Tag: new year

6 Ideas for a New You in the New Year

The new year is the perfect time to hit the reset button and get a fresh start. Here are six resolution ideas, plus tools and strategies for accomplishing each:

Read More: Want to read more but never seem to have an opportunity to curl up with a good book? Downloading audiobooks and listening to them during commutes and workouts can be the perfect way to “read” when you don’t have dedicated time in your day.

Get Fit: Working out more is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make. To get this one to stick, consider tools that will make reaching your goals more fun. The latest additions to the G-SHOCK Women’s lineup of sports watches are a good example of how wearable tech can support fitness goals. The GMAB800 Pro Trainer Watch connects to a phone app, which provides access to a number of health and fitness functions, including a three-axis accelerometer that keeps track of step counts, a timer that lets you create up to 20 combinations of five timers each, memory for up to 200 lap records and more.

Control Spending: It’s all too easy to spend more than one has or should in any given day, week or month. Use digital apps to create a budget and stick to it. Find one that will actually send you push notifications when you’ve exceeded your limits.

Make Music: Whether learning to play for the first time or resolving to create your own compositions, new tools can support your efforts. The CT-S300 keyboard from Casio not only connects to an app offering lessons in how to play your favorite songs, but the instrument’s dance music mode lets you create and remix electronic dance music tracks, as well as use the keys to trigger drum loops, basslines, synth parts, effects, transitions and more. Bonus benefits: learning to play keyboard will improve hand-eye coordination and stimulate cognitive brain activity.

Declutter: The act of decluttering your home is important, however it can seem daunting, making this one resolution that many people make but don’t keep. Rather than assume you need to dedicate an entire day or weekend to tidy up, block out just five to 10 minutes a day to clear out small areas. Before you know it, you’ll start to see some major improvements. You can even make it fun by putting on music and cleaning for three-song segments at a time.

Hone Your Math Skills: Whether you’re in school and looking to boost your grades or your formal math education is well behind you, it’s never too late to hone your skills. And a great calculator, such as the fx-9860 from Casio, can help you not only become a more efficient mathematician, but one who really understands the concepts behind his or her calculations.

This New Year, don’t get caught in a rut. New tools and fun strategies can help motivate you to try new hobbies, sharpen your skills and improve your life.

3 Strategies That Can Help You Achieve Your Goals in the Year Ahead

When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, many people are living it up and toasting the dawn of a new year. Come the afternoon of January 1, those same people might have shifted their focus to the year ahead.

January is a great time to set professional and personal goals. Setting goals can have a greater impact than people may know. Studies examining the importance of setting goals are few and far between, and some have even been revealed as fallacies after being accepted as authentic for years. But a 1979 study that asked newly minted Harvard MBA graduates about setting goals found that 13 percent had set goals. When interviewers followed up with survey participants a decade later, they found that the 13 percent who had set goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent of participants who had set no specific goals at all.

While there’s no universal formula for success, successful people often cite the importance of setting goals and how doing so was integral to their success. The following are some strategies that may help people achieve their goals in the years ahead.

1. Make it a group effort.

A 2013 study from a University of Connecticut researcher found that there is a high level of correlation between users’ exercise activities and their participation in these digital health communities. Such communities served as motivating factors for people aiming to live healthier lives. Relying on others for support, insight and motivation can be a great way to achieve your goals, no matter what those goals are.

2. Set goals big and small.

No goal is too small, and no big goal should be considered beyond reach. In fact, achieving small goals can provide motivation and inspiration along the way to realizing your larger goals. Devise a one-month plan, a six-month plan and a 12-month plan for the year ahead. The one-year plan can serve as your big goal, while the one- and six-month plans can serve as small motivators and great ways to track your progress en route to achieving your larger goal.

3. Write down why you’re setting goals.

People set goals for various reasons, and writing down the reasons they’re pursuing their goals can serve as inspiration when challenges arise. For example, if you aspire to change careers to spend more time with your family, writing that down can provide motivation to keep looking for opportunities when a job search stalls or feels fruitless.

A new year is a great time to set goals. A handful of strategies can help people set their goals and keep them on track toward achieving them.

Celebrate Safely This New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate. But for hundreds of people each year, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day proves fatal. According to fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over the last five years an average of 300 people died in drunk driving fatalities between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Holiday celebrations, and New Year’s Eve festivities in particular, tend to include alcohol, raising the stakes during this festive yet too often fatal time of year.

