Buying or Selling in 2018? 5 Reasons to Resolve to Hire a Pro [INFOGRAPHIC]

Buying or Selling in 2018? 5 Reasons to Resolve to Hire a Pro [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • As we usher in the new year, one thing is for certain… if you plan to buy or sell a house this year, you need a real estate professional on your team!
  • There are many benefits to using a local professional!
  • Pick a professional who knows your local market and can help you achieve your dreams!

5 Things You Must Do If You’ve Given up on Fitness Before

  — By Kirsten Nunez
Riding the fitness “bandwagon” isn’t always a smooth ride. Sometimes, the bumps are so strong that they throw you off. What now? Is it possible to try and catch up? One side of you knows that it’s worth a shot, but the other might not even know where to start.

Don’t let that bump in the road be the end of your journey—know that you’re not alone in the “fell off” club. We all know the fitness bandwagon is the place to be, but like most habits, maintaining a life-long routine takes hard work.

Why Do People Quit?

There are countless reasons why people quit exercise after pushing themselves for weeks, months or even years. According to Karen Katz, trainer and Pilates instructor in New York City, it’s common to feel discouraged if you’re not seeing (fast) results. “[However], a new job, schedule, baby, pet, or even a significant other can change someone’s habits and priorities,” she explains.

Katz mentions that moving, injury and travel can also get in the way. These real-life situations are major and normal, but they can also mess with your flow.

Trainer Brooke Taylor of Taylored Fitness adds that boredom is another roadblock. “Or [maybe you] pushed too much too fast, that you quickly burnt out or got injured.” Sound familiar? It’s a common newbie mistake, but you’re only human.

Before scolding yourself, look at this fall as a teaching moment. You’ve started once (or maybe even twice) before, so who says you can’t do it again? This time around, you’ll have the chance to fuel the routine in a new and different way.

“Missing a few days from the gym is no biggie,” reassures Justin Ochoa, personal trainer and owner of PACE Fitness Academy in Indianapolis, Indiana. “Even missing a week can be a good opportunity to recharge. But if you’re physically inactive for months or years, [it] can leave you with an uphill battle when trying to get back into it.”

That’s why it’s vital to start slow, just like the first time. A game plan will save the day—whether you’ve skipped out your workouts for a month or a year.

The Dangers of Starting Where You Left Off

Jumping right back into an exercise routine, expecting to pick up right where you left off, is a recipe for disaster. No matter how enthusiastic you are, restarting a routine will have its downfalls so going in with the same mindset as you had before increases the risk of repeating the same mistakes. Give yourself time to adjust to a new approach or mindset, whatever that might be. Habits need time to change.

Most importantly, going hard is a setup to getting hurt. Katz, Taylor and Ochoa all agreed that potential injury is the number one risk of pushing yourself too fast.

“I see it way too often,” says Taylor. “People push full force. However, coming from a de-conditioned state, your heart rate will elevate a lot quicker. Your body will respond—and reject—the load.”

Ochoa echoed similar concerns: “After stopping a training program for an extended period of time, an individual can become detrained. [It’s] a loss of physical and psychological adaptations from previous training experiences.”

The bottom line? Take it easy. “Go at your own speed and listen to your body,” advises Katz. “It’s great to be eager about jumping back into a fitness routine, but going too hard too fast can result in injury and burnout.”

The Action Plan

The decision and process of terminating a fitness routine look different for everyone. As such, every comeback will be just as different. But with these general steps, you can strategize a triumphant return in a way that works for you.

1. Review and Reflect

Be honest with yourself. Take a step back and look at what really went wrong. In order to jump a hurdle, you need to know where it materialized in the first place.

What did you like about your routine before? Dislike? Write down your thoughts and see if you notice any patterns or red flags that can be avoided in the future. Reflect on the benefits when you were active, and remember how you felt. For some, this can be enough to fire up a new layer of dedication.

