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BellaOnline's Senior Living Editor

New Year's Resolutions

You have transitioned into another new year. You've been bombarded with lists: the year's top movies, the pop charts countdown top 40, noteworthy news stories and best (and worst) dressed of the year lists. There is the announcement of Time Magazine's "person" of the year, Associated Press' athlete of the year and even the list of the most popular baby names of the year.

You have had your fill of college bowl games, bowl parades and rocking New Year's Eve celebrations along with NFL playoffs.

Retail sales have peaked with their markdowns to the point of near giveaways, end of the year sales and clearances. You have been tempted, caught and even broken down to shop and spend.

And now, winding down the first week you are examining those resolutions. You decided to: quit smoking; quit drinking; quit eating; start exercising; get organized; take a class; volunteer or get more involved in the community; loose weight; pay off debt; and spend more time with friends and family.

Does that list just about cover your resolutions for the new year?

Don't worry or feel guilty if you fallen short already. Resolution research reports that less than 10% of those who make resolutions keep them.

Maybe now is the time to think about your goals and determine just how realistic they are. Doing anything cold turkey or with an all-or-nothing mentality is setting yourself up for failure.

Consider making your resolutions manageable. Visualize there is a red velvet cake in front of you. Just as you will not devour the cake in its entirety; don't walk away completely and find yourself cursing the darkness (so to speak) the rest of the day. Take a very small piece. Look at it, smell it, and then s-l-o-w-l-y enjoy the portion before you.

Changing a lifestyle to include exercise, a class, or volunteering may not prove successful on your own. Consider a buddy who will coach you, check in on your progress or even join you; because sometimes two is more fun than one and much better than none...

You have examined your piles on your desk, in the closets or in the garage. Just starring at the piles head on is nearly as bad as being hit by a truck. So don't bite off more than you can chew. Attack your clutter one stack at a time. Add some music and maybe wood burning in the fireplace and set a timer to stay put for a short while and then exhale and acknowledge your progress.

Here is a tip that may be useful to you. Your closet floor is covered by 20 pair of shoes. If you bring in a new pair of shoes you just had to have because they were on sale... commit to lifting an old pair from the closet floor and donating them as quickly as possible. Adopt the SISO (stuff in stuff out) model. It really can work.

Now go out and make it a great new year!

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