Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Making A Resolution That Suits You


With the best intentions and a sincere wish for a better future, many people make New Year's Resolutions to kick off the New Year. Many of us promise ourselves each year that will definitely will follow through, only to struggle and give up fairly early on in the game. If you are serious about resolutions, it is imperative that you set yourself up for success by making resolutions that are both achievable and worthy of excitement.

Tips for Choosing Achievable Resolutions

When selecting a resolution, there are some simple guidelines that will improve your chances for success. First and foremost it is crucial that you pick resolutions that you can get truly excited about day after day. Focusing on one very important resolution works better than making too many resolutions where you scatter your efforts too thin. Also, it is critical that you do not select competing resolutions that will conflict with each other. For example, if I chose to exercise daily and write a blog post a day I may not have time to do both EVERYDAY. In the long run I would probably not be able to give 100% for either resolution. Therefore, by selecting just one obtainable and realistic resolution, you will be apt to stick with it for 365 days.

The reason behind the resolution must be compelling enough to keep you motivated. The commitment required to follow through on a resolution is substantial, so the resolution should be inspired personally instead of a suggestion from others. For example, if your parents are pushing you to get a graduate degree, but it is their idea and not yours, the resolution is probably going to fail.

How to Keep the Resolution Alive

Once an important resolution has been selected, the success will depend upon a person's ability to stay motivated when the going gets tough. One suggestion for staying pumped up to stay the course is to create a plan for success. Writing down goals that lead to the resolution is one way to make a task manageable. For instance, if you want to lose 40 pounds, it is better to set a goal for 5 pounds at a time. This is a bite-sized goal that can be measured and obtained in a relatively short period of time. By tasting the sweetness of success quickly, it is easier to stay motivated for the other 35 pounds.

A great way to keep you motivated is to set up a rewards system. I saw this neat idea on Pinterest for people trying to loose weight, or just go to the gym on a regular basis. All you do is take an empty jar or can and each time you go to the gym you place a one dollar bill, (a quarter, nickel or dime would work also), in the jar. Set a goal of reaching a certain amount of money, lets say $20 or so, and then take the money out and buy yourself something special. Rewarding yourself for meeting smaller goals will lead to ultimate success.

Conclusion

Making and keeping resolutions can greatly improve your quality of life. Since resolutions are nothing more than life goals, this activity has the potential to drastically improve life. Setting goals is one of the ways that achievers manage life and continue growing.  There is no reason to wait until December 31st to make a resolution to improve your life, however it is a good place to start. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY Christmas Decorations: Elegance Without the Price Tag



For a couple of years now I have enjoyed decorating my own home for each season and holiday. However, decorations don’t always come cheap. So, instead of buying all of my decorations this year, I chose to put on my ‘creative cap’ and think of some ideas of how to spice up my home and give it that warm cozy feeling for the holidays without breaking my bank account!

Here are a few of the projects I did that will look spectacular in anyone’s home:

Centerpiece for the Dining Room Table

We all know the centerpiece of the dining room table will be looked at by all of our guests and who wouldn’t want that jaw dropping, stop in your tracks b-e-a-utiful piece? I DO! So I decided to keep is simple this year. Simple is elegant. Elegant is classy, and classy usually means money- but not this time! Here’s what you need:

·       A Clear plastic or glass vase,
·       ornaments (I like to use sparkly and shiny ornaments)
·       ribbon (to match the ornaments).


 All you do is fill the vase with the ornaments and glue the ribbon to the bottom of the vase about 2 inches from the bottom. I found that silver and gold ornaments with matching ribbon turns out the best and looks the most chic.


Candles

Spice up your end tables with a few candles. All you need is:

·       Various sized red candles (height and width is up to you)
·       Candy canes (unwrapped)
·       Hot Glue
·       Red Ribbon (optional)

These items can be bought at the dollar store costing less than $10 for this candle project. Start by breaking the candy canes into even sized pieces that will reach about ½ - ¾ of the way up the candle. You will need enough candy canes to go around each of the candles. Glue the candy canes vertically to the side of the candle until the candle is covered. The top portion of the candle should be the area left open. If you want to add a little something extra, tie a red ribbon around the candy canes.






*Candy Canes can also be glued to the sides or vases for decorating bouquets, like this one I found on Christy Stewart-Bright's  Pinterest! 

Flowers/ Plants

Instead of buying expensive potted plants that will only last a couple of weeks to a month, if you’re lucky, find fake plants and flowers and pot them yourself. This will allow you to reuse them year after year. You can also mix and match flowers each year to create a whole different look! Since I like the glitz and the glam, I chose to buy gold leaves to place in a glass vase and covered them with gold glitter. Plants and flowers bring that cozy, warm feeling into your home.  


By sticking to a simple color scheme through out the main rooms of your home, like red, gold and silver, or gold, black, green and white, you will maintain a sense of consistency and create a feeling of cohesiveness when guests are visiting. There are always great sales on d├ęcor after the holidays, so if you plan ahead for next season… you will be sure to get the best deal!