Advertising
Advertising

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.

1

    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

    Advertising

    2

      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

      3

        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

        Advertising

        4

          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

          OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

            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

            KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

              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.

              Advertising

              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

              7

                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

                8

                  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.

                  Advertising

                  9. Work out a system to keep your house clean

                  9

                    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

                    10

                      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

                      More by this author

                      Nabin Paudyal

                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

                      Benefits of Sauna: 8 Ways It Makes You Healthier and Happier 25 Websites Other Than Social Media To Upgrade Your Life Think That Positive Mantras Help a Lot? Try Value Affirmation Instead 6 Successful Entrepreneurs Who Struggle Through Dyslexia Every Family Has Its Problems, This Is How Some Stick Together No Matter What

                      Trending in Productivity

                      1 7 Natural Memory Boosters That Actually Work for All Ages 2 How to Improve Your Memory: 7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways 3 11 Tactics on Increasing Brain Power, Memory, and Motivation 4 How to Use More of Your Brain to Become More Productive and Happy 5 Master These 10 Management Skills to Become a Strong Leader

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                      7 Natural Memory Boosters That Actually Work for All Ages

                      7 Natural Memory Boosters That Actually Work for All Ages

                      Forgot a name? Misplaced your keys? Taking longer to find the right words? Don’t panic. There’s plenty you can do to improve your memory.

                      You’re probably expecting us to reveal 7 little known and newly discovered herbs from the forests of the Amazon, the peaks of the Himalayas and the Arctic tundra. No such luck.

                      Despite Americans spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on Ginkgo Biloba, Ashwagandha, Periwinkle, Bacopa, Vitamin B’s, Omega 3’s and memory boosting supplement cocktails, there is very little scientific evidence they actually work. [1]

                      Instead, we’re going to offer you 7 completely natural memory boosters, backed up by scientific research. It may take a little more effort than a magic memory pill, but the benefits will transcend your memory and improve your overall quality of life as well, making you more fit, energetic, happy and sharp.

                      How Do We Remember?

                      The first process in remembering is creating a memory.

                      This is where our brain sends a signal, associated with a thought, event or piece of information our mind is processing, over our brains neural pathways, called synapses.

                      Think of our neural pathways like roads and information like trucks. The better the roads, the more trucks can be driven.

                      The second step in remembering is memory consolidation.

                      Consolidation is when the brain takes that thought, event or piece of information and actually stores it in the brain. So now we’re talking about taking delivery of the trucks and storing its contents in the warehouse.

                      Consolidation helps us store information and label it properly, so its organized and easy to retrieve when needed.

                      Advertising

                      The last step is memory retrieval.

                      That’s the step whereby we try to retrieve the information stored in our brains. You know when you have the name of someone on the tip of your tongue.

                      You have the information; it’s been stored, but you just can’t find it. Our memory recall is typically better the stronger the memory is and the more often we’ve used it.

                      Memory decline is a normal part of aging. However, new scientific research is discovering many new ways for us to improve memory creation, consolidation and retrieval–no matter our age.

                      7 Natural Memory Boosters

                      So how to work on memory and boost your brain power? Here’re 7 brain boosters backed by science that you should try:

                      1. Aerobic Exercise

                      Aerobic activity is about as close as we get to a magic pill for our memories. Exercise helps your brain create new capillaries and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which creates new brain cells and connections. To put it in plain english, aerobic activity changes our brains and helps it grow.

                      Studies have shown that exercising increases the size of the hippocampus and improves memory. In fact, even if you start exercising as an older adult, you can reverse cognitive decline by 1 to 2 years and protects against further decreases in the size of the hippocampus, which is essential for memory. [2]

                      In another study, reviewed by Dr. Ian Robertson of the University of Dublin, they looked at a group of people of 60 years and older, who engaged in “active walking” for four months.

                      They compared them with another group of people who only stretched over the same period of time. After testing both groups before and after the 4 month period, the walkers improved their memory and attention considerably more than the stretching group.

                      So which exercises are best and how much do we have to exercise?

                      Advertising

                      Turns out, it doesn’t really matter whether you run, swim, row or bike. What does matter is that you push yourself beyond your current abilities, keep doing more, keep getting better. Set yourself short term goals and keep pushing the goal posts.

