Ring Out The Old Habits First

In his twenties, Benjamin Franklin, a Founding Father of the United States, set out to achieve "moral perfection." He identified what he considered to be the core virtues for a person of character, wrote them down, and dedicated himself to acquiring them.

However, his early efforts at self-improvement taught him that good intentions were not enough.

According to Franklin, "Habits take advantage of inattention. While my attention was taken up and care employed in guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another. . . I concluded at length that the mere speculative conviction that it was in our interest to be completely virtuous was not sufficient to prevent our slipping, and that the contrary habit must be broken and the good ones acquired and established before we can have any dependence on a steady, uniform rectitude of conduct."

Franklin was saying that we must break old habits before acquiring new ones. This suggests that to-do lists, resolutions, and goals are often doomed unless we acknowledge what's holding our old habits in place. We must work to counter old habits if we hope to adopt new ones.

For example, if we wish to lose 30 pounds, we must adopt new habits of diet and exercise. But first, we must examine all the habits that made us 30 pounds overweight, then break each of those habits one by one.

This may or may not work for you, but it is an interesting way to examine this year's New Year's resolutions!

Who Invented New Year’s Resolutions?

The tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates all the way back to 153 B.C. when January was named the first month after Janus, a mythical god of early Rome. Janus was often depicted with two faces — one looking forward, one looking backward. This allowed him to look back on the past and forward toward the future.

The Romans believed Janus could forgive them for their wrongdoings in the previous year. They would then make promises, believing Janus would see this and bless them in the year ahead. Those promises are the origin of our New Year’s Resolutions today.

How to Wake Up Feeling More Refreshed

Most of us have experienced bouts of insomnia that make it difficult to get up in the morning. But for some people, waking up throughout the night is a continuous problem. Here are a few suggestions for improving your sleep and giving yourself more energy in the morning:

· Shut off all electronics at least one hour before bed. Studies have shown that electronics keep the mind active longer than other forms of mental stimulation.

· Do a sleep hygiene assessment on your home. Do you have blackout drapes? Are all LED and other small lights turned off or covered? Do you have a source of white noise, like a fan? Is your pillow and bedding comfortable? Do you need a new mattress?

· Exercise vigorously during the day, but not within two hours of bedtime. Take a walk after dinner to help with digestion, which can also keep you somewhat awake.

· Don't load up on carbohydrates at or after dinner. Digesting carbohydrates tends to spike the energy in your body.

· Sit up and read a book in bed until you start to feel sleepy. Don't push past the sleepiness. Instead, put the book down and turn off the light.

Low Cost Home Fixes With High ROI

Typically, lower cost improvements have higher returns than higher end remodeling jobs. Adding a new, more modern sink faucet and lighting fixture updates a home quickly and inexpensively. New countertops, updated appliances, and fresh paint do wonders for your kitchen, even if you don't replace the cabinets. Even unnoticed features, like improved insulation, upgraded plumbing, treated wood rot, and refreshed bathroom tile grout can make you--and potential buyers--feel subconsciously better about a house. And don't forget updating your exterior landscaping, front door, exterior lighting, and paint.

Analyze Your Fear Of Finances

We’re all plagued with fears about many things, but money can be a source of persistent and all-consuming anxiety. Financial expert Suze Orman offers this advice for analyzing your fears about money:

First, grab a pen and a piece of paper and write your thoughts down. Then read them out loud to yourself. Does your fear make sense to you? Is it connected to some past experience that you had, possibly in your childhood? Once you’ve made connections to your past and how it affects you in the present in respect to money, you can start creating a new belief system and a better way of relating to your finances.


Benefits Of Rising Early

One of the easiest ways to improve your life might be simply resetting your alarm clock. Here are some of the benefits that early risers seem to have over night owls.

· A 2008 Texas University study showed that college students who identified themselves as "morning people" earned a full GPA point higher than those who called themselves "night owls."

· A Harvard biologist discovered that early risers are more proactive, and more likely to agree with the phrase "I feel in charge of making things happen."

· The same biologist revealed that "morning people" are more likely to anticipate and then minimize problems.

· Early risers are healthier, primarily because they use morning time to exercise.

· Morning people are linked more often with traits like optimism, generosity, satisfaction, and conscientiousness.

· Early risers tend to be wealthier. There's a reason for the phrase "The early bird gets the worm."

Second Career Ideas For Retirees

Millions of retirees are launching a second career in their 60s, 70s and even 80s. A whopping 74 percent of workers plan to get a new job after they retire, according to the annual retirement expectations survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Regardless of age or need, it's a tricky time to change careers. Even so, there are plenty of intriguing job sectors for retirees who want to put their hard-won expertise to work or try something completely different.

· Migrate your mangement, boardroom, or c-suite skills from the business world to the nonprofit sector.

· Teach. Education, whether in the grade schools, college, or adult training world will always be in demand, and educators with some age on them tend to be valued more than in other sectors.

· The home health care industry will more than value your contribution.

· If you have any knack for writing, the freelance writing world has vast possibilities.