Your (Short Cut) Guide To New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year when we form grand plans to reinvent ourselves.

Easier said than done! It takes time to establish good habits and ditch our not-so-great ones. But, if you’re ready to make some changes, here are some handy short cuts to help you along:

DITCH THE SMOKES

Fast – Read a book
Sounds gimmicky, but I can count a number of friends who have succeeded with this method. Alan Carr’s Easy Way To Stop Smoking urges you to smoke while you’re reading, so you can relax as you let each word sink in. Without preaching, this book gradually changes your mindset, painting an uplifting image of you as a non-smoker.
Faster – Get hypnotized
Instead of white-knuckling your way through quitting, hypnotherapy tackles those root causes in your subconscious that make you want to smoke in the first place. Recent studies have shown hypnosis has a 91% success rate for smoking cessation. You can do a two-session program in Toronto for $400, but considering butts average around $11/pack, you’ll be saving in the long run.

SOOTHE YOUR BOD

Fast – Get a rubdown
Fix your aching body with a heavenly massage from Body Blitz. Pair them with an afternoon in the therapeutic waters (complimentary with your massage) and you’ll feel like a brand new woman by tonight.
Faster -Freeze your tookus off
How does immersing yourself in -150 degree nitrogen mist sound? Terrible, right? But turbo-charged cryogenic therapy only takes three minutes and can flush toxins, release endorphins, accelerate your metabolism and re-energize you. A trial session is only $40 so you can try it before you commit to a longer-term program. Pro athletes and celebrities alike swear by it.

BRIGHTEN YOUR SKIN

Fast – Hydrate from within
One of the best ways to look less haggard is to drink more water; however, I can barely remember to drink two glasses a day. There are a number of apps that can track your hydration and issue reminders so you don’t let it slide. iDrated and Waterlogged are quite good (the latter is free).
Faster –  Hydrate from without
In less than the time it takes you to chug eight glasses of water, you can hydrate your skin by slathering on this miraculous cream. It works great on rosacea, aging, dry/dehydrated, post-peel/post-operative, sun-damaged/sun-burned and sensitive skin. Plus it smells citrus-ey and delicious.

GET RIPPED

Fast – Track your steps
Chances are, your phone has a pedometer (if you have an iPhone, check the Health app). Make your goal 10,000 steps a day. Just walk as much as you can, whenever you can. In winter you can still do laps of the mall or walk in the PATH. No gym membership needed, and all you need is a decent pair of shoes.
Faster – Pocket Personal Trainer
The Nike + Training Club app is easy-to-use and ridiculously effective. You choose where/when to work out, whether or not you use equipment or your own body weight, and select your level of difficulty. It’s basically foolproof and portable and best of all, FREE.

DIG YOURSELF OUT OF DEBT

Fast – Have Gail Berate You 
Gail Vaz-Oxlade is chock-full of financial wisdom, and her book, Debt Free Forever: Take Control Of Your Money and Your Life, is a veritable treasure trove of tips. Discipline yourself by following her few simple rules: “You can’t spend money you don’t have, you must save something, and if you’re in debt, you must get the albatross off your back.” If you can’t afford to buy it, you can definitely afford to borrow it.
Faster – Keep Your Phone Accountable
Turn your phone into your own personal financial advisor. By tracking your spending and planning for upcoming expenses, you’ll help yourself avoid pesky overdraft/late fees. There are a number of solid apps out there, but I found Mint works best. It’s free and will connect directly with your bank to use your details in creating a budget.

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