Of course, in the situation of a new job or injury, there are other factors. In those cases, focus on the new aspects of your current lifestyle, because they’ll come in handy when it’s time to plan.

2. Find What Can Be Changed

After reflecting, look for pockets of change. Again, this will be extremely different for every situation and person. It may include expectations, distractions or lack of motivational factors.

In the case of an injury, the actual exercise might need to be gentler to accommodate your current physical strength. And you know what? That’s okay.

If you dreaded your Wednesday yoga class every single week, it might be a sign that you didn’t enjoy how it made your body feel or the energy in the studio just wasn’t quite right. If you found yourself feeling pumped up when you exercised with your neighbor but struggled to motivated yourself alone, you might have been pushing yourself into the wrong kinds of workout environments. Look at all aspects of your previous plan and work to determine where things started to unravel.

If time was an issue, tackle time management first. Yes, we’re all busy, but know that physical activity doesn’t have to be a whole day affair. Viewing time as a roadblock really means that you don’t consider fitness a priority, says Ochoa.

3. Plan the Change

Now that you know what needs to be changed, it’s time to figure out how to change it.

This time around, don’t be afraid to try things differently. “Find a form of exercise that you like that inspires you,” says Taylor, even if that means trying out something new. Katz also suggests grabbing a friend you can count on, whether it’s at home or at the gym. Having a workout buddy is a game changer for motivation.

The same goes for making breakfast the night before or setting out your clothes. These little habits will set you up for success.

Working a tight schedule? Remember, two or three 10-minute walks each day totally counts and those little bursts of activity pay off in a major way. So would a two-minute session of yoga, according to a preliminary 2017 study in “Frontiers of Psychology.” Recognize that “fitness routine” doesn’t have a single definition, so you’re in control of how and when exercise fits into your schedule and lifestyle.

4. Set Mini Goals

To execute the plan, it helps to set goals. Whatever you do, though, remember to start small.

According to Taylor, it starts with coming to terms with the fact that your body is in a different place for now. “Set attainable goals that you know you can accomplish,” she recommends. It’s a must for avoiding the feeling of defeat and feeling empowered, instead. Little victories will fuel motivation and momentum.

Taylor mentions that she has clients make a goal sheet. She asks them, “What do you want to accomplish in the next six weeks? Three months? Six months? One year? We then break it down from there.” As you work through the goals, check in with yourself to make sure the right changes are being made. This sort of mindfulness is key.

5. Don’t Overestimate

While you’re reaching for those goals, avoid overestimating. Sure, being an overachiever might work in other parts of life, but not when you’re trying to safely jump on the bandwagon.

Your strength and speed are not the same. While you might have been able to run three miles without stopping before your break, your endurance is likely not the same, so it’s important to start slowly. The same goes for weightlifting, yoga or any other activity. You don’t necessarily have to start from the very beginning, but do set yourself up for a routine that is gentle on your body as it adjusts to sweating again. Take it down a notch and be kind to yourself. “Try to avoid the shortcuts,” advises Ochoa. “Stay focused on progression at an appropriate rate.”

Jumping back on isn’t an easy feat. But as you move through the motions, you’re doing yourself (and your future self) a favor. As Ochoa put it, “Fitness is about longevity and living a happier, healthy lifestyle. Do the work and embrace the journey.”

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There’s More to a Bubble Than Rising Home Prices

There's More to a Bubble Than Rising Home Prices | MyKCM

What truly causes a housing bubble and the inevitable crash? For the best explanation, let’s go to a person who correctly called the last housing bubble – a year before it happened.

“A bubble requires both overvaluation based on fundamentals and speculation. It is natural to focus on an asset’s fundamental value, but the real key for detecting a bubble is speculation…Speculation tends to chase appreciating assets, and then speculation begets more speculation, until finally, for some reason that will become obvious to all in hindsight, the ‘bubble’ bursts.

I have taken to calling the housing market a ‘bubble’.”

