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Resolution maker?  Resolution breaker?  At least you tried, right?  Here are some unique ideas to break the mold of the typical goals people set to see if you can stick it out a little longer!

Don’t just pick some willy-nilly goal that you already know you’re not going to uphold just because you Googled the top 10 resolutions of 2018 (in case you’re wondering they’re;  1. Improve your fitness, 2.  Eat better, 3. Quit smoking, 4. Quite drinking, 5. Learn something new, 6. Travel more, 7. Volunteer, 8. Meet someone, 9. Sleep more, and 10. Get out of debt,  according to Finder.com). There, now you don’t have to waste your time on Google!  You’re already getting more efficient for the New Year. Congratulations!

Instead, consider some alternatives here that we have broken down by personal goals, student goals, and business goals to give you some more things to consider in the coming year.

Personal goals

  1. Focus on long term goals that will help you all the way into 2019, not just 2018!
  2. Yes, plank… it’s good for the core! Look it up here.
  3. Enjoy the little things. Take time to stop and look around and enjoy things you don’t typically notice during the rush of your day.
  4. Increase your emotional intelligence (EQ). What the heck is EQ?   Click here.
  5. Get your documents in order. Take a moment to make sure your vital documents and cards such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, passports, etc are together and safe.  Consider a living will at this time too!  If you need them through the year, you’ll know exactly where they’re at.
  6. Start a blog.  Have a passion for cooking?  Creating things?  Traveling?  Start snapping those pictures and create a fun blog that your family and friends can follow!  Blogger.com even has a Blogger app to make it easier to keep up!
  7. Take a selfie in a new interesting place each month to encourage more exploration in your life.  You never know what fun, new places you’ll find right around your area!  Google your town and start there.  Start by searching your town on TripAdvisor.com and go from there.
  8. Contact people you once knew. Rekindle those friendships that faded away as life got in the way.  Especially if you don’t have time to meet new people… there are plenty you already know!
  9. Make a bucket list and start crossing it off.  Start with those “I’ve always wanted to ______” things.  Immediately after you make the list, pick one thing on the list and start making plans to actually do it.  Get in the habit right off the bat!
  10. Turn off your phone at meals. Spend more quality time with those you love.  Eating alone?  Take that time to just “be” and ponder.  Your mind deserves a break!

Student goals

  1. Don’t put off what you can do today. Procrastination is a dangerous thing.
  2. Sleep better. Seriously. Not just because your mom says so. Sleep will improve every aspect of your life!
  3. Cut out activities if you’re overwhelmed. This makes more room for #2!
  4. Set up a homework routine & keep school material organized to eliminate stress. You might find that you have more time for #2 & 4 when you’re in a routine and organized.  See how this works?!  You’re on your way to a better you already!
  5. Pick up an activity if you need more social interaction. Surround yourself with people who inspire you.
  6. Doesn’t matter where or what you’re doing, there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to help others. And hey… it’s something to do, right?
  7. Explore passions, because this is your time to dig deeper into things that peak your curiosity. Many resources are available to you during this time, so take full advantage!  If you don’t have a hobby then push yourself to find something that interests you and feel free to change it up every month to get a variety in!
  8. Stop doubting yourself. If you’ve ever uttered the words, “I’m not good at anything” then make that the last time you ever say that and start realizing everyone seriously is good at something.  It may not be a skill that produces tangible items, but once you find what you’re good at, use it, expand on it, cultivate it.  Never know, you may discover a new direction for your life!
  9. Spend more time with family. They’re important influences in your life whether you know it yet or not.
  10. Spend less time on devices. (See Personal Goal #10, then revisit #9 above.  This is starting to sound more like homework than a resolution, isn’t it….)

Business goals

  1. Learn to manage cash flow more effectively. Even if you think you have a handle on it, you can always find ways to improve or push your expectations for the coming year.  If you don’t already have one, consider an accounting site, such as Wave.com, to keep you organized and on track.
  2. Improve your digital presence by making sure your website content is optimized. Take it a step farther and make sure Google My Business and any other profiles that might have picked up your business info is displaying current and complete.
  3. Get social!  If you’re not already, then consider taking a jump on SM bandwagon.  Even if you just add one platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) and focus on expanding that content.
  4. Focus on backlinks to increase search engine ranking. Are there reputable sites or businesses in your industry or local area that you can connect with?  Working as a team to cross-promote is a great way to help you get noticed by new people.
  5. Strive to be a better communicator. Involve others in goal setting & planning.  You’ll not only get new perspectives and ideas, but you’ll create a more cohesive, positive environment.
  6. Focus feedback on the future. How can you apply your employee or customer feedback on creating a better business, process, or relationship?
  7. Be a role model. Do things in your industry or community that create a respectable image.  People will notice!
  8. Focus on follow-up.  Are there things in the books that haven’t been resolved yet?  Set time aside to get back to a clean slate with vendors, customers, or just ideas you have been wanting to explore.
  9. Put time for you on the calendar. If you find yourself absorbed and consumed by your business, pull out the calendar and mark some days for YOU. No answering emails, or checking in with co-workers, just you and your personal life to reset your motivation and take a mind break.
  10. Give back. Donate, offer a visitation or mentor opportunity for young minds. Set up a giveaway each month as a thank you to customers. Find ways to do things in your industry or community that create a respectable image.  People will notice!

Let’s be real… how about you just skip the resolutions altogether, and add a new tradition by saving yearly Time Capsule sheets!  Keep the collection in a box or jar in the top of the closet and pull it out every year to add a new sheet. (Tip: print 10 sheets now so you don’t have to worry about finding your file again later…)  Here’s an example, but there are plenty more on Pinterest!

