As I work on getting my desk, house and life more organized for this new year, I ran across a list that has really helped me. I thought you might like to use it too. Print it off or rewrite it to suit you and keep it close by your desk. Then, when you know you have things you need to do but can’t think of what they are, take a glance at this list!
Appointments to Book – Doctor / grooming / upcoming trips / family outings / people I need to see / parties to plan / classes or courses to take / physical fitness
Things to Do – Store returns / organizing projects / gifts cards to use / volunteer projects / calls and e-mails to return / notes to send / sales to watch for
Things to Fix – Handyman tasks / clothes to mend / shoe repair / car maintenance
Things to See / Read / Try – Movies / TV series / books / Bible studies / exhibitions / museums / restaurants
Things to Buy – For the family and for me / home & garden / bulk items / gifts / groceries
Things to Research – Destinations / camps / colleges / hope, dreams and adventures
Reproduced from Real Simple, January 2011. For a printable version of this list, go to www.realsimple.com/todolist
As we continue on into this new year, one thing we need to do is to stay on the path that God has for us. This is easy to say yet can be hard to do. But there is a verse in Isaiah that is such a blessing to me:
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Isaiah 30:21 NIV
God wants to be with you and guide you every day.
January is known as a ‘blue’ month – where people are more prone to feeling blue or depressed. There is less sunshine, we are inside more because of the weather and so we aren’t with other people as much. Are you feeling blue? Try yoga! A new study from Boston University School of Medicine found that yoga boosted mood more effectively than walking. Doing an hour of yoga three times a week for 12 weeks increased GABA levels by 13 percent, as measured in the study’s healthy participant’s right after a session. GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain, is lower in people who are depressed; levels rise with the use of meds. The walkers showed no significant increase in GABA levels. “This is the first study to find a behavioral intervention – yoga, in this case – that has an effect on brain chemistry similar to that of antidepressants,” says study author Chris Streeter, M.D.
There really are some easy ways to cut calories! How much you eat is greatly influenced by how you store and serve your food. Here are some examples that really changed how much people actually ate in a test group at the University of Illinois:
1. Serve dinner on smaller (9 or 10-inch) plates. You will eat up to 22% less!
2. Use tall, thin glasses instead of short, wide ones. You will pour 29% less!!
3. Store all your snacks in small single-serving food-storage bags. You will eat up to 20 % less!
4. Keep the main serving dishes on the stove or counter. You will eat 19 % less than if you kept the food on the table.
5. Eat snacks, as popcorn, from a smaller bag. You will eat 34% more than if given a huge bucket.
I think it is important to read and keep up with what is happening in your financial life. Suze Orman has some wonderful tips that I feel can help us.
She has a consistent theme with how to use money: attack your debt; have a plan for retirement; take control of your money. She also just came out with “4 Things to Know in the New Year” that I am reprinting from the Dallas Morning News:
1. Dividend-paying stocks are the way to go. She feels that bonds are over at this time and “you’re better off in good, quality stocks that pay high dividend yields – 4, 5, or 6 percent – where the dividends are safe and secure and apt to go up rather than be eliminated.”
2. A Roth IRA can be used as an emergency fund.
3. Credit cards issued by credit unions can be much less expensive. You can find one at: www.creditcardconnection.org
4. Term life insurance can save families with private student loans from financial ruin if the child dies, for you will still have to pay back the loan.