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 <p>Dear HCCUA Members:</p>

<p>We should always acknowledge the abundant blessings in our lives every single day. January can sometimes be a stressful month with trying to keep up with New Year’s resolutions, analyzing financial goals and getting back into your pre-holiday routine. It is important that we do not put excessive pressure on one self by taming your inner critic and have some self-compassion.</p>

<p>When setting goals for oneself, it must be something you really want so it lasts throughout the entire year versus the first few months. You should always limit your list to a number that you can handle and be specific of what you wish to accomplish to make goal easier to obtain. </p>

<p>It&rsquo;s essential to  do things that make you happy and make you feel good.  Conventionally, most of us have been told to  reduce stress levels by exercise, relaxation and/or meditation. As this may  hold true as  studies recently show that  family and friends are the best medicine. Having strong relationships and  social support show many health benefits in making people feel happy, healthy,  connected and teach them to empathize with others.</p>

<p>May people find  this time of the year difficult to get into healthy eating habits due to all  the culinary temptation during the holidays, but actually it is not as  difficult as most make it out to be. Some helpful tips to keep you on track may  be as follows: eat a  well-balanced breakfast; try to eat four to six smaller meals a day  instead of saving yourself for a lavish meal two to three times a day; take  advantage of nutritionally dense foods in season like pumpkin, squash, brussel  sprouts, sweet potatoes, kumquats, kale, cranberries, grapefruit, oranges, and  turnip; substitute a protein  shake for a high calorie meal; try recipe modifications that are less in  calories and fat, but can be even tastier; add 200 steps to your day by using a pedometer to help you keep track;  minimize carbohydrate intake (this includes alcohol) to assist you in  maintaining a certain weight or losing some; and, lastly, use a  journal to monitor your training and caloric intake which will help you  maintain focus on your nutritional goals.</p>

<p>Exercising is something we all should do, but at times  find excuses not to because of work schedules, family duties, or just being  lazy. Find a way to get yourself motivated by getting a work out partner or  hiring a professional trainer. You are more likely to work out on a regular  basis if you have someone else to help keep you on track.  In addition, pack a bag with your gym gear to  go straight from work or school to minimize the chance of not going back out  once you get home. </p>

<p>With the way the economy is, it can be difficult for many  to find financial stability, but it is a goal many want to achieve. Attached to  your HCCUA e-newsletter you will discover <u>The Secrets to Becoming  Financially Stable</u> article that gives you helpful techniques you can  implement into your life to help you obtain this goal. </p>

<p>We would like to wish you a Healthy and Prosperous New Year! We would also like to remind you how much we appreciate your membership with HCCUA.</p>

<p> Sincerely,<br>

  Kristine Eckardt, Director of  Member Communications, <br>


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