddenly hate chocolate and all things sugary. It's because you want to fit into those jeans. More than that, it's because you want the sweet ego-boosting adulation from all those around. Think about the sweet adulation, not the velvety sweetness of cheesecake.</p> <p>For me, the goal is to not be out of breath walking from my car up the stairs to my apartment. That's not a very sexy goal to visualize, so I imagine myself chasing down a purse snatcher and being everybody's hero. And not coughing up a lung every morning.</p> <h2>7. Reward Yourself</h2> <p>Give yourself something awesome to look forward to.&nbsp;If you're quitting smoking, calculate how much money you saved and splurge on yourself.</p> <p>I spent roughly $700 on cigarettes a year. At the end of the year, I'm going to take that money and buy my friends a nice meal. (I seem to have Andrea's <a href="/can-i-conquer-my-vanity-for-the-sake-of-my-sanity">selfish need to be selfless</a>.)</p> <p>I'm picturing a fat, juicy filet, medium rare, and a side of sweet potato casserole (with pecan crust) at <a href="http://www.ruthschris.com">Ruth's Chris</a>.</p> <h2>8. Start Rright Away</h2> <p>If you don't start on January 1, your chance of success drops. So start immediately!</p> <p>I think starting on the January 2 is okay. We'll need a day off to recover from the hangover. Don't put it off too long, or you'll be making the same resolution next year.</p> <p>I have a sneaking suspicion I have some kind of attention deficit disorder, though never formally diagnosed. If I put something off for a couple of days, forget about it. Seriously, just forget about it. It's gone forever.</p> <p>If you need some ideas, here are the top 10 New Year's resolutions.</p> <ol> <li>Lose Weight and Get in Better Physical Shape</li> <li>Stick to a Budget</li> <li>Debt Reduction</li> <li>Enjoy More Quality Time with Family &amp; Friends</li> <li>Find My Soul Mate</li> <li>Quit Smoking</li> <li>Find a Better Job</li> <li>Learn Something New</li> <li>Volunteer and Help Others</li> <li>Get Organized</li> </ol> <p><em>What's your New <strike>Year's</strike> life resolution?</em><i><br /> </i></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/successful-new-years-resolutions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-restart-your-resolutions-this-spring">5 Ways to Restart Your Resolutions This Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-resolutions-how-much-will-your-new-exercise-routine-cost">Fitness Resolutions: How Much Will Your New Exercise Routine Cost?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Personal Development exercise New Year's quit smoking resolutions Fri, 29 Dec 2006 09:02:33 +0000 Greg Go 109 at http://www.wisebread.com