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Would you be surprised to learn that the number one New Year's resolution is to lose weight? Probably not.

Staying fit definitely belongs high on the list of personal priorities. But in the quest to shed those unwanted pounds, we often overlook other important factors that are essential to our wellbeing. Yes, we all want to look good, and we care about how others perceive us. But we shouldn't let weight and body image issues get in the way of more important resolutions.

Therefore, I propose that we make the rest of 2009 the year to focus on what's really important. Financial freedom should top the list, since it allows us more time to concentrate on our vanity. Especially now, during the time of economic adversity, we need to know where we stand. With that in mind, here are my top priorities, which I make a point to review on an annual basis:      


1. Life insurance. If you purchased a policy 10 years ago, it's time to upgrade. Otherwise, the death benefit may not be sufficient to cover expenses and still leave enough for your loved ones if you should pass away.

2. Estate planning. Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily activities, many people decide that estate planning can wait just a little longer. Others can't bring themselves to address that fact that they will not live forever, and simply refuse to complete this essential task. Ladies, let me assure you that you will feel much more confident and less concerned for your loved ones once this chore is out of the way.

3. Saving money. No one likes to feel constrained by a budget. However, most of us need one to manage our money properly. Sit down and figure out all your expenses, then set a goal of saving 10 percent of your income. As you successfully figure out how to do this, increase the percentage every six months.

4. Building wealth. Now that you are saving money, you need to figure out what to do with it. (Shopping is not an option!) Here's where a good financial planner can help. Ask your friends and relatives who they would recommend. Get several names. and interview at least three before making your final choice.

5. Retirement. Watch your pension, 410K and IRA plans like a hawk!  Yes, I know the market is down, and what you see might be very depressing, however you need to know your options. Start by having your financial planner explain your investment. Then review the investment with your planner every six months, and keep an eye on it quarterly. You don't have to be a financial genius to understand your investment. But you must pay attention to your money if you want it to work for you.

6.Education. Evaluate your job to determine what you can do to educate yourself and move forward in your career. Knowledge is power, and persistence is the key.

7.Reduce stress. Find out what makes you happy and calm. A yoga class? An evening with friends? A jog in the park or a walk with a dog? Reducing stress doesn't have to be stressful. Identify what works for you and make it part of your daily routine.

8.Taking a trip. Start planning ahead of time. Choosing a destination and booking far in advance can save you hundreds of dollars and give you something to look forward to.

9.Stop the habit. If you're still puffing on that cigarette, the time has come to give it up. Yes, it's a lot easier said than done, but support groups, nicotine patches and other tools can help you pull through. If I can do it, anyone can do it!

10.Volunteering. Find out how you can make a difference in someone's life, and take your children along on the ride. Let's teach our kids that volunteers make the world a better place.

These 10 tips can serve as an outline for your New Years resolutions. Once you've settled on your top priorities, write down your goals, review them on a daily basis, and take appropriate action. This will greatly improve your chances of achieving your goals.

May all of your goals and dreams come true in 2009!



Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rene' Grandon wrote Jan 28, 2009
    • No resolutions for me ,but I appreciate the tips,very helpful. I hope your new year is really going GREAT.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robinesque wrote Jan 28, 2009
    • WHAT resolutions?

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Btcsweets wrote Jan 28, 2009
    • There's more to life than our dress size, so losing weight should not necessarily be the goal; better health is a better target...and I think it's great that we think about our lives as a whole package and keep moving in the right direction.  I keep my resolutions kind of general so I don't beat myself up when I don't always live up to them perfectly.    

      I also like your recommendations about getting our financial house in order.   As women, we tend to put other people first, but it’s important that we put ourselves on the top of the priority list; then we can do an even better job of taking care of others.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dee Dee Shaw wrote Jan 28, 2009
    • Thanks Yana,
      We tend to live the American way. You know, live for today, spend what you make (and then some) and don’t plan for the future. It is part of the reason our country is in such a mess. We want instant gratification.
      This is definitely going to be a year of intense focus for me. I have acheived some of the left over goals from last year. As January comes to an end, I can say that I making progress. Some of the things you listed are things we attended to when we prepared for a move. Now that I am regrouping from that, I really need to focus on 6-10 a little more.
      Thankfully for me being healthy, maintaining ideal weight/shape and financial freedom go hand and hand, even more so now that we have an Economic Stimulus plan to offer people.
      2009 is my year to Shine, not whine. I am over it. LOL

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dennie05 wrote Feb 2, 2009
    • I think I forgot what my resolutions were...opps!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Onevision wrote Feb 3, 2009
    • btcsweets:

      I agree with you! My resolution was to not each at a McDonald’s this year. Next year I’ll go for all fast food. Healthy is so much better for me than focusing on skinny.

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