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10 Resolutions For Your Home In the New Year

10 Resolutions For Your Home In the New Year

Every year, the New Year arrives, brimming with possibilities. Promises and resolutions are abundant. You feel this time, it’s really going to be different and nothing will stop you from accomplishing your goals.

Now that January has rolled around, you must be really looking forward to a great 2016. You might have vowed to quit smoking, lose some weight, travel new places or spend some more time with your family. But what about your home – the place where you’ll spend most of your year? Below we present to you ten resolutions for your home this year, in the perfect spirit of new beginnings. They say home is where your heart is but a lovelier, better organized, and more comfortable place to live will surely work wonders.

1. Cut down the use of energy.

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    How about trying to improve the planet as well while you’re improving yourself? Going green could be a great way to make this year truly remarkable. You could start with solar panels or a hybrid car but those are not the only things that can make a difference.

    Learn to properly recycle, remember to turn off lights while you’re not using them and turn the taps off when you’re brushing your teeth. This way, you’ll not only contribute towards a better planet but also cut down your bills significantly.

    You can trim energy use by sealing and insulating your ductwork. This increases the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by almost 20%. It will make your home more comfortable and also extend the life of your furnace, heat pump and air conditioner.

    2. Create a healthy and family-friendly kitchen

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      The kitchen is the place where families gather together in the midst of all of the hassles of everyday life. While each of us are busy in our work and studies throughout the day, the kitchen is what brings us together.

      So why not make as healthy and family-together kitchen as possible? Make your kitchen clean and organized and keep it full of healthy and nutritious ingredients. Look out for some healthy recipes in cookbooks or online. Throw out anything that has overstayed in your kitchen by checking out their expiry dates. And also, transform your kitchen into a place that’s not just about cooking but also about connecting. Make the kitchen more accessible. You could also create a zone for kids in the kitchen. Try to make it multi-purpose and also elegant.

      3. Keep indoor air uncontaminated

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        Indoor air quality is one of the most important indicators of the quality of the environment you are living in. Prolonged exposure to polluted air can lead to complications like chronic respiratory disease, heart disease and lung cancer.

        Indoor air can be full of contaminants like dust, pollen and mold spores. The problem can be even more severe during winter when we prefer to keep our doors and windows shut all the time.

        The harmful irritants in your home can be eliminated by maintaining your HVAC system and changing furnace filters regularly, using low-VOC paints during remodeling of rooms and using localized ventilation in your bathrooms and kitchens to get rid of smoke, cooking fumes and surplus humidity.

        4. Install low-maintenance and durable materials

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          This year, shift your focus towards materials that are low-maintenance and durable. They will provide you a trouble-free service for a long time and since you have to spend minimal time maintaining them, they will spare you from worrying about looking after them. You could use fiber-cement siding which is weather-proof, exceptionally stable and resistant to fire, dents and rot and lasts for as long as 50 years. LED bulbs meanwhile last a phenomenal 18 to 46 years even when they are used for 3 hours every day.

          Seasonal artificial plants can be used to decorate your home if you don’t have time to spend hours every week tending to your flowers and trees in the garden.  Ceramic tiles which look extremely good on floors and walls meanwhile also last for decades.

          5. Make your house safe and sound

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            Your home may look wonderful and it’s properly organized also. How about putting some efforts into making it safe as well? You should ensure you’re not living with a potential fire, health or security risk. Besides installing fire detectors, check your house for gases like radon and carbon monoxide also. The hardware that perform these tests are not particularly expensive either. And, also watch out for dryer lint.

            Make sure your house is properly ventilated. You could also install door and window alarms, that don’t cost much these days. And also, ensure that your house is up to date with latest safety standards.

            6. Get your space organized

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              Getting rid of clutter is a must. In fact, it’s probably the best and cheapest way to feel better about your home. Of course, the act itself however can be quite overwhelming but can you think of a better way to start the year than with a clear and organized home? Keeping your space organized basically comes down to two things if you stick to them. One is to periodically get rid of whatever things you don’t use often or don’t like at all. The other is to only bring in things that you actually need.

