5 Ways to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution

Whether you want to lose weight, get in shape, read more or start playing guitar, there are thousands of New Year’s resolutions to pick from. For most people, though, their resolutions have to do with losing weight, exercising more or getting healthier. In fact, 69 percent of resolutions are about losing weight or staying healthy.

After all those cookies and belt-loosening meals of the holidays, it’s no wonder people want to get healthier.

Unfortunately, deciding on a resolution is the easy part; maintaining it is the challenge. But it’s not impossible. With the right resources and habits, there’s no reason you can’t realize your goal.

These five tips will help you do just that.

1. Set up a lot of smaller, incremental goals. In making our New Year’s resolutions, we can sometimes get a little ambitious. While it’s great to dream big, on a practical level, you need to figure out how to reach your target. Rather than have an enormous goal looming in front of you, think in terms of days or weeks. For instance, if you want to lose 25 pounds this year (which would be a significant and awesome accomplishment!) focus on losing two pounds a month. Breaking your goal into smaller increments can help you succeed in achieving that ambitious resolution.

2. Take advantage of perks. Did you know that your health insurance may have extra perks that give you an incentive to get healthier? Through the Blue365 health and wellness discount program, members of participating Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have access to discounts on gym memberships, athletic gear, nutrition products, and vision and hearing products. To see if your BCBS company participates in this program, visit www.Blue365deals.com.

3. Make it a team effort. Instead of making your resolution an individual goal, team up with a friend or family member, and together, work toward a shared goal. Having someone to hold you accountable, who you are responsible to and who can motivate you, is huge. It creates a great dynamic and source of inspiration that can get you through those mental slouches. If you can’t find a resolution partner, be sure to tell people about what you’re doing and talk about your progress.

4. Enlist the aid of technology. You may have noticed there are a lot of people wearing thin bands around their wrists these days. These fitness trackers track your movements, monitor your heart rate, provide a record of your movements and more. They help you to hone in on your fitness goals and remind you when you need to move. If you’re ready for a fitness tracker, or need to upgrade your old one, the Blue365 health and wellness discount program offers discounts on these essential workout tools.

5. Be meticulous. Don’t be casual about your goals! Treat them like you would a project for work. Set up a schedule that you can follow and create specific, measurable goals. This might sound a bit rigid, but it will give you concrete steps to follow, and once you start seeing your progress, you’ll feel a new boost of energy.

You should be excited about your New Year’s resolution, and you should be excited about challenging yourself to see it through and to realize your goals. For tools and motivation to keep your efforts on track, visit www.Blue365deals.com and get ready to welcome 2018 with gusto! (BPT)

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health IndexSM. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit BCBS.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out our blog.

Blue365 offers access to savings on health and wellness products and services and other items that may be purchased from Blue365 Vendors, which are different from covered benefits under your policy(ies) with your local Blue Company, its contracts with Medicare, or any other federally-funded healthcare program. To find out what is covered under your policy(ies), contact your Blue Company. The products and services described on Blue365′s website are neither offered nor guaranteed under your Blue Company’s contract with the Medicare program. In addition, these products and services are not subject to the Medicare appeals process. Any disputes regarding your insurance products and services may be subject to your Blue Company’s grievance process. BCBSA may receive payments from Blue365 Vendors. Neither BCBSA nor any Blue Company recommends, endorses, warrants, or guarantees any specific Blue365 Vendor’s product or service available through the Site.

*Note to Editors: Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies participating in Blue365 are in the following states: AZ, AR, DC, DE, FL, IL,IA, KS, LA, MA,MD, MI, MO, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NY,OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WV, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program® also participates in Blue365.

5 Easy Tactics for Making Your New Year’s Resolution to Save Money a Reality

It’s that time of year again  to start thinking about what you want your New Year’s resolution to be.

According to research from Nielsen, one quarter of Americans want to spend less and save more money in the New Year. If you’re one of these people, follow these five easy tips to stay on track financially in 2017. 

Automate payments into your savings account.

When payday rolls around, it can be tempting to pocket every last dollar. But realistically, it’s difficult to save money that’s right in front if you. Instead, automate payments into your savings account before it makes it to your checking account. This way, you won’t miss it from your budget, and you’ll be on the road to staying true to your New Year’s resolution all year. 