 

Get your running sneakers ready for this Black Friday!  If you haven’t started your gift lists grab a pen and paper now and we’ll get you started with some of the top affordable tech gifts of 2017!  Whether you’re looking for Him or Her or the Littles in your life, there’s something here for everyone.

For HIM

 

 

Smartphone Projector
Let’s face it, most of us use our smartphones more than many other devices in our lives.  Take that sharing experience to new heights with a smartphone projector!  A new twist in casting.  Check out the cheaper alternative here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BioLite CampStove 2
Have a great outdoorsman in your life? Here’s an interesting contraption to stay green and connected all at once!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tile Slim
Is your guy constantly losing his phone, keys, wallet…(fill in the blank)…?  Let the Tile take the guesswork out of finding those lost items!

 

 

 

For HER

 

 


Echo 2nd Generation

With updated features including more built-in microphones and sound quality, the 2nd generation Echo can’t go wrong as a last minute gift for anyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Samsung SmartThings Hub
Let’s face it.  Women are worry warts.  Why not put her mind at ease about anything at home so you can enjoy a night out on the town… worry free!  The SmartThings Hub allows you to control and monitor all the smart objects in your home remotely.

 

 

Smartphone Photo Cube Printer
In this day and age, we probably have more photos on our phones than our point and shoot cameras.  We may share the majority of our photos on phones, but there’s also something to be said about a physical print to ensure the best of the best is preserved and able to be passed down to future generations. The Smartphone Photo Cube Printer helps to close this gap!

 

For KIDS

 

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate Kids Learning Tablet
Back in the day, we learned basic skills when we started kindergarten, but in today’s world, our children are expected to already have a basic knowledge of many skills before they even begin those primary grade levels.   This LeapFrog Tablet is not only affordable, but packed full of skill reinforcement and helps prepare and enhance what your kids need to know in school.

 

 

 

 

Bit
If you have a creative, techy kiddo in your life, consider this artistic robot who combines drawing and coding.  Use colored markers to make paths for it to follow through sensors and connect to a computer or tablet for additional programming features.

 

 

 

 

Ninitendo Switch
The Switch makes gaming a more versatile and life-like experience with features that allow single-player, multi-player, and shared screen options all in one small device.  Be sure to check out the parental control options as well as a list of top Switch Games of 2017 & 2018 right here.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s quickly coming upon us… the feast of the year!  Once again, we’d like to share some favorite Thanksgiving recipes that could bring some new flavors to your dinner table.

Three Meats Sancocho

(INGREDIENTS)
1 cup chopped onions
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground achiote
3 ears fresh corn, cut into 3 pieces
12 cups of water or more if necessary
8 pieces of chicken
1 pound of pork meat or pork ribs
1 pound of beef cut into pieces
2 green plantains, peeled and cut crosswise into 2 inch pieces
4 medium white potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 pound frozen or fresh yuca cut into big pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt

(DIRECTIONS)
1. Place the onions, pepper, garlic and cumin in the blender with 1/4 cup of water.
2. In a large pot, place the beef, pork, chicken, corn, onion mixture, salt and green plantain. Add the water and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 45 minutes.
3. Add the potatoes and yuca. Continue cooking for 30 more minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Stir in the cilantro.
4. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in large soup bowls, dividing the meat and chicken and vegetables evenly.

Sausage Stuffing

(INGREDIENTS)
1 lb breakfast saugage (cooked & drained)
3 celery stalks
1 large onion
1 bag bread crumbs
1 large can chicken stock
Poultry seasoning
pepper to taste

 

 

 

(DIRECTIONS)
1. In a pan, fry onions and celery until soft.
2. In large bowl combine celery, onions, and seasonings into bread crumbs.
3. Slowly add broth until bread crumbs are moist.
4. Refrigerate over night if using to stuff turkey or place in casserole dish and bake at 375 for about 35 mins or until hot all the way through.

Cream Cheese Corn

(INGREDIENTS)
20 ounces frozen corn
tablespoons butter
ounces cream cheese, cut in chunks
1teaspoon salt
1teaspoon pepper
parsley

 

 

 

(DIRECTIONS)
1. In medium saucepan, warm corn slightly covered in water to about room temperature.
2. DO NOT OVER COOK.
3. Drain corn, place back in pan.
4. Add butter and cream cheese.
5. Cook, stirring over medium heat only until melted, add salt and pepper.
6. Pour into serving bowl and sprinkle slight amount of parsley for color.

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce

(INGREDIENTS)
2 cups cranberry juice
1 6 oz bag of cranberries (or craisins)
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
¼ cup sugar
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored & diced
2 teaspoons corn starch

 

 

 

 

(DIRECTIONS)
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add cranberry juice, cranberries, cinnamon & sugar.
2. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 mins.
3. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have softened and apples are tender, about 5 mins.
4. Remove 8 ounces of the liquid to a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch.
5. Slowly add the cornstarch-juice mixture to the cranberry mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for an additional 5 mins.
6. Remove from heat and pour into a serving bowl.
7. Refrigerate until thickened, about 30 mins.
8. Remove the cinnamon sticks and serve.

Texas Trash Pie

(INGREDIENTS)
1 cup graham crackers, crushed
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup caramel bits
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup pretzels
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (9-inch) pie shell

 

 

(DIRECTIONS)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In large bowl, combine graham crackers, chocolate chips, caramel bits, shredded coconut, crushed pretzels, and condensed milk.
3. Stir well.
4. Pour filling into a pre-made 9-inch pie crust and bake for 40 mins, or until pie filling is firm and crust is brown.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Coffee Cake

(INGREDIENTS)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

(DIRECTIONS)
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Lightly grease 12 cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray.
3. In large food-storage plastic bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.
4. Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan.
5. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
6. Bake 28 to 32 mins or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 mins.
7. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.