10 Most Popular New Year’s Resolutions

Since the only holiday that celebrates the passage of time is New Years, perhaps that’s the reason why we become introspective, as the final seconds of the year tick away. Inevitably, that introspection turns to thoughts of self-improvement and the annual ritual of making resolutions, or setting goals that are attainable, which offer the first of many important tools for remaking or reinventing ourselves.

Below is a list of the 10 most popular responses that Americans gave for resolutions for the coming year. Along with this list are some words of wisdom and encouragement – to help motivate you while on your way to achieving those goals.

(1) – Lose Weight and/or Get in Better Physical Shape

Physical activity builds physical vitality. With every year of your life, you have more to gain from being physically active; as your age-related risks of chronic disease increase, regular exercise generally slows or reverses that trend.

In fact, you’re even more likely to notice the benefits of regular exercise if you already have a chronic condition.

Are you ever going to be fit again as long as you live? The answer is unless you make a resolution to get fit – you’re never going to be fit – ever. The choice is yours; it begins by opting for the stairs instead of the elevator, fruit in place of chocolate, and active rather than sedentary activities.

(2) – Stick to a Budget

It’s been said that the best defense is a good offense. Developing and sticking to a realistic budget is a brilliant offensive move as it prevents overspending and ensures peace of mind.

Many people find it very difficult to stick to a budget. It does take hard work and a lot of self-discipline, at least in the beginning. The good news is that most people find the longer they can stick to a budget, the easier it becomes.

(3) – Reduce Personal Debt

One of the first things you have to do before any debt can be eliminated is to stop using charge accounts. If you continue to use the accounts, you are only fueling the problem, and building on it, not solving it.

Make a resolution now to stop charging anything and to get financially stable. If you can’t pay cash for it, you don’t need it, make it just that simple and you will find yourself out of debt in no time at all.

Keep a diary of all money spent, whether it is by cash, check, credit card, etc. Once you know where your money is going, then, and only then, can you take the steps needed to prepare a good budget that you can live with and make huge strides to budgeting your debt away.

(4) – Enjoy More Quality Time with Family & Friends

More and more people are resolving to spend more quality time with family and friends this year. This means you must consciously decide to actively and purposely work on improving your family situation every day.

You may need to do such things as reschedule business activities to make time for your kids, help your children set and achieve worthwhile goals, and setting aside an hour a day for the family, every day.

Starting right now, you can begin to make choices and take day-to-day actions that will create nothing short of a phenomenal family. You can choose to have one if you just resolve to do it and know where to put your focus. Making our families stronger and healthier is important to our communities, our state and our world.

(5) – Find My Soul Mate

Romance is alive and well as more and more people are looking for that special someone, their soul mate who lights their fire, the ONE whom they love unequivocally and who shares their worldview.

Soul mate relationships are the sort of romantic relationships most of us dreamt of when we were young and innocent: loving and erotic, committed and inspiring and best of all – lasting.

Soul mate relationships give both partners the fulfillment that deeply satisfies them and makes them feel that they have found the most wonderful person in the whole universe.

(6) – Quit Smoking

Becoming a non-smoker is probably one of the best decisions you can ever make, and is a life changing as well as a life saving decision.

The benefits to your health, relationships, finances, vitality, the environment and to your sense of self-esteem for having conquered a really hard-to-kick habit will make any and all of your efforts and determination more than worth while. The resolution to become a non-smoker will also help you to live longer and enjoy the finer things in life.

Once you’ve made the resolution to stop, acted upon it and succeeded, you’ll feel great about what you have achieved. Resolving to give up is your decision, and will improve your life from that moment on. No one can make you quit, and no one can help you make the resolution. You have to do it yourself, you have to want to do it, and you need to do it now!

(7) – Find a Better Job

A new year provides a sense of getting a free do-over, so you can try again and get it right. Many people resolve to find better jobs or to take a new approach to the jobs they’ve already got.

It’s corny, but true — most of us get reflective at this time of year and if we are in jobs already, we begin thinking: Am I on the right path? Do I like where my position and my company are headed? Am I even in the right career?