The sobering statistics provided by the NHTSA don’t have to prevent people from toasting a new year. In fact, there are many ways to have fun this New Year’s Eve without putting yourself in harm’s way.

• Don’t overindulge in alcohol. For many people, overindulging in alcohol is part and parcel during New Year’s Eve celebrations. Such behavior puts everyone at risk, even people who don’t drive. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, conservative estimates suggest that roughly one-half of sexual assaults on American women involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim or both. While alcohol and its relationship to traffic fatalities draw the bulk of the attention on New Year’s Eve, even people who don’t intend to drive should recognize the dangers of overindulging in alcohol and drink responsibly.

• Arrange for transportation. If you need a car to get around on New Year’s Eve and plan to drink alcohol, arrange for someone else to do your driving for you. Groups of friends should choose someone to be their designated driver or pool their money and hire a taxi or bus service for the night so no one who’s been drinking gets behind the wheel. The NHTSA even offers a free app called SaferRide that is compatible with Apple and Android devices and enables users to call a taxi or a friend to be picked up.

• Host responsibly. Even people who don’t intend to leave their homes can take steps to make New Year’s Eve safer for everyone. If you’re hosting a party at home, do so responsibly, making sure none of your guests overindulge and making the party less about drinking and more about having fun. Shift the focus from toasting drinks to games and activities that don’t include alcohol. Make sure to have plenty of food and nonalcoholic beverages on hand and encourage people who are drinking to eat full meals and drink water throughout the night. People who fill up on food and water during the party may feel full, which may discourage them from having extra drinks. While many people will expect to drink alcohol on New Year’s Eve, don’t stock up on too much alcohol, the availability of which may encourage guests to overindulge. Hosts also should keep the phone numbers of local taxi services handy just in case some guests cannot drive themselves home safely.

New Year’s Eve should be as festive as possible. Celebrating responsibly can ensure everyone has a fun and safe time.

How to Make Your Favorite Foods Healthier

After the whirlwind of the holiday season, the season of resolutions takes over. Many people to resolve to live healthier, and they may not have to give up their favorite foods to do so. Research from the National Institutes of Health suggests American adults between the ages of 18 and 49 gain an average of one to two pounds every year. Grazing and overeating tends to increase when the weather cools down. A 2005 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that, in the fall, people tend to consume more calories, total fat and saturated fat. In the spring, people seem to prefer more carbohydrates. In addition, less powerful sunshine in winter coupled with people bundling up translates into less vitamin D being absorbed by the body. Some researchers believe there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and weight gain as well. To ensure that certain foods do not sabotage healthy eating plans, people can employ some easy modifications and make healthier versions of the foods they like to eat.

• Choose crunchy foods. Those who are prone to snacking can reach for noisy foods. These include crunchy items like apples, carrots and pretzels. Scientists say that when people listen to what they are chewing — called the “crunch effect” — they eat less of that item.

• Tone down the cream. Delicious dishes like fettuccine alfredo typically are made with lots of butter and cream. Replace cream sauces with a healthier base made of low-fat milk thickened with flour. Increase the flavor with favorite spices.

• Fry with care. Use healthy oils like olive or coconut sparingly. Many foods that are traditionally fried also can be lightly coated with cooking spray and baked for a crunchy texture.

• Choose sodium-free seasonings. The USCA recommends limiting sodium to less than 1 teaspoon of salt per day. Try options like fresh herbs or lemon juice to add some sodium-free flavor.

• Increase fiber content. Fiber helps one feel fuller longer and can also be helpful for digestion and heart health. Choose the “brown” varieties of rice, pasta and breads.

• Replace meat with leaner forms of protein. Lean chicken, turkey and pork can replace red meats in many recipes. Some traditional meat dishes, such as burgers, also can be modified using vegetables or seafood. Lean meats dry out quickly, so keep foods moist by watching cooking times.

• Stock up on yogurt. Greek and other varieties of yogurt can replace sour cream and mayonnaise in many dishes.

Resolving to eat healthier can be easy by making some simple swaps when preparing your favorite foods.

4 Steps to a Healthier You this New Year

Want to make resolutions you’ll keep this new year? Think simple, sustainable changes. Follow these four steps for a healthier you, inside and out.

Stick to Your Workout

After the holidays, the gym is filled with people who have resolved to incorporate exercise routines into their lives. Come February, the novelty of the new year wears off, life gets in the way and, according to “U.S. News & World Report,” 80 percent of resolutions fail by the second week of the month.