                      2. Sleep

                      You need your sleep. The deeper the better. Sleep helps improve your procedural memory (how to do things, like how do I navigate my iPhone) and declarative memory (facts, like what’s my password). [3]

                      Even short naps from 6 to 45 minutes have been shown to improve your memory. In one Harvard study, college students memorized pairs of unrelated words, memorized a maze and copied a complex form. All were tested on their work. Half were then allowed to take a 45 minute nap. They were then retested. Those who took a nap, got a boost in their performance. [4]

                      Another study showed that getting REM (deep) sleep can increase your memory and mental performance by 33% to 73%. Getting a deep sleep helps the brain consolidate memories through dreams and “associative processing”. However, the study also revealed that heart rate variability in deep sleep also contributed significantly to increased memory performance. [5]

                      3. MIND Diet

                      Healthy eating, particularly more dark colored fruit, vegetables and oily fish has been shown to improve memory and stave off cognitive decline.

                      The MIND diet is proven to reduce the risk of dementia. It’s a mix of the popular Mediterranean diet and the low blood pressure DASH diet. [6]

                      The study kept track of the diets of almost 1,000 older adults. They were followed for an average of 4½ years.

                      The study concluded that “people whose diets were most strongly in line with the MIND diet had brains that functioned as if they were 7½ years younger than those whose diets least resembled this eating style.”

                      The study also showed that people who followed the MIND diet in the study reduced their chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease in half.

                      Advertising

                      So what does the MIND diet consist of? Lots of vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, berries, beans, fish, poultry, olive oil, whole grains and wine.

                      4. Relax

                      We all know that stress is bad for our health. It can raise our blood pressure, impact our immune system and interrupt our sleep. Stress also impairs our memory.

                      When our body gets stressed, it releases cortisol into our blood stream, which can cause short and long term physical changes to the brain. While cortisol has sometimes been shown to cause increases in short term memory, it can actually decrease our long term recall memory.

                      To help reduce the stress in your life, try relaxing with meditation, yoga or breathing exercises. Unplug–even for just a few hours. Stop checking your emails, social accounts and news. Release some endorphins with some exercise.

                      Bottom line, the more anxious and stressed we are, the less clearly we think, the poorer our memory works.

                      5. Continuous Learning

                      The mind is like a muscle. The more you challenge it, the stronger it gets. The more you learn, the more you can learn.

                      Research shows that learning can actually change the physical makeup of your brain. Not too long ago, we used to think that you were born with a fixed amount of brain cells, which declined with age. New research now shows that we can actually increase the number of brain cells we have throughout our life.

                      Aside from staying physically active, learning new skills and studying can actually keep our brains healthier. Consider taking a continuing education class, studying a new language, learning a new instrument, playing new card games. [7]

                      Studies show that the more complex the task, the more benefits for your mind. Simply showing up to class is not enough. You need to be actively engaged. Anything that forces you to focus and learn something new and get out of a rote routine will help you sharpen your mind and boost your memory.

                      6. Stay Social

                      The more deep and meaningful social connections you maintain, the more you protect your brain. Bottom line, the more friends you have, the more people you work with, the more you’re forced to use your brain.

                      Advertising

                      Social isolation and loneliness are significant risks of dementia. Without interacting with others, our brains wilt. Isolation and loneliness lead to depression, physical and mental decline. [8]

                      In a 2016 study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, seniors with a full social calendar did better on memory, reasoning, and processing speed tests. [9]

                      What to do?

                      Party! Seriously, get together with friends as often as possible. Have family dinners. Choose social activities or sports like tennis, golf, cards or go for walks with a friend. Bottom line have fun, build meaningful social relationships and stay connected. Not only will it make your mind sharper and your memory better, you’ll be happier, too!

                      7. Wakeful Rest

                      This one is getting harder and harder to do. In a world where we can’t sit on a bus, go up an elevator or go to the bathroom without our phones, doing absolutely nothing to distract our minds is becoming increasingly difficult.

                      But, the results are in. Doing nothing is great for your memory. Quietly resting for 10 minutes, after you learn something will help you remember and help you create more detailed memories. [10]

                      What we do minutes after we learn something new has a significant impact on how well we retain the new information. In another study, it didn’t matter what you did after you learned something new, as long as you weren’t distracted by outside factors. In other words, you could be thinking of your day, making a grocery list, or thinking of a story. In either case, wakeful rest for a period of 10 minutes helped the brain process and consolidate your memories so that you were better able to recall the information at a later date. [11]

                      Conclusion

                      You don’t have to spend a dime on cocktails and supplements promising a quick boost to your memory power. There is very little conclusive scientific evidence suggesting supplements will help improve the memories of healthy individuals–not for Ginkgo Biloba, Vitamin B, fish oils, Vitamin D, Folate or other supplements claiming they a secret formula.

                      There are far cheaper and more effective ways to boost your memory: exercise, rest, eat well, learn, love, laugh and relax. Who wouldn’t want that prescription?

                      More Resources About Boost Brain Power

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next