Dine in.

Everyone knows eating out is more expensive than dining in, but you might not even realize how often you’re doing it. When you’re on the go, buying lunch or ordering take-out, costs quickly add up. Pre-planning and preparing meals for the week ahead will not only save money but help you eat healthier at the same time. 

Rethink your wireless plan.

Do you feel like you’re paying too much for your data? In 2017, set yourself free from your overpriced wireless plan. For only $40 a month, Net10 Wireless’ no contract cell service makes this easy. You’ll get nationwide coverage on one of America’s top four networks and the first 3 GB of data at high speeds, then at 2G*. Plus, you can make the switch while keeping your current phone and number with the Net10 Wireless Bring Your Own Phone program. “Ringing” in the New Year is all about making changes for the better, and switching your plan could save you lots in the long run. 

Bring the gym home.

Exercising is important, but monthly gym membership fees can make a huge dent in your savings. Instead, try working out at home for a few months by following exercise videos, running outside (weather permitting) or modifying your favorite utilizing home items. If that’s not enough, try pay-per-class offerings coupled with your own exercise outside of the gym. 

Cut out your cable bill.

Similar to spending too much on a cell data contract, your monthly cable bills could also be hindering your financial goals. How often do you really watch specialty channels anyway? Opting for monthly streaming services can cost you as low as $7.99 per month while offering the same programs and movies you love. Meanwhile, the average cable bill is $99 per month. Making the switch could save you more than $1,000 per year, which just goes to show how sticking to your New Year’s resolution can pay off.

*At 2G speeds, the functionality of some data applications, such as streaming audio or video may be affected. Please refer always to the latest Terms and Conditions of Service at NET10wireless.com. (BPT)

5 Ways to Create Healthy Days

Ring in the New Year with a resolution you can stick with.

Contrary to popular belief, overall health is more than just being free of disease or chronic illness. Other factors, such as access to fresh foods, neighborhood walkability and public safety, to name a few, can help cultivate more healthy days.

Respondents to an Aetna Foundation survey said local aspects have a large effect on their health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also acknowledges a person’s zip code is a good indicator of an individual’s health and longevity. However, there are small, everyday steps you can make for a fresh, healthy start this year, such as these five easy tips.

Incorporate 30 minutes of exercise. Forty-nine percent of Americans say they exercise to improve their overall health, according to the survey. To beat the rush, head to the gym early in the morning. Although it can be difficult to visit your local gym or recreational center before sunrise, getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day can not only start your day off strong, but also help you feel more energized and aid you in maintaining a healthy weight. Other ways to get daily exercise include taking part in sports, riding your bike on a path close to home or walking in your neighborhood park.

Drink more water and plan meals. It’s easy to splurge on food and drink during the holiday season, but the New Year is a good time to swap your candy canes and pumpkin pie for fruits, veggies and water. Planning your meals ahead of time can help you incorporate healthier food options into your diet. Drinking water throughout the day instead of sugary sodas and juices helps your body regulate temperature, lubricates and cushions joints, protects the spinal cord and sensitive tissues, and helps prevent weight gain. 

Step away for small breaks. Your overall health also includes your emotional health and well-being. More than eight out of ten Americans surveyed said their mood and stress level has an equal impact on their health as the food they consume. Life can get busy and overwhelming as you jump back into a post-holiday routine, but simple acts like taking a few deep breaths, standing and stretching or taking a walk can help calm the mind and relieve stress.

Put your smartphone and body on sleep mode. The amount of sleep you get can have a direct impact on your mood and health. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they need at least eight hours of sleep to have a healthy day. Add reading a few new books to your yearly goals to help you unplug from electronics an hour or more before going to bed, and ensure you’re getting the rest you need.

Get involved. More than nine out of ten Americans said they are willing to take action to create a healthier environment, according to the survey. Using a strong support system of friends and family, you can help each other ensure 2017 is a healthy year. Organize ways to stick with your resolutions as a group, such as scheduling a weekly walk, planning a neighborhood recycling contest, registering for a fitness event or signing up to volunteer. 

More than what happens in the doctor’s office impacts your health. Incorporating these small changes can help you achieve your goals and lead to a healthier and happier 2017. To learn more about ways cities and counties near you are making a difference, visit HealthiestCities.org. (Family Features)