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Ten Great New Year's Resolutions

happy familyGet 2006 off to a positive start by adopting New Year's resolutions that will help improve not only your life but that of some of those around you. We come up with some useful suggestions.

Spend more time with family and friends
Never underestimate the importance of family and friends in your life. We all need to feel loved and needed for our own sense of well being. If due to irreconcilable differences you can't be with your own family then surround yourself with good friends. There are plenty of people who through no fault of their own are often alone, especially during holidays like Christmas. There are lots of ways that you can help, you could become a foster carer or help out in an old people's home. We guarantee you'll feel needed and appreciated.

Quit smoking
If you have resolved to make this the year that you
stamp out your smoking habit, over-the-counter availability of nicotine replacement therapy now provides easier access to proven quit-smoking aids and most doctors surgeries now offer a free help service. You can ring the helpline on 0800 169 0 169 or visit the website here:

Even if you've tried to quit before and failed, don't let it get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. Start enjoying the rest of your smoke-free life!

Get fit
More of us than ever are stuck at an office desk for large parts of the day and that is not good for our bodies. Try to fit some form of exercise into every day. A brisk half hour walk, a refreshing swim or just a run round the park with the kids will do wonders.

Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better.

Stop drinking to excess
While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey but do much better when they taper gradually, or even learn to moderate their drinking. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available.

Get out of Debt
We live in a culture where being in debt is the norm and we don't realise how that affects the decisions we make in our lives. It strangles our independence, forcing us to remain in jobs we don't like and often leaves us feeling helpless. Where possible try to buy things in cash you will find it cheaper. Shop around, go to bootfairs and markets, you'll be surprised how much you can save.

Learn something new
Have you vowed to make this year the year to learn something new? Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to fix your computer? Whether you take a course or read a book, you'll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year's resolutions to keep. Challenge your mind in the coming year, and your horizons will expand.

Help others
Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local library, mentoring a child, or going to the shops for the old man who lives down the street, there are plenty of deserving causes that could really use your help.

Learn to cook
Since cooking was removed from most school timetables it's amazing how many of us haven't mastered the art of good home cooking. You don't have to be Jamie Oliver but a good recipe book is a start. Why not ask mum for that recipe for curry goat that you love so much and give it a try.

Eat more home cooked food
No matter how may facts we are presented with about the hazards of take-away food we still spend a lot of our hard earned cash on food that is of poor nutritional value. There is a reason why mum's food was always the best. Instead of getting a take-out why not be adventurous and try to create your own at home.

Appreciate what you have and not what you don't
Three quarters of the world live in absolute poverty, you may not have all the designer clothes that you want but clean water, ample food and a roof over your head are some of the worlds most prized possessions and the ones we take most for granted.

Dinner with the in-laws:
Christmas around the world:

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