3…2…1… Happy New Year!
Have you ever welcomed in the New Year with a resolution? According to Statistic Brain, 45% of Americans make a New Years Resolution each year.

What are the top five resolutions for Americans, anyways?

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Number 5 is staying fit and healthy. After the past 2 months of stuffing turkey, ham, every casserole you could think of, the most delicious pies and cobblers in existence, and of course cookies, cookies, and more cookies into your mouth, it does seem like a good idea to put back on the tennis shoes and give your digestive system a good cleanse. Eating Well has some delicious easy and healthy recipes for any budget to get yourself back on track!

Number 4 is to enjoy life to the fullest. It seems like just yesterday, we were sitting at the table carving the turkey. The holidays fly by! It seems like the more that gets put on the calendar, the faster the days go by. Busyness takes over and we forget to slow down and actually enjoy life. Maybe we should just throw the calendar out the window! For most of us, that is impossible. There is soccer practice, piano practice, dance class, soccer game, oh, and the neighbor’s birthday party. Phew. Zen Habits says that it is actually possible to get the “you-time” in that you need each week! One wonderful habit they say to start, if you have not already, are date-nights with your spouse! Make sure this gets put on the calendar before anything else does! Have at least one each month. Another great tip is to create your calendar first. Find a time in the morning and evening to start and end the day without the kiddos. This means wake-up before them and send them to bed early so that you have a chance to enjoy yourself. You can use this time to workout, read scripture, meditate, or maybe just sit down and watch a good T.V. show or read a good book. You can also create more time for yourself by making household chores a family activity each week; not necessarily your own responsibilities.

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Number 3 is to spend less and save more. If you have never heard of Dave Ramsey, he is “the guy” when it comes to dealing with that f-word…finances! Dave is a strong Christian man with amazing insights on how to grab hold of your finances and take control so that you are saving more money each week. If it has anything to do with money, spending, investing, or saving, he has tips and tricks to make you feel more satisfied and confident about your finances.

Number 2 is to get organized. The most frustrating thing is when you know you have seen something, you know, that thing you need right at that moment, but remembering where you saw it… huh. You open junk drawer number 1 and sift through the random assortment of gadgets, batteries, pens, and the duct tape you needed last weekend, but couldn’t find. You move to junk drawer number two, but no luck there. Then you face the dreaded closet; the one that you are afraid to open because an avalanche of who-knows-what is waiting behind a slight turn of the handle. Real Simple has some great tips on organizing those scary places in your home so that you can lose the fear of the dreaded closet. The first step is to have a family day specifically dedicated to cleaning out the closets and drawers and making a pile of anything that has not been touched or worn in 6 months. That Xbox game that has not been played in a year- see ya! The shirt you used to love, but it just does not fit right anymore. Yes, it is time to get rid of that one too. If it is taking up space in the closet and is no use to you, today, it is time to go! Depending on your pile of “stuff” you can either sell it or donate it. Once you get rid of the useless stuff, do not just throw what is left back in the drawer or closet. Instead, separate them into likes and neatly put them away. For example, one place for all of the shoes to go, unless going to your own closet. All the batteries gathered and placed in one drawer. Make sure they are easy to find this time so you do not have that frustrating, “I know I saw that somewhere” moment.

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Number 1 is, you guessed it, weight-loss. What is the most successful way to lose weight, anyways? We all hate hearing it, but it is not the powder you sprinkle on your french fries or the pill you take to burn off body fat. The most successful way to lose weight is, well, refer back to resolution number 5. Diet and exercise. Of course we go back to the most ancient from of weight-loss, but it is still the most successful to this date. There are many diets out there, but eating healthy portions and well-balanced meals is truly the best. There are some diets out there to guide you on the foods you should be eating, like Weight-Watchers or the Mediterranean diet. There are many ways to work-out as well, from popular work-out DVDs like PiYo and Insanity which allow you to work-out in your own home, or apps for the phone like Nike’s app called Running which will track your runs and workouts and help you achieve your goals. And do not forget the new Fitbit or iFit fitness trackers that work with your phone as well.

Although only 8% of Americans are successful in completing their resolutions, 46% are able to commit to an entire month, which is definitely enough to start some good habits. Even if you do not fully complete your resolution, there are other ways to measure success. The first step is to determine what success is, create a plan on reaching it, and stay determined to follow through! Most of the time, short-term goals are more successful than long-term, so start small to give yourself a an opportunity to succeed!