So you’ve been hearing that voice again, the one that says you’re not doing what you were born to do. That may be true, but how do you figure out what you should be doing?

To begin answering this question, examine whether your current career path matches your core interests, beliefs, values, needs and skills. Resolve to ask and answer those essential questions before making any new career changes.

(8) – Learn Something New

People throughout the world are realizing that a strong resolve to lifelong learning is more than just education and training beyond formal schooling. A lifelong learning framework encompasses learning throughout the life cycle, from cradle to grave and in different learning environments, formal, non-formal and informal.

Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language or musical instrument, or just how to become a better cook? Whether you take a course or read a book, you’ll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating and beneficial resolutions to keep. Challenge your mind in the coming year, break out of currents routines and challenge every comfort zone and watch your horizons expand.

(9) – Volunteer and Help Others

A popular, non-selfish New Year’s resolution, volunteerism can take many forms such as spending time helping out at your local library, mentoring a child, assisting at a senior center, or volunteering at a soup kitchen for the needy or homeless to name a few.

Volunteering has risen sharply in the years since we began collecting resolutions. This suggests the possible emergence of a new civic generation and a resolve to make a bigger and better difference with your life.

Resolve to replace the pursuit of success and materialism with the pursuit of contribution and generosity. For this to occur, the critical question must move from, “How can I become successful?” to, “What can I contribute that will significantly impact other people’s lives?” By focusing on what we can contribute, we automatically become successful.

(10) – Get Better Organized

Resolve this year to plan your days, reduce interruptions, clean off your desk, say “No”, and make detailed lists. The benefits of getting more organized include being able to save time, as you no longer look for the same things over and over again or need to replace things you can’t find at all.

You will reduce stress because when you know where everything is, there’s no last-minute rush to find what you need and get out the door on time for school, soccer practice, or that important business meeting.

You will also find yourself being much more productive, as all the time you once spent looking for things can now be used to do more important or more enjoyable tasks.

Most people define being organized as quickly and easily able to find what you need. While this is certainly true, organization is so much more. The ability to staying organized lets you focus on accomplishing your most important goals. That’s the true benefit of being organized.

Are there any other things you might be able to add to this list?

What other personal resolutions  do you plan to make that differ from the ones listed above?


Christmas Fun

christmas fun all-in-one banner

Santas-on-internetAre you looking for something to help pass the time when you’re bored? – Maybe looking for something to fill in the gap during your break or down-time in your hectic schedule – Maybe something to enjoy with your kids or grandkids – Well, here are some fun Christmas and Holiday related posts from this website to check out and enjoy 🙂

Within This Blog/Website: north pole sign cartoon

Merry Christmas victorian village snow arch

christmas fun banner

Cool Christmas Sites Elsewhere On The Web:

Enjoy Christmas with Santa Claus at the North pole at this award-winning Christmas website. Send a letter to Santa Clause or a Christmas card to a friend.

Educational and informative site – lots to see, do, watch and learn from here from The History Channel – Learn about Christmas facts, history and traditions – Trivia & Videos to check out – lots to learn about Santa, Christmas Trees and Toys! Will Appeal to All Ages

Xmas Fun is dedicated to the child in all of us. Fun for all ages. Christmas songs, jokes, games, stories, downloads, graphics, etc. Lots of Christmas fun!

Build and create toys here in Santa’s Toy Shop – Simply follow picture directions and race against the clock – Skill levels increase as you move through each toy.

Santa Claus Animation Station – Santa Claus Christmas Website for Kids
Celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa with SANTA CLAUS, Elves and Reindeer
An Animated, Interactive, FREE North Pole Christmas Tradition Since 1996!

Did You Know?

