Following through on your New Year’s resolutions is not always easy, especially when you’re trying to change your lifestyle or a long-standing habit.
Luckily there’s plenty of help to go around. The federal government has a wide variety of resources to help you fulfill those New Year’s resolutions, from saving money and losing weight to getting a better education and quitting smoking.
1) Improving Your Finances
MyMoney.gov is a consumer finance website created by more than 20 government entities and designed to help you meet your financial goals at any point in your life. The site offers reliable information on a wide variety of topics such as how to handle debt and credit. You’ll also find tips on creating a spending plan, how to save and invest, and how to plan for retirement.
2) Losing Weight
If your goal is to lose weight this year, then MedlinePlus.gov can help. This website by the National Institutes of Health will help you achieve your goal of losing weight through a healthier lifestyle. It has an interactive weight management tutorial and offers tips to help you control your weight. Learn how to calculate your body mass index and determine the right portion size for your meals.
3) Quitting Smoking
More than 70 percent of smokers want to permanently stop smoking, according to a poll by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. For many, the new year is the ideal time to quit smoking. The CDC has many resources to help you kick the habit, including cessation program materials, information on the benefits of quitting smoking and free educational materials.
4) Drinking Less
Many people might decide they want to drink less this year, especially after the holiday season. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a website called Rethinking Drinking that is dedicated to helping you achieve that goal. It offers information to help you see your drinking patterns, identify signs of alcohol abuse, and has tools to help you make a change, among other things.
5) Getting a Job
Unfortunately for millions of people, getting a job is more than a New Year’s resolution. If a new job is one of your priorities for 2011, USA.gov, the official portal of the U.S. Government, can help. The site has a section dedicated to helping you find a job, which features links to many employment resources including career centers, state and federal jobs databases and employment assistance and services.
6) Exercise More
Exercise is more than just activity; it’s an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. People who don’t exercise are more likely to have health problems. MedlinePlus.gov has an interactive tutorial called Exercising for a Healthy Lifestyle which explains the benefits of exercising and offers tips for starting and maintaining an exercise routine for any time of the year.
7) Get a Better Education
The federal government can be an important resource if you’re looking to get a higher education. Learn about financial aid, the tax benefits of education, overseas study programs and how to calculate your grade point average. You can also search for accredited colleges and universities and learn about the GI Bill for people serving in the military.
8) Eat Healthier
A healthy lifestyle begins with what you eat. That’s why it’s so important to know what to eat. Personalize your food consumption at MyPyramid.gov, where you will find interactive tools to help you make better food choices based on national dietary guidelines. Get to know the pyramid and read about eating tips to help you live a healthier life.
9) Reduce Stress at Work
It’s not surprising that many people suffer from work-related stress. After all, people spend a big part of the day working. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains this social phenomenon in detail and offers tips on how to deal with stress at work as well as ways to prevent it.
10) Take a Trip
If you’re planning a trip don’t forget to stop by the travel page on USA.gov. It centralizes government information about travel warnings, travel security tips, currency exchange rates and more. You will also find links to national parks as well as tips for road and train travel.