I'd like to think I'm the kind of person who could kick a bad habit or change something about myself at any time. If I really want to do something, I'll do it, right?
While this idealistic mentality might work for some, for many, myself included, it helps to have some kind of marker to jump-start that change in behavior. New Years is obviously the most popular time to make such a change with the infamous resolution. During this first week of the new year, gym memberships surge, wallets are tightened, and goals are set for the coming year. But, can you keep them? Here are the top 13 resolutions made each year and how you can reasonably tackle them in 2012.
- Drink less alcohol. Everyone has indulged in far too many drinks in the past month between holiday parties, Christmas, New Years, the end of college football, and the beginning of the NBA...the list goes on. It seems there's always a reason to head out to the bars and celebrate something, but many people strive to cut back this time of year. Why not stock up on healthy juices or tea and coffee instead? Grab a deal for tea here or maybe even learn how to make your own juice with a new juicer.
- Eat healthy food. You know what they say -- never go to the grocery store hungry. That's what leads to Oreos and ice cream...at least in my case. Grocery delivery services like Peapod are the answer to impulse junk food buying, and we have coupons to help you keep fat in all the right places: like your wallet, silly! Because you'll avoid mindless browsing (like contemplating those cookies when you went to that isle for low carb whole wheat wraps), the processed cookies and sugary dairy foods will soon be in your rear view mirror.
- Get a better education. If you're looking for an education on becoming a smarter consumer, we're here to hold your hand. If it's a bachelors, masters, PhD or the like that you're seeking, we can help you save on supplies. After all, that's how this site began. We keep that tradition alive today with deals on textbook rentals, e-textbooks, and textbook discounts. We've even got a list of 40 stores with student discounts.
- Get a better job. Spend just a half hour each day searching for your dream job (just not while you're at work!) and you're sure to not only find jobs to apply for, but to also be able to discern what exactly you're looking for. Job listing site like Monster and Career Builder are free, and we've even got a deal on more exclusive recruiting sites like TheLadders.com.
- Get fit. You've only got five months to get that rockin' beach body back and how are you going to do it? With help from a reasonably priced local gym like 24 Hour Fitness if classes and equipment galore is your style, or if you're a fan of fitness in the privacy of your own home, score some steals on DVD workouts, home fitness machines. Either way, bags some new workout gear at a great price to get some motivation.
- Lose weight. If losing weight is really your goal, even though you tell everyone it's fitness, your secret is safe with us. The real trick to losing weight is a reduction in calorie consumption, and we have some deals on some sane programs to help steer you clear of those failure magnet one-grape-per-day diets. Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem are two tried and true programs currently offering New Years savings. Plus, both let you eat dessert, so you can save on your cake and eat it, too!
- Manage debt. The best way to gain control over your finances is to find out exactly what you owe and where so you can create an effective plan. The caveat? Most credit reporting services want to charge you to see your credit report! The nerve. Forget those guys and a free credit report from FreeCreditScore.com. From there you can set up a monthly budget, and hopefully, stick to it.
- Manage stress. Find a great spa near you and even get a great deal with sites like SpaFinder. Don't want to spend money on a spa appointment? Turn your bathroom into a spa for the day with discounted bath products from sites like SpaLook and Skin Store. Little candles, little mood music, some Kenny G?
- Quit smoking. We don't have a magic deal to get you to quit, but we are on the lookout. If you think Nicorette might do the trick, we've got a deal for that!
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Clean the clutter from your life and get organized! If you do this, your stress levels will decrease along with the rest of the junk you don't need in your life. You'll killing two resolutions with one stone! We've get a bevy of deals from Organize.com and ShopGetOrganized.com to help you turn your closet/bathroom/bedroom into the room you've always wanted on the cheap. Plus, you can turn your unwanted electronics into cash, and even charity for someone in need (again, two resolutions with one stone, see #13). Read more about it here.
- Save money. Well this is an easy one! Let us do your shopping for you. Check out our New Years Resolution blog post on saving money, in case you missed it.
- Take a trip. Spend more time with your family, friends, or spouse this year and take a trip! Get it cheaper by using credit cards that earn airline miles or hotel chain points. Use travel sites like Expedia or Travelocity that bundle hotel and airfare deals or sell vacation packages. You can take an amazing vacation at an affordable price if learn to use these points systems and coupons to your advantage, like when Brad took a $40,000 Trip to New Zealand for $1690.
- Volunteer to help others. Who are you passionate about helping? Children? Animals? Elderly people? Elderly animals or animal children? Search a site like volunteermatch.org and find out about local organizations in your area who need volunteers. If you want to help from the comfort of your computer, DonorsChoose is a great site that helps you give to public classrooms online!
Now, the number one stipulation before all others when making a resolution is to really WANT to do it. Your will and determination is what it comes down to. Do you have it?
Good luck and Happy New Year BradsDealers!
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Photo Credit: Rachel Towne
Photo Credit: Jeff Golden