Jan 14, 2014 Three Resolutions You Should Keep This Year

Making—and breaking—New Year’s Resolutions is a time honored tradition every January. We’ve all made them and we all know how depressing it can feel to hit February and realize we are never going to learn Mandarin, take a spin class or finish our 6-year-old’s baby book. Research shows almost 90% of resolutions will fail by January 31st of this year but here are three worth making—and keeping!

1. Step it up!
Losing weight is one of the most popular resolutions we make and usually the first one out the door when the local bakery has a buy one get one free sale on donuts. While commendable, setting a lofty weight loss goal without a specific action plan is a sure fire way to find a bearclaw in your hand come February.

This year, scale that resolution back and resolve to take just 2,000 more steps a day. According to the walking site, 2,000 steps equals an extra mile a day, which means roughly 100 extra calories burned. Seem like a pittance? That extra 100 calories could help you lose up to 12 pounds by 2015! Start by buying a pedometer and measuring how many steps you take on a regular day. If you’re like me, it’s a small, small number. Don’t get discouraged, get stepping! Park farther away at the grocery store. Take an extra water cooler break. March while you brush your teeth. It all adds up to a slimmer you this year.

2. Get the essentials.
We’re really hammering it hard this year—it’s time to get your estate documents in order. Getting an updated will, durable power of attorney, and health care directive now can save you and your loved ones time, money, and a lot of headaches down the road.

If sitting down with an attorney, however, and discussing your estate sounds about as fun as having a root canal, resolve to start small this year and get the one document most attorneys agree is the most important—a Durable Power of Attorney. This document grants your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact” the authority to act in your name. Depending on the authority granted in the Durable Power of Attorney your agent can make financial or health care decisions for you immediately or upon your disability.

3. Smile.
Could it be possible to smile your way to better health and a stress free life? According to a new study in Psychological Science, when your grandparents told you to “grin and bear it” they were on to something. The study suggests the act of smiling while in a stressful situation can actually improve your mood and reduce the intensity of your body’s natural stress response. The research showed the best results came from a full, natural smile, but participants who gave polite-smiles still saw some reduction in stress levels. So go ahead: say cheese, show those pearly whites, smile till your mouth hurts and have a happy, healthy 2014.

Sources: http://www.livestrong.com/article/18859-health-benefits-smiling/

The opinions expressed in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or
recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Leonard Rickey Investment Advisors, P.L.L.C, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial.

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