– Bill McBride of Calculated Risk calling the bubble back in April 2005

Where do we stand today regarding speculation?

There are two measurements that are used to determine the speculation in a housing market:

  1. The number of homes purchased by an investor and
  2. The number of homes being flipped (resold within a twelve-month period)

As compared to 2005, investor purchases are down dramatically (from 23% to 13%) and so is flipping (from 8.2% to 5.7%). McBride explains:

“There is currently some flipping activity, but this is more the normal type of flipping (buy, improve and then sell). Back in 2005, people were just buying homes and letting them sit vacant – and then selling without significant improvements. Classic speculation.”

What are the experts saying about speculation in today’s market?

DSNews recently ran an article which asked two economists to compare the speculation in today’s market to that in 2005-2007. Here is what they said:

Dr. Eddie Seiler, Chief Housing Economist at Summit Consulting:

“The speculative ‘flipping mania’ of 2006 is absent from most metro areas.”

Tian Liu, Chief Economist of Genworth Mortgage Insurance:

“The nature of housing demand is different as well, with more potential homeowners and far fewer speculators in the housing market compared to the 2005-2007 period.”

And what does McBride, who called the last housing bubble, think about today’s real estate market?

Sixty days ago, he explained:

“In 2005, people were just buying homes and letting them sit vacant – and then selling without significant improvements. Classic speculation. And even more dangerous during the bubble was the excessive use of leverage (all those poor-quality loans). Currently lending standards are decent, and loan quality is excellent…

I wouldn’t call house prices a bubble – and I don’t expect house prices to decline nationally like during the bust.”

Bottom Line

Speculation is a major element of the housing bubble formula. Right now, there are not elevated percentages of investors and house flippers. Therefore, there is not an elevated rate of speculation.

Top 4 REAL Reasons We Buy a Home

Top 4 REAL Reasons We Buy a Home | MyKCM

We often talk about the financial reasons why buying a home makes sense. But, more often than not, the emotional reasons are the more powerful or compelling reasons.

No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of home can mean different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the emotional reasons why we choose to buy our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones.

1. Owning your home offers stability to start and raise a family

From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchase may have this in the back of their minds as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.

2. There’s no place like home

Owning your own home offers you not only safety and security, but also a comfortable place that allows you to relax after a long day!

3. You have more space for you and your family

Whether your family is expanding, an older family member is moving in, or you need to have a large backyard for your pets, you can take this all into consideration when buying your dream home!

4. You have control over renovations, updates, and style

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Or maybe you want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?

Bottom Line

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.

Housing Prices are NOT Heading for Another Crash

As home values continue to increase at levels greater than historic norms, some are concerned that we are heading for another crash like the one we experienced ten years ago. We recently explained that the lenient lending standards of the previous decade (which created false demand) no longer exist. But what about prices?

Are prices appreciating at the same rate that they were prior to the crash of 2006-2008? Let’s look at the numbers as reported by Freddie Mac:

Housing Prices are NOT Heading for Another Crash | MyKCM

The levels of appreciation we have experienced over the last four years aren’t anywhere near the levels that were reached in the four years prior to last decade’s crash.

We must also realize that, to a degree, the current run-up in prices is the market trying to catch up after a crash that dramatically dropped prices for five years.

Bottom Line

Prices are appreciating at levels greater than historic norms. However, we are not at the levels that led to the housing bubble and bust.

Top 5 Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Top 5 Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Agent | MyKCM

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in which they surveyed recent home buyers and sellers about their experiences. An entire section of the profile is dedicated to buyers’ experiences with their real estate agents.

If you are looking to buy in 2018, here are the top 5 benefits of using a real estate agent when buying your dream home as cited by recent buyers:

1. Helped the buyer understand the process – 60%

If you are new to the home buying process, an experienced real estate professional can explain exactly what to expect during the entire transaction so you aren’t caught off guard.