A Quick Fact Guide to the

Christmas Holiday

  • Did you know that Christmas is the largest card-sending holiday in the United States? More than 1.9 billion cards are sent to family and friends every year — one billion more than the 192 million cards given or sent on Valentine’s Day, the nation’s second largest card holiday.
  • Did you know that December 19th is the busiest mailing day of the year? The U.S. Postal Service delivers some 20 billion letters, packages and cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with December 19th seeing double the number of parcels than any other day of the year.
  • Did you know that as many as 30 million live (real) Christmas trees are sold every year in the United States? In 2004, live Christmas tree sales amounted to more than $506 billion in revenue for America’s 22,000 tree farms. The state leader in Christmas tree production is Oregon, with sales of $143 million.
  • Did you know that for every live Christmas tree that is harvested, three seedlings are planted in its place?
  • Did you know that it takes an average of seven years for a Christmas tree to reach six feet tall? Some trees take as long as 15 years to grow to their harvesting height; others reach it in as little as four years.
  • Did you know that China is the leading manufacturer of artificial Christmas trees? According to the U.S. Commerce Department, more than 80 percent of artificial trees are made in China.
  • Did you know that in 2005, Americans spent more money on Chinese-made Christmas ornaments ($561 million) than on Christmas trees grown in the United States?
  • Did you know that the character of Santa Claus is based on two Christmas legends: Saint Nicolas and Father Christmas? Saint Nicolas was the patron saint of children, who generously gave gifts to poor and orphaned young ones. Father Christmas was the spirit of good tidings.
  • Did you know that Santa Claus arrived in the United States in the 18th century via the Dutch founders of New York City? The Dutch introduced America to their “Sinterklaas” festivities. Sinterklaas is the Dutch name for Saint Nicolas.
  • Did you know that the first recorded mention of Santa Claus in the United States was in 1773? The New York press reported a story about a “St. A Claus.”
  • Did you know that the tradition of giving gifts for Christmas is rooted in the story of the wise men, who gave costly gifts to baby Jesus without the expectation of receiving anything in return?
  • Did you know that in 2008, with an economic recession in full swing, the nation is expected to spend significantly less on Christmas gifts than in 2007? 46% of Americans say they will spend “less” than in 2007, which is the highest negative response to this question in two decades. Same holds true for 2009.
  • Did you know that during the Black Friday shopping weekend (the Thursday through Sunday after Thanksgiving), consumer spending rose 7% over 2007, to a total of $41 billion.
  • Did you know that American shoppers say they are planning to spend an average of $431 on gifts for the holiday season,down from $859 last year? During the Black Friday shopping weekend, the average person spent $372.57.
  • Did you know that the Monday following Thanksgiving is referred to as Cyber Monday and is a time when many on-line retailers offer deep discounts? In 2008, 36% of consumers said they would spend half of their Christmas shoppingbudget or more on-line.

Merry Christmas 2012 wreath ornaments

S

Track Santa’s Christmas Eve Journey Online

Ever wonder what Santa might be up to in the days leading up to Christmas Eve?

Wanna keep “an eye” on where in the world Santa might be now?

Have your little ones simply asked….. Where’s Santa?

Now you can track Santa online with NORAD

NORAD (which stands for North American Aerospace Defense Command) comes to public’s attention each and every Christmas when it tracks Santa Claus on his journey around the world delivering toys to the world’s children. This tradition started back in 1955 when a local Sears store in Colorado “misprinted” the telephone number and children thought they were calling Santa, but actually were calling Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD’s predecessor) instead.

Each year, NORAD keeps an eye on Santa as he makes his Christmas journey. You can track Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve with the kids at the Official NORAD Santa Tracker website.

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Santa’s journey is now underway on Christmas Eve (24 December 2009)

TRACK SANTA’S JOURNEY HERE NOW >> LIVE MAP

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Now there’s a wonderful interactive online site you can view and explore. Be sure to check out SANTA’S VILLAGE for fun interactive games for you and your kids/grandkids to play. It’s even multilingual now.

The Santa tracker website has much more to offer than just the tracker itself. You can learn more about NORAD and more about Santa himself. You can also listen to Christmas music and download games, pictures and videos. The site is completely replenished each year, so repeat visitors are greeted with a new design, fresh content and updated technology each holiday season.

