The first week of the New Year is drawing to a close—which means you still have time to make your New Year’s resolutions…
As moms, we’re always trying to find ways to improve our lives and the lives of our kids. The trick is to be realistic when setting your goals! Here are 4 of the most popular resolutions for the New Year and ways to make them totally doable!
1. Lose Weight To Gain…
For many women, the start of the New Year can herald daunting thoughts of weight loss. Instead of focusing on the scale, why not focus on what you will gain from a healthier lifestyle?
We’re loving Kellogg’s® Special K®’s new marketing campaign which encourages women to rethink their resolutions and imagine what they will gain when they achieve their weight-loss goals. It’s a really great way to focus your energy on the positive and ring in the New Year feeling refreshed and re-energized.
If you think about it, we all want to lose weight or get in shape for reasons far beyond looks.
So, what will you gain once you lose the weight? Confidence, energy, strength, a bigger smile?
What do you have to gain mom?
2. Learn Something New/Go Back To School
With access to the internet, we’re no longer restricted by time. We can learn at any time of the day or night. If you want to learn something new this year, or go back to school and earn your degree, an online course could be the answer you’re looking for. You can learn at your own pace from the privacy of your computer, in your own home.
Even if you only take one class a semester, you could earn your certificate, associate’s or even bachelor’s degree before you know it! Just imagine how good that would feel?!
CollegeForMoms.com is a free resource dedicated to helping busy moms who want to go back to school. Check them out to learn about scholarships and financial aid for moms, online classes and more.
3. Save Money/Get Out Of Debt
Gas prices are still through the roof, food prices aren’t far behind, the mortgage mess is continuing and the housing market is still tanking. Yes, 2011 was a dismal year—one that hit the housing market especially hard—but the good news is that there’s an optimistic outlook for 2012!
In 2009, President Barack Obama signed off on a plan to help homeowners with their monthly mortgage payments known as The Home Affordable Refinance Plan—HARP, for short—which allows Americans to refinance their homes at all-time low rates, and reduce the amount they owe by as much as $12,000 a year.
The good news is that the government has announced some major changes to its HARP program, which will take effect in 2012 to help the millions of Americans who did not qualify for the program before.
If you’re under water on your conventional mortgage, you may be eligible to refinance without paying down principal and without having to pay mortgage insurance.
You may be eligible for HARP if you meet all of the following criteria:
- The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
- The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
- The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
- The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
- The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with no late payment in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.
The HARP 2.0 program will end on 12/31/2013.
So if you think you might be eligible, we urge you to look into it—this is one resolution that’s easy to keep and could save you some major money!
4. Quit Smoking For Good
We all know smoking is bad for is. More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined! While that stat alone should be enough to make anyone shy away from a cigarette, let’s face it—it’s not. Quitting smoking is not easy! It’s hard work and it takes 100% dedication on your part to follow through with the plan. Here’s one of the best ways to get through the cravings:
Think of all the reasons why you want to quit. Promise yourself that you’ll do it. Tell yourself it’s okay to have mixed feelings. But don’t let that stop you.
Now, write down all the reasons why you want to quit and list ways to fight the urges. Think beyond health reasons, and think of:
- How much money you’ll save by not buying cigarettes
- Setting a better example for your children
- Living long enough to see your grandchildren
Tape a picture of your family to the top of your list. Keep copies of your list where you’ll see it most often, like:
- On your refrigerator
- In your wallet or purse
- In the kitchen
- In your car