2. Pointed out unnoticed features/faults with the property – 56%

Whether it’s pointing out possible uses for an extra bedroom/office, or using their trained eye to see potentially disastrous hazards that may be hiding out of site, your agent is there to protect your interests and make sure your home buying experience is a good one.

3. Negotiated better sales contract terms – 47%

When it comes to negotiating the complex terms of your contract and coming to an agreement with the seller, it never hurts to have someone who has been there before on your side. If earlier in your search you found a couple of less than desirable features on the home you are going to purchase, your agent can make sure that contingencies are in place for you to pay the best price. Their analysis of comparable properties in the area will also help to make sure that your dream home is priced properly for the market.

4. Provided a better list of service providers – 46%

Real estate agents are titans of networking. Many have a list of preferred providers who they have worked with in the past and who they trust to work as a part of your team to make your dream come true. This can include mortgage professionals (listed as the #8 reason to use an agent at 22%), home inspectors, plumbers, contractors, painters, landscapers, home stagers, and so many more!

5. Improved the buyer’s knowledge of search areas – 44%

Local real estate professionals are often members of community organizations and are usually well versed in their area’s history. Their ties to the community make them a great resource whether you plan to relocate to a new area or across town.

Bottom Line

If your plans for 2018 include purchasing your dream home, let’s get together to discuss your options and to help you make the most powerful and confident decisions for you and your family.

Rents Are on the Rise: Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap!

Rents Are on the Rise: Don't Get Caught in the Rental Trap! | MyKCM

There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top benefits is protecting yourself from rising rents, by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

Don’t Become Trapped 

A recent article by Apartment List addressed rising rents by stating:

“Rents are up 2.7% year-over-year at the national level. Year-over-year growth continues to fall between the 2.1% rate from this time last year and the 3.4% growth rate from October 2015.”

The article continues explaining that:

“Despite the seasonal slowdown, rents are still up year-over-year in 89 of the 100 Largest cities.

Additionally, the Urban Institute revealed that,

Over a quarter of renters, or 11.1 million households, are severely cost burdened, spending at least half their income on rental housing.

These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, including groceries and healthcare.

It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent 

As we have previously mentioned, the results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia shows that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers show that the range is an average of 6.5% less expensive in San Jose (CA), all the way up to 57% less expensive in Detroit (MI) and 37.4% nationwide!

Know Your Options

Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. A nationwide survey of about 24,000 renters found that 80% of millennial renters plan to eventually buy a house, but 72% cite affordability as their primary obstacle. Aside from affordability, one in three millennial renters have concerns about their credit scores, and another 53% said that a down payment is an obstacle.

Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream homes. As we have reported before, in many areas of the country, a first-time home buyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough!

Bottom Line

Don’t get caught in the trap that so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Let’s get together to determine if you can qualify for a mortgage now!

Do’s and Don’ts of Goal Setting

Key Pieces to the Puzzle
  — By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer

Goal achievement, especially when it comes to health and fitness, can be a mystery. Most of us have no trouble with Step 1 (Setting the Goal). Setting a goal is the easy part, it’s those other steps that can be a puzzle. But you CAN turn achieving your goals into a science with the right strategies. Here are a few of our favorites:

DO create a plan. DON’T wait for “someday” to roll around.
Setting the goal is just the first step. Know where you’re going, what resources you’ll need, who can help and – most importantly – what Plan B is when life throws a monkey wrench into Plan A.

DO start small. DON’T focus on too many things at once.
Try focusing on one goal at a time. Use a small goal that you know you can do each day for the next two weeks, like getting up without the snooze or drinking eight  cups of water. Build that first habit to boost your confidence and pick up speed.

DO write it down. DON’T forget to give yourself a deadline.
Deadlines turn wishes into goals. The act of writing down your goal is powerful enough to keep you committed and focused. Better yet, find a visual that represents your goal or how your life will be different. Seeing it makes it seem more possible.