For 54 years now, NORAD has been keeping track of Santa’s expedition. As a kid, I remember listening to radio updates of this annual pilgrimage.

Gripping winter storms have never stopped Santa before, but with winter storm warnings and weather advisories all across the United States, I’m pretty certain Rudolph’s red nose will be a big factor for Santa on his journey this year. Where is Santa Claus? Be sure to visit the Santa tracking website before Christmas Day to find out.

Check it out and Enjoy! — Happy Holidays!

Continue reading on and see how it all started…..

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NORAD Tracks Santa

In The Beginning…..

On Dec. 24, 1955, a call was made to the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. However, this call was not from the president or a general. It was from a girl in Colorado Springs who was following the directions in an advertisement printed in the local paper – she wanted to know the whereabouts of Santa Claus.

The ad said “Hey, Kiddies! Call me direct and be sure and dial the correct number.” However, the number was printed incorrectly in the advertisement and rang into the CONAD operations center.

On duty that night was Colonel Harry Shoup, who has come to be known as the “Santa Colonel.”
Colonel Shoup received numerous calls that night and rather than hanging up, he had his operators find the location of Santa Claus and reported it to every child who phoned in that night.

Thus began a tradition carried on by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) when it was formed in 1958. Today, through satellite systems, high-powered radars and jet fighters, NORAD tracks Santa Claus as he makes his Yuletide journey around the world.

Every Christmas Eve, thousands of volunteers staff telephones and computers to answer calls and e-mails from children (and adults) from around the world. Live updates are provided through the NORAD Tracks Santa website (in seven languages), over telephone lines, and by e-mail to keep curious children and their families informed about Santa’s whereabouts and if it’s time to get to bed.

Each year, the NORAD Tracks Santa Website receives nearly nine million unique visitors from more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Volunteers receive more than 12,000 e-mails and more than 70,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline from children around the globe.

Newly added this year, children and the young-at-heart are able to track Santa through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and TroopTube.tv.  To follow Santa on any of these Web sites, type in @noradsanta into the search engine and start tracking.

NORAD Tracks Santa has become a magical and global phenomenon that delights generations of families everywhere!

For more info about NORAD Tracks Santa, visit www.noradsanta.org


Amusing Stats About Santa & His Flying Reindeer

Below is a very eye-opening and amusing story I came across recently about the possibility of Santa and his faithful helpers making their annual pilgrimage around the world later this week. I’d like to share this with all of you readers out there for your enjoyment. I’m sure this has circulated around cyberspace already a few times… as I claim no responsibility for the writing of this article.

Prepare yourself for some amazing as well as intriguing revelations and enjoy this particular account of the possibilities…..

Amusing Statistics About Santa & His Flying Reindeer

There are no known species of reindeer that are able to fly. However, there are roughly 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified. While most of these are insects and germs, this does not necessarily rule out flying reindeer – Though Santa and my uncle Ralph (back in his drinking days) are the only people who have ever reported seeing any.

There are two billion children (small people under the age of 18) in the world. But since Santa doesn’t (appear to) handle most non-Christian children (including Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, agnostic, etc.) that reduces the workload to about 15 per cent of the total (roughly 378 million according to the Population Reference Bureau). At a rate of, say 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes. One presumes there’s at least one good kid in each.

Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical and makes the most sense).  That’s 822.6 visits per second. For each eligible household, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, put presents under the tree, eat any snacks, kiss mommy (when available), zoom back up the chimney, hop into the sleigh and move on.

Assuming each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth, (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purpose for our calculations), we’re now talking about 0.78 miles per household – a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting stops to let Santa and the reindeer do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours.

This means that Santa’s sleigh moves at 650 miles per second, or 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a pokey 27.4 miles a second. A conventional reindeer, by the way, can run 15 miles per hour – tops – or 0.004 miles per second.

Now the payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming each child gets nothing more that a medium-sized Lego set (about two pounds each), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, and that’s not counting chubby Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting flying reindeer could pull 10 times the normal amount, Santa would need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload (not counting the sleigh) to 353,430 tons, or four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth II (the ship, not the monarch).