Instead of jumping from no routine to a seven-days-a-week commitment, introduce workouts to your schedule in small doses. Dread cardio or weight machines? Find something that you’ll look forward to, like a cycling class, yoga or outdoor pursuits. Choosing activities that you enjoy will increase your chances of sticking to your resolution.

Eat Smarter

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most Americans are falling short of their fruit and vegetable intake goals, and most eat only half the recommended amount of fiber. To increase your consumption of essential nutrients, create a grocery list packed with fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains.

Plan meals for the week to ensure you stick to a whole-food menu. Keep ingredients on hand for meals you can make in a pinch, so you’re not tempted by fast food on a busy day. Try frozen salmon fillets, which you can cook without thawing, or eggs, low-fat cheese and veggies for a quick-baking frittata.

Freeze individual servings of chopped fruits and vegetables in resealable bags to create quick and delicious smoothies each morning in a high-powered blender, such as the Vitamix E310 Explorian Series machine. For a satisfying, energy-boosting snack, use your blender to pre-make Dried Fruit Chia Bars or White Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls.

Stress Less

Stress can have adverse effects on minds and bodies, as insomnia, weight gain, anxiety and depression are all potential related risks. While it isn’t always avoidable, simple changes will help you manage tension.

Sometimes, stress can be solved with some “me time.” Treat yourself to a massage or manicure, soak in a hot bath, or unwind with a nature walk. Connecting with others can help, too. Plan a brunch with your best friend or a date night with your significant other.

Feeling overwhelmed with work and family life? Build out a to-do list or calendar to feel more in control of your busy schedule, then cross items off the list when completed.

Practice Positivity

A sunny outlook can affect your wellbeing. Keep a gratitude journal by writing down something good that happens each day. On bad days, you’ll be forced to focus on the positive aspects of your life.

One of the best ways to improve your happiness is by giving others a boost. Volunteer with a charitable organization or donate to a favorite cause. Practice doing something kind daily.

This new year, take small steps to help you feel happier and healthier. (StatePoint)

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Holiday Budgeting Tips for Savvy Consumers

Sticking to one’s budget is important all year long, but doing so during the holiday season can be especially tricky, when expenses run high and festive cheer makes it difficult to put the brakes on over-spending.

To get a better handle on your spending this holiday season, consider the following simple tools and tips.

Make Plans

Decide exactly what your plans are for this season. Will you be traveling? Will you be hosting a dinner party? What does your holiday shopping list look like? Add budget line items for all the associated expenses and put a price cap on each one.

Add it Up

Seek out tools that help make the logistics of staying within budget simple, such as desktop and printing calculators like Casio’s HR-100TMPlus, a 12-digit printing calculator with a large, easy-to-read display. It is especially well-suited for organized budget planning, as it offers special keys for tax calculations and has two-color printing, enabling shoppers to color code positive entries as black and deductions or purchases as red. For additional information on Casio’s portfolio of calculators, visit Casio.com.

Take Steps to Save

Make more space in your budget during the holiday season with smart strategies. Use free apps to help you score deep discounts on favorite retailers. If you’re crafty or handy, consider DIY-ing certain gift items and greeting cards. Suggest a day of volunteer service at your workplace in lieu of a gift exchange.

Don’t Get Impulsive

When you’re in the store aisles, it’s easy to make impulse purchases, particularly during the holidays when every display is designed to make you spend. Make a shopping list and then adhere to it.

To start 2018 on the right foot, spend no more than what you intended to using tech tools and smart strategies.​​​​​​ (StatePoint)

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Home Trends In 2016

Trends in home remodeling and decor tend to come and go. Something that is popular for a little while can fall out of favor when the next new idea comes along. New trends are always on the horizon, and 2016 may encourage homeowners to try something new.

· Metallics and metals are back. Although stainless steel accents in the kitchen have long been popular, the glistening look of metal and metallic shades are back in a big way. Inspired by the 1950s and 1970s, brass, gold and metallic finishes are popular right now.

· Texture: Texture is a big component of interior design. Furniture and accessories featuring faux fur and natural fibers are becoming popular. Pieces adorned with cozy materials can seem more inviting. Organic shapes, such as tables looking like the tree trunk they were cut from, also are expected to become more popular.

· Artisanal touches in accessories: It’s all about getting back to basics, with homeowners desiring pieces that are one-of-a-kind and handmade rather than mass-produced. Expect to see more accessories that are made by hand or in small batches, like pottery or handwoven textiles, as homeowners are increasingly turning to independent artists and artisans when decorating their homes. Homeowners can even support independent artists when choosing art for their homes. For example, YourArtGallery.com provides an online marketplace for artists to showcase and sell their work, and buyers looking to support independent artists can rest easy knowing that 90 percent of all image royalties go directly to the artist, a stark contrast to the roughly 50 percent offered by more traditional galleries.