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              Creating extra space for storage is another way to keep your home organized. With added space, you can store your possessions easily without your room looking untidy. So this year, how about making use of your imagination at creating a little more space in the most unimaginable places?

              7. Spend some time on home improvement projects together

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                How about trying your hand on some cool home improvement projects this year with your family? Such projects will not only improve your living place but you will also get to spend lots of quality time together as a family. You could try out some DIY projects. They are a fun and creative way to spend time and when finished, you’ll have something elegant to decorate your house with. They come in at all sorts of different budgets. Some of them don’t require much time to complete either.

                You could also try something organic. Plant a tree in your backyard or spend some time in the garden together with your family. Preparing home emergency preparedness kit or making your entrance more inviting is also a great idea.

                8. Get your finances right

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                  This probably could be the year you finally get your finances right. Creating a yearly budget will help you a lot. That way, you know how much you’ll need to spend this year and will also help to avoid overspending.

                  Do not forget to allocate some budget for improvement and maintenance of your house. Cutting down the use of energy will also help a lot. So turn off your air conditioner when you are not at home and dial your heater down to a lower temperature at night. Sound financial health is assured when you make enough money and when you do not overspend the money that you have worked hard to earn. So think of the ways to make enough money this year and also try to cut down costs as much as possible.

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                  9. Work out a system to keep your house clean

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                    Everybody loves to live in a clean house but almost everyone dreads the act of cleaning itself. Coming up with a solid plan to keep your house clean could be the best thing you did this year. Devise a daily, weekly as well as monthly plan to keep your entire house clean.

                    It’s best to focus on one particular type of cleaning at a time. You can wipe windows and mirrors first and then move on to sweeping the floors. And also, keep the cleansing utensils like sponge, scraper, cleaning cloths, plastic bags and apron in a place where you can easily find them.

                    You could also divide the cleaning job among the members of your family. Some of them can do dusting and vacuuming while the others can clean up the bathroom. This way, you can clean the entire house in no time.

                    10. Make your place more welcoming

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                      Every year, we vow to spend more time with family and friends. So why not make your house friendlier to increase the odds of real conversation and connection this year? All it takes is a little bit of rearrangement and a couple of updates.

                      You could start with your living room – the place where you welcome your family and friends. It doesn’t need to be very complicated either. Even adding a few bright cushions or placing down a new rug can make a huge difference. Guest bedrooms constitute the other essential part of the friendly experience. The experience of the guests in the places where they sleep can create lasting memories. So try to make them cozy and comfortable.

                      Featured photo credit: Kitchen Renovation by leyla.a via flickr.com

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                      Nabin Paudyal

                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                      Last Updated on December 10, 2019

                      How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

                      How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

                      It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.

                      So how to stay motivated most of the time? Here are 5 simple yet effective ways on how to stay motivated and get what you want:

                      1. Find Your Good Reasons

                      Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.

                      You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first but, if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.

                      If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons.

                      Even when you set goals, there needs to be reasons behind these goals. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.

                      Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

                      • A material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all.
                      • Personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way.
                      • A feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task.
                      • A step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

                      2. Make It Fun

                      When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it.

                      Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!

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                      Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some. Yet many others love the idea!

                      They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.

                      Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!

                      A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:

                      • How can I enjoy this task?
                      • What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
                      • How can I make this work the best part of my day?

                      As long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable, you will start to feel motivated.

                      Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing no matter how hard you try making it fun. You’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun.

                      However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.

                      3. Change Your Approach And Don’t Give Up

                      When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for the task.

                      You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

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                      That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common — if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.

                      If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

                      Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal.

                      My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.

                      4. Recognize Your Progress

                      Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

                      We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.

                      Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different:

                      Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

                      For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

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                      You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages, this information will have little meaning.

                      Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

                      For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made. This is how your motivation can sustain in long term.

                      5. Reward Yourself

                      This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!

                      Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone.

                      Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.

                      For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do.

                      For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself a dessert.

                      For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

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                      Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating but, take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good.

                      The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.

                      Mix and Match

                      Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!

                      Pick one of the techniques and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right way. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for the best results.

                      Just think about it: Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to helping you feel better; and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.

                      Or, if you plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that, agree on rewarding yourself as you go; this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.

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                      Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com

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