Now 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles a second creates enormous air resistance, which would heat the reindeer to incandescence in the same fashion as spacecraft or meteors entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy – Per second –  Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms. The entire team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second.

Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500.06 gravities. A 250-pound Santa (a wee bit of an underestimate) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

Therefore, in conclusion….. “If Santa ever did deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s dead now.” 😦

Oh….. And by the way….. Merry Christmas!

Remote Control Fantasy

Remote Control Fantasy

Maybe this post should be re-titled as ————— His & Hers Wishful Thinking” 😛

Ahh — If only everything in life could be this simple —– or at least pre-programmed

Here are a couple pics of  remote controls (two variations) that I think every man would love to own or get his hands on some day….. if he could only find one………. 🙂

Enjoy!!

version 1

version 2

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Just to be fair – or as some would say – keeping equality of the sexes truly equal….. As well as to keeping peace in the relationship, here is the woman’s version of her ultimate remote…..

Cool New FREE Flag Counter For Your Blog or Website

There’s a great way to liven up your own blog, website or personal place in cyberspace with a relatively new cool simple device (widget).

Plain old “hit counters” are boring ––

How ’bout a FREE FLAG COUNTER?

Here’s an opportunity to add a very cool FREE “stat” or “hit” counter to your website with just a simple image. Every time someone from a new country visits your blog or website, a new flag will be added to your counter. The total number of visitors from each country is shown next to the flag. Clicking on the counter image will reveal additional informative charts and information!

  • Flag Counters are fast, fun, reliable, and best of all, FREE of charge!
  • You can now get your own Flag Counter with just one line of HTML code.
  • You can even customize your counter to give it your own personal and unique flair

You can put a flag counter on pretty much any site you publish, manage or own. All that is required is that the site supports images. This particular Flag Counter is a basic simple image!

It’s also quite simple to make changes to your Flag Counter. You can change and customize your counter’s colors, add rows, and much more, at any time. On the bottom of any of your statistics pages (that you can access after clicking on your counter) there is a “Regenerate HTML” link. Just follow that link and you’ll be modifying your existing Flag Counter. When you’re finished, just swap out your old HTML code with the new code and you’ll be all set!

It’s that easy!

One of the best parts about it for me is that it does not require any registration. Just configure how you want your flag counter to look like, it will then generate a HTML code, then just paste it into your blog or other website. It’s so simple.

There is also a forum section for members to interact with one another if they so desire – it is NOT mandatory. No personal information is required to activate your FREE stat counter unless you upgrade to their PRO EDITION.

To celebrate the launch of this new feature, they’re giving five lucky forum users FREE Flag Counter Pro, FOR LIFE! To see all the details, and to learn how to win, check out the forum section of their site.

Check out the Flag Counter on this site you’re on right now in the lower right-hand column (sidebar) of this page. There’s actually two of them – one for US visitors and one for Worldwide visitors.

Click this LINK to visit Flag Counter for yourself!

You Know You’ve Made It Through 2009 When…

Do you remember those days when you used to think that the remote control was the height of technological advancement? Even email has been around since 1969 but didn’t take hold commercial til 1988. Well – looks like it’s time for a reality check. Read on to see just how far you’ve come since those prehistoric times.

You know you’ve made it through 2009 when….

1.  You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.

2.  You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years.

3.  You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of four.

4.  You e-mail or instant message the person who works at the desk next to you.

5.  Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have an e-mail address or a Twitter account (or for that matter Facebook or MySpace).

6.  You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7.  Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8.  Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn’t even have the first 20 or 30 (or 50) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10.  You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.

11.  You text your kids in the next room to tell them dinner is ready.

12.  You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

13.  You’re reading this and nodding in agreement while laughing.

14.  Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

15.  You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

16.  You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn’t a #9 on this list.

…..And FINALLY…..

……………….. You’re now actually laughing at yourself!! 😛

Now Go On……….

……….Forward this to your friends…..

………………..You know you want to!!

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For more info about when email starting changing our lives, click here.