DO be specific. DON’T deal in absolutes.
Avoid the words ‘some’ and ‘more’, as in “I will get SOME exercise” or “I will eat MORE veggies.” It leaves too much wiggle-out room. Deal in measurable things that you have control over. And never say ‘never’ or ‘always.’ All or nothing is a common attitude that leads people back to bad habits.

DO leave room for failure. DON’T expect perfection.
Persistence is key. Accept the fact that you might not make it on the first try. In a recent study, only 40% of people who successfully followed New Year’s resolutions did it on the first try; 17% of resolution achievers took six or more tries before they got it right – but they did get it right.

DO track your progress. DON’T fool yourself into failure.
Memory can be pretty selective. It conveniently forgets that extra brownie while remembering activity that never happened. The only way to know for sure is to track goals regularly with a checklist or journal.

DO reward your success. DON’T beat yourself up over failure.
This is the step that trips up most people. Negative thoughts are usually in our heads, telling us every day what we’re doing wrong. This is not the approach to take to succeed with your goals. Why not focus on what you’re doing right instead? If you take a step back, learn from it and take two steps forward.

DO find a support system. DON’T try to do it alone.
A goal buddy can make all the difference this time. People that can help are all around you – on the SparkPeople support message boards, at work, even in your own family. Just add one person to your support group, and you double your motivation, double your energy, double your commitment – and double your FUN.

DO make a commitment. DON’T ever forget that you can do it.

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4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Winter!

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Winter! | MyKCM

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 7.0% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase 

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, you are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgageeither yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Weight Loss Resolution? No Way!

Resolve to Change Your Habits
  — By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietician
Do yourself a favor this year…Do NOT resolve to lose weight.

Instead, pick two or three habits (encourage healthy eating and improved fitness) that could easily result in weight loss. Don’t know what to focus on? Well you have just enough time to find out. For the next week, faithfully use the Sparkpeople Food and Activity Tracker. Record the following:

  • The food (and how much) you eat – Weigh and measure everything
  • Every beverage you drink (juice, pop, coffee, tea, water, diet beverages)
  • When the eating episode occurred (the time you started and finished eating)
  • The location of the eating (kitchen, family room, restaurant, etc.)
  • Who did you eat with? (friends, relatives, yourself, co-workers, alone)
  • How you felt while eating (happy, sad, bored, depressed)
  • Any exercise you did

Once you have finished your record keeping, it is time to analyze the data. Hopefully you will make some startling discoveries about yourself and be ready to make some really informed decisions regarding the changes you will make in 2007.

Analysis #1: Do you meet your nutritional needs?

  • Are you getting 2 low-fat dairy products daily?
  • Are you consuming 6 ounces of lean meat or protein sources daily?
  • Are you getting 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily?
  • Are you receiving 4-6 whole grain products each day?

Sparkstep: Including a variety of foods in your diet daily will provide your body with the numerous benefits of over 50 different nutrients. Keeping your body energized and strong will help you to stay motivated and encouraged. For many, using the Food Tracker on a daily basis and sticking to a calorie goal is extremely beneficial to weight loss.

Analysis #2: How are your foods prepared?

  • How many foods are fried?
  • How many foods are breaded?
  • How many food items are covered with a sauce?
  • How many servings of sweets do you have daily?
  • How many food items come from a box, package, or can?

Sparkstep: Overloading your body on these types of food can add unwanted fat, cholesterol, salt, sugar, and calories to your diet. Some small changes in this area can benefit not only your weight but also help lower the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Analysis #3: What beverage choices are you making?

  • How much water are you drinking daily?
  • How many cups of tea and coffee do you consume?
  • How many cans of diet drinks to you have?
  • How many sugar-sweetened beverages do you consume daily?
  • How much 100% fruit juice do you get each day?

