Want To Make New Year Resolutions That You can Keep?

2010Do you realize that New Year’s Resolutions are the number one way to consistently set yourself up for failure? It probably starts with the fact that we can never have just one (resolution that is), there’s always two or three things that we feel need to be done or done better in the New Year.

Why is that do you think? Did you (your life, your clothes, your health, whatever) really suck that bad in the old year that you need to make a list of ten things to change right now or die trying? And sure you may get  to scratch one thing off the list, but what about the other 9?  Come to think of it – why are New Year’s Resolutions usually the same from year to year? Isn’t that kinda creepy in a Groundhog Day sorta way?

When my children were young I started Christmas shopping in January. I was able to buy presents for just about everyone (including extended family and  employees) without taking out a bank loan to pay for it all.  My strategy was simple, buy a few  presents each month – out of season and at a very low price. In December I would buy each child one “it” gift like a cabbage Patch kid or Teddy Ruxpin.

I think that we would all be more successful in our personal make0vers if we applied a similar strategy. Need to blog more? Start today, create a stockpile so that you will have posts that you can schedule well into the year. Want to quit smoking? Smoke one less cigarette every day or week  for the rest of the month, you may find that you’ve already quit by New Year’s.

Weight loss and fitness are huge and one or the other will probably appear on your resolutions list.  People often say that they need to lose the weight that they gained during the holiday season or need to get back into the fitness routine that they neglected during the holiday season. Don’t blame the holiday season for the bad habits that you let yourself fall into because it’s the holidays.  Get your fitness in when and where you can – 10 minute walk after lunch, hit the weights for 10 minutes after dinner (or do this free  boot camp workout)

Believe me, I know how  hard it i s to say “No” to all the Christmas cookies and other goodies at work and at home.  That’s why  I used  Cheat on all of my Thanksgiving food, I just sprinkled a little bit on everything and it absorbed 25% of the calories that I ingested.  For example if I ate 5000 calories then the Cheat helped me to eliminate 1250 of those calories.  A good strategy would be to enjoy all the holiday goodies and use a little Cheat when you do.

Bottom line – whatever your New Year’s resolution – to see more clearly, love more dearly, follow more nearly – don’t wait for January 1st, start now and do it day by day  to ensure success!

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10 Things To Consider When Choosing a Work At Home Opportunity

working at home
Image by atconc via Flickr

With a New Year comes reflection ,soul searching and then the desire to BE or DO…something.  That something can mean anything from finding a new job to creating  a new way of life that includes more time for yourself or to spend with your family. Whatever that something is, it often finds you on the internet searching for work at home opportunities.  Given that a work at home opportunity can be anything from Virtual Assistant to Home Based Business Entrepreneur, here are

10 Things To Consider When Choosing a Work At Home Opportunity

  1. Do want to supplement your current income or are you looking for financial freedom?  This question could be reworded as “are you looking for a quick fix to a financial shortfall or is your goal a significant increase in your income over the long term? ”  It is the first and most important question to ask yourself. If you want to supplement your income for a little while then a second job  would be a good option, but will that scratch your itch long term? Consider where you were a year ago and where you want to be a year from now. If you were looking for extra income a year ago then you will probably still be looking a year from now, because your finances are probably even more messy than you care to admit. In a case like this you want to think long term financial freedom.
  2. How much income are you looking to generate? Is $10 an hour enough for you  or do you need an extra $2000.00 a month? You can find hourly jobs and short-term  gigs on craigslist, elance.com, and wahm.com for starters. To create a consistent livable/sustainable income from home may require a business opportunity as opposed to a job. (Coming soon “Use Your Passion to Get Into Profit Mode” with tips on earning money by doing something you like to do, as opposed to doing something that you have to do).
  3. How much time are you willing to invest in a work at home opportunity? Meaning, how many hours a day do you actually have for this? Do you want something do a couple of hours on the weekend and in the evening or do you need  9-5 telecommute job kind of thing ?  Do you want the ability to set your own hours and go at your own speed or do you require scheduled hours that provide structure and discipline? You should know and understand the differences before you start  filling applications out across the web.
  4. Are you looking to spend more quality time with your family or to be home with your kids? Many work at home opportunities do not have room for children in them. A home based business is something that you can do with barking dogs, meowing cats, and crying babies. When you talk to people on the phone they hear all that and realize that maybe you are not calling them from a call center in India or Yugoslavia or (worst yet) Arizona. There are customer service and telemarketing  jobs that you can do from home but some restrictions apply. You will need a hardwired telephone line (not Magic Jack or VOIP), an office where you can work quietly (no doorbells, no kids, no pets), and the ability to commit to scheduled hours which usually include the weekend. If your kids are not in school and you don’t have an au pair, these are not for you. But again check out some of the sites I listed above for jobs that are not so strict.
  5. How much do you have to invest in a work at home opportunity? Some jobs require that you pay certain fees for a background check for example. Most business opportunities also require an up front fee as well as a monthly fee  or an auto ship (requires you to receive x amount of products per month). Affiliates are often free to get started, but may have some costs down the line.
  6. How long are you willing to work ? If you just want to make an extra $500 for 6 months and call it quits then you are looking at a short term gig, whereas a $200,000 per year income  may take you anywhere from 2 to 5 years to generate (and I can’t promise you that it can be done with a job).
  7. Do you understand the 40 year versus the 4 year retirement plan? That’s where you work for a company for 40 years and then retire with a pension that is so small you have to supplement your income with the 401K that you (hopefully) contributed to while you were working or … you end up as a greeter at Walmart. The 4 year plan is where you start your own business and work really  hard for 4 years to create a $100K+ residual income that allows you and your spouse to retire before your kids get to junior high school. This is based on the premise that if you are going to work hard anyway, why not be the main beneficiary of your hard work? Before you jump into a business read this.
  8. Do you know the difference between a home based business and a work at home job? A business opportunity requires self discipline, the ability to dream big,  and a strong desire to succeed. There may be some costs associated with it, and there is a learning curve. but if you can stick it out you will earn a steady income from it in two to four years. A job on the other hand provides an income immediately, sets a schedule for you, and doesn’t require any more self-motivation than you currently have. A job is viewed by many as the safer, less scammy option but…given that over 500,000 people applied for unemployment in December alone, jobs are not as safe as they look and  you will have a lot of competition.
  9. Do you want  to make a lot of money quickly? Then I suggest you sell something on Ebay ( your first born or your house maybe) or rob a bank. Neither a job nor a business is going to get you rich quick, everything requires ramping up and then building.
  10. How big is your biggest dream?  How you answer this question will determine the direction you take.

What do you want to BE or DO in 2009 ? Tell me what I missed in my list of 10 Things To Consider When Choosing a Work At Home Opportunity.

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