1    Jan 20130 comments

Resolutions: Here’s some help!

Some people may have been holding off their resolutions for 2013 because of the Mayans. However, now that we are still here and 2013 has started, it's time put those resolutions into action.

Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.) researchers have released some great tips (13, actually!) for the New Year.

- Learn something new

Learning never ends, so commit to continuing on this path. Explore new interests, and uncover something great!

- Walk in the park

Decrease stress and increase focus by visiting a park. Research has show that visiting parks improves mood, concentration and positive feelings. Seeing nature produces reduced feelings of depression, anxiety, anger and tension. Make 2013 a healthy green year.

- Volunteer

Volunteering is good for you, and helps physical and mental health. Research links volunteering with improved well-being, and connections among people

-Organize your social media

While the Internet and social media provide amazing possibilities to connect and to share our experiences, remember that what we read and view online is not as private as we might think. Check your privacy settings and see what your public profile looks like to everyone else. Check your passwords and choose better ones, if needed.

-Rediscover the library

Running out of space in your own home for books, CDs, movies, reference books, magazines and journals? Visit your local public library and utilize its amazing resources. Read the latest publications and newest books. Use a computer. Scan or photocopy materials. The digital revolution is alive and well at libraries and how you can access those resources. Library services can often be used online from anywhere. And the cost may be very low or none! Take advantage of your library’s resources in 2013.

-Step away from your desk

We all seem to be chained to our desks these days. But Physical activity can improve health, lower stress and increase productivity. Exercise is good for us. Make sure you set a time each hour to get up from that chair and move around. Bring activity back to your life!

-Pay down debt

The holidays are over, along with travel and presents. Not a surprise that the bills are now coming along. Make an effort to pay off that debt for a happier, more prosperous New Year!

-Use a smart phone to quit smoking

While rates of smoking are going down, there are still many who do. There are smart phone apps that can help you access websites and support if you are trying to quit.

-Mind your health

There are free apps and websites that can help you make some simple lifestyle changes, even if it is only beginning to eat a healthy breakfast, read product nutrition labels and start an exercise  plan to help you get healthier in the New Year.

-Kick the car habit

For many people, this may be the hardest thing to do. Leave the car in the garage and try other means of transportation, including public transit, bicycling, walking. Changing your commuting habits can help both your health and the environment.

-Parents: Make every day count

Happy, well-adjusted children will grow into happy, well-adjusted adults if they have happy, well-adjusted parents. Happier parents help their kids to become happier. Make every day count, set up a checklist for planning a happier New Year and more.

-Get more sleep

According to researchers, there’s a strong connection between sleep and learning. Overnight sleep helps our ability to retain information and perform tasks. Some new research indicates that sleep may help clear the brain for new learning. There are many resources online to help people get advice on getting a good night’s sleep.

- Consume more culture

The arts educate, entertain and help us better understand ourselves and others. Take a culture break in your community by visiting local museums, theaters, music venues. Many of your local community cultural organizations offer events to learn and to participate.

Click on the link above to learn more about each resolution. And there are apps out there to help you stick to your resolutions; see this story from Mashable.

While Washington University didn’t include a family history resolution, we are. We encourage you to explore your ancestors, reconnect and preserve your unique history. Along the way, you may find a new interest in foreign languages, travel, history, photography or even in the culinary traditions of your ancestors.

Family history hits many of the marks in this list: continued learning, getting more exercise by visiting repositories and relatives, sharing history with your children and grandchildren, using social media and the Internet, accessing public library resources and even volunteering at your local genealogical society.

Genealogists are always learning something new!

But don’t forget to take a walk in the park to gather your thoughts and think about where discovery road and your genea-journey will take you in 2013!

What resolutions are you thinking about? Share them in the comments below.

Happy New Year!

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