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Safety Pro

New Year's with a Smile

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12/01/2012 - The holiday season often brings a scurry of activity and a sense of something new in the air. For me, that activity is eating. The average American gains 12 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's, so I do a LOT of eating. The 'new' is often the list of New Year's 'resolutions.'

Each year we promise to improve our lives then wait until the next year to review the list and see how well we did (or didn't do). So, here are some pointers to help succeed.

First, don't treat your resolution like an annual appraisal. Change what you can now, don't wait. If the resolution will make your quality of life better, any positive movement is a step in the right direction. Don't just simply give up.

Second, keep your resolution(s) simple. Remember the movie, 'What About Bob?' Take baby steps and choose realistic short-term goals to help you reach a longer-term goal. Then renew your goals. In other words, it is easier to keep (or recover from) a one-week goal than a one-year goal.

Third, choose goals that you can do with someone else so each person is accountable to the other. If accountability alone is not enough, create some friendly competition or team awards to celebrate successes.

Finally, choose goals that actually matter. If the resolution can impact you or your family's life, you are more apt to keep it rather than blow it off.

So, are you at a loss for what to go after this year? Here are five for you to try. Attempting to follow a laundry list will wear you down and frustrate you quickly.

1. Finances make and follow a budget. Not having a budget is the main reason why people run out of money before running out of month. That stress will kill you!

2. Health need to lose some of those holiday calories? Cutting back 500 calories each day from your normal eating habits is easy to do without going through food withdrawal. Do NOT go on a radical or extreme diet.

3. Nutrition stay balanced with your food intake. Get a little more protein, a little more fiber, a little more fruit as replacements (not in addition to) some of those great-tasting, heart-killing processed carbs. Small changes are easy and significant.

4. Exercise you knew it had to be in here, right? Walk more. Parking at the far end of the Wal-Mart parking lot rather than fighting for front row has a number of benefits, including lowering 'bad' cholesterol, lowering weight, reducing stress. Fifteen minutes each day is better than none.

5. Safety Buckle you and your kids when traveling; check (or install) smoke detectors; no unsafe shortcuts.

You get the idea. Do not ever compromise your own or your family's quality of life it may rob you of life itself! We all must be responsible and set a good example for our kids. Protect you and yours in these areas you can control to remain safe at home.

Randy DeVaul is an internationally published writer and author with more than 30 years' experience in safety and emergency response services. Comments welcome at safetypro@roadrunner.com .

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