· Fabric on the walls: Walls also will be covered in texture and pattern. Textiles will increasingly turn up on walls and in places they haven’t traditionally been seen. Patterns may lean toward floral, tropical and indigenous artisan weaving designs.

· Pinks and blues: Expect to see pale pink and blue in various design applications. The Pantone Color Institute® released a blending of two colors, Rose Quartz and Serenity, as their 2016 Color of the Year. This has impacted color trends through all areas of design – including home touches. These colors pair well with mid-tones, like browns and greens, as well as the increasingly popular metallics.

· Smart homes: Technology is changing the way people look at their homes. Water-resistant music systems for the bathroom, wirelessly operated Bluetooth devices that turn on lights or appliances from a smartphone and even fixtures that use technology to self-clean are turning up more and more.

Home decor trends are always changing, adding new life to homes and keeping armchair interior decorators on their toes.


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Top Organizing Tips

Tired of clutter? Can’t find what you need? Time to get organized! Getting organized can be simpler than it seems. Here is some top advice we found when it comes to getting back on track!

*Vacuum seal bulky items like winter sweaters and blankets during the summer to save space!

*Declutter your countertop by adding hanging utensil containers from the kitchen wall & magnet spice holders on the fridge!

*Consider re-selling or donating gently used items to a local charity

*Tackle the junk drawer! Use a silverware holder to organize miscellaneous items.

Ways to Save Money In the New Year

Best Buys for the New Year!

Smart shopping involves making budget-friendly purchases. Never paying full price is a mantra shoppers can follow to help keep their finances in check.

In addition to coupons and other discounts, shoppers can usually score deals based on which time of year they shop for particular items. Each year, various consumer resources offer advice on the best time to buy certain items.

The beginning of the year is often an ideal time to purchase certain items. Consumers who take advantage of sales offered at the start of the new year can save substantial amounts of money. Now that the holiday season has passed, consumers can begin to find deals on items for themselves.


· Clothing: Post-Christmas sales are booming, and stores are looking to sell what’s left of their inventories to make room for spring and summer selections. Even though the weather outside is still cold, sweaters, pants, coats, and more are usually available at a discount come January. It may take some digging through the racks, but there’s an excellent chance to discover some great items.

· Boats: Wintertime is boat show season, but it’s also the offseason for boaters who live in cooler climates. These factors combine to make it easier and less expensive to find a new boat. According to boat-buying retailer Boatline, consumers can probably get one of last year’s models at a good price.

· Air conditioners: If the warm-weather season was particularly steamy this past year, it might be time to revamp the HVAC system or invest in some new portable units. Bankrate offers that the first few months of the year are prime times to shop for air conditioners. While you may not get the latest model, it’s likely you can find a reliable unit at below-market cost.

· Theater tickets: January and February are not especially busy seasons for theaters, which means there will be greater opportunity to get discounted seats for many popular shows.

· Linens and bedding: John Wannamaker was a retail entrepreneur and had a few department stores in New York and Philadelphia. Wannamakers held the first “white sale” in 1878, and since then many stores have continued the tradition. January is a great month to buy towels, sheets, bedspreads, and more at a discount.

· Motorcycles: Riding a motorcycle is a fair-weather hobby, and retailers are aware of this. The easy riders of tomorrow might be able to find great deals today.

· Video games: Those who haven’t purchased their fill of video games for the holidays can benefit from post-holiday drops in price.

· Furniture: Many furniture manufacturers begin to churn out new inventory in February, so last season’s items will need to move quickly. Shoppers can often negotiate some good deals now and upgrade their homes’ decor.

· Wedding-related services: Couples who don’t mind the chilly weather can enjoy steep savings by hosting their weddings in January. Spring and summer are by far the more popular seasons to tie the knot, but reception halls, musical acts, florists, and other vendors may heavily discount their services in winter.


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YMCA Membership GiveAway! Ends 1/23

Don’t miss out on your chance to Win! The Franklin Shopper is hosting another fantastic – Free Giveaway – along with your local YMCA!

ENTER ONLINE – CLICK HERE

One lucky Winner will receive a 1 Year Family Membership to the Chambersburg YMCA!

Enter once daily by Friday, January 23 @ 5:00pm. View official rules.

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