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Dear HCCUA Members:

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.

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.

It’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.

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.

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.

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 The Secrets to Becoming Financially Stable article that gives you helpful techniques you can implement into your life to help you obtain this goal.

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.

Kristine Eckardt, Director of Member Communications,

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