Sparkstep: Keeping your body hydrated is key to your health. Try to drink 8-12 cups of water daily. 100% juice does contain some nutritional benefits, but the fiber has been removed, therefore, limit yourself to 1/2 Cup daily. Sweetened juice drinks, punches, fruit cocktails are loaded with sugar and unwanted calories, so avoid these whenever possible. Coffee, tea, and diet beverages are not the best sources of fluid for the body and should be used in moderation. Limit these to 1-2 choices daily. <pagebreak>

Analysis #4: What activities are you doing while you eat?

  • Watching TV, or your children play a team sport?
  • Working or playing on the computer?
  • Do you eat at the table, counter or sink, from the stovetop while cooking, in front of the refrigerator, while on the phone, while working from your desk, in the car?
  • Reading?
  • Balancing the checkbook, opening mail, or other multitasking?
  • Studying for tests or exams?

Sparkstep: Doing another activity while eating can be a problem for many. When you become engrossed in the other activity you may lose track of how much you are eating. Calories count whether you are standing, lying in bed, or in front of the sink. Try to make eating a deliberate event, focus on the taste and mouth-feel of each bite, and enjoy every morsel.

Analysis #5: How quickly (or slowly) do you eat your meals?

  • 1-10 minutes?
  • 11-20 minutes?
  • 21-30 minutes?
  • 31 or more minutes?

Sparkstep: It takes about 20 minutes between the time you eat and the time your brain gets the signal that you are full. If you eat very quickly, it is easy to overeat, especially if you are with slower eaters and you continue to nibble until they are finished. If you eat most of your meals in 20 minutes or less, this could be a problem for you. Try to slow down. Chew more slowly. Take a drink of water between bites. Put your fork or spoon down between bites. <pagebreak>

Analysis #6: What is your mood before, during, and after eating?

  • Happy or joyous?
  • Sad, depressed?
  • Bored?
  • Worried, or anxious?

Sparkstep: For some people, certain feelings can lead to eating and overeating in the absence of hunger. When eating is triggered by an emotion, it is usually unplanned and frequently uncontrolled. And that means you can add a lot of extra calories to your food intake for the day. Try to determine if feelings trigger you to eat. If so develop a plan. Can you avoid the situation, go for a walk, paint your nails, take up a hobby, do a craft, or take a bath? Have an idea list ready and posted at all times.

Analysis #7: What Meal Patterns do you notice?

  • How often do you eat breakfast?
  • Do you skip lunch or dinner?
  • Do you usually have a snack?
  • How much time do you have between meals and snacks?

Sparkstep: It is important to distribute your calories throughout the day to stay nourished. Studies actually have found that you lose weight faster when calories are distributed throughout the day. By planning eating times throughout the day, you are less likely to get hungry and less likely to go on an eating binge. Try to have 3 smaller meals and 1-2 mini-snacks daily.

Analysis #8: How many minutes of Physical activity do you get each week?

  • 0 – 30 minutes
  • 31 – 60 minutes
  • 1 – 2 hours
  • 2 – 3 hours
  • 3 – 4 hours
  • 4 hours or more

Sparkstep: Physical activity can help you to lose weight by burning additional calories. It helps you to tone your body and lose inches. Exercise also raises your metabolism so you burn more calories even when you are at rest. Find out where you currently are with your fitness routine and build from there. The goal is to include 30 minutes of exercise at least 4 day each week.

Resolve to Make Realistic Resolutions
Now select the two or three  items you want to improve this year and write a “realistic resolution” for each. Be as specific as possible and make sure your resolution can be measured and tracked.

  • Post the resolution where it can be seen daily—on the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, or computer screen saver.
  • Find a buddy or pal who can assist as a cheerleader and mentor.
  • Set up a reward system for yourself. For example, every week that you meet your resolution, put a dollar in the resolution jar. When it reaches $20, treat yourself.
  • And face the facts that there will be setbacks but that doesn’t mean failure.
  • Stay focused on all the positive aspects that you have already accomplished.

Happy New Year!

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