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New Years Resolutions: Tips to Quit Smoking

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Do you want to lose a few pounds? Maybe spend more time with your family? Or how about quitting smoking?

Every year most of us get gung ho and start setting goals or making resolutions for the New Year. That’s great; but the problem is we have a hard time sticking with our resolutions and usually find ourselves falling off the bandwagon around mid January.

The trick to keeping your new years resolution and sticking to your goals is to have a well laid out plan. Let’s take smoking as an example. I made a resolution in December of 2006 to quit smoking. I had tried to quit smoking several times before but I wasn’t 100 percent successful. Well last year I took a different approach and I’m proud to say that I’ve been smoke free for a full year!!

Here’s what I did. I sat down and wrote out my smoking routine. Below is the actual routine that I was addicted to.

I smoked a cigarette in the morning when I woke up. I smoked one in the car on my way to work. I smoked two on my morning break, a couple at lunch, two more on my afternoon break, another one on the car ride home, and then between three and five before I turned in for the night.

When you do the math I was smoking a little more than a half a pack a day.

Now some people try to quit cold turkey. I’d tried that before but it didn’t work out for me. Gradually working towards not smoking was the solution that worked for me.

Once I had made a list of my smoking routine I consciously thought about whether I really wanted to smoke or if it was just “time” for me to smoke. By consciously thinking about my habits I was able to first decrease the amount of cigarette that I smoked and then eliminate smoking all together.

After I made my list I evaluated it and decided to cut out smoking on my drive to and from work. Now don’t get me wrong I had the urge to light up and smoke but I didn’t because I knew that I need to break my habit on cigarette at a time. It took about a month before I lost the urge to smoke on my commutes, but taking that small step and succeeding at it gave me a boost of confidence to continue with my goal.

Then I rewrote my list, adjusting it to my new smoking routine and eliminated yet another smoking session. I only had one cigarette during my morning and afternoon breaks instead of two. Do you see the rhythm of my plan? Take small steps and over time you will reach your goals.

Here is another tactic that I used to help decrease the amount of cigarettes that I smoked.

I didn’t carry cigarettes and nicotine shots around with me everywhere I went. I started leaving them at the house more and more. That way even if I had the urge to smoke then I didn’t have the cigarettes to smoke; I didn’t make them readily available to myself. With this, I was able to contain myself. I realized that the presence of cigarettes is a big factor why people are easily tempted. Hence, if you really want to quit, make sure to leave cigarettes and don’t make it accessible for you

Once I was finally at the point when I was ready to let the cigarettes go for good then I got some help. I started using a nicotine patch but that didn’t work out too well for me. The patches irritated my skin and I think they may have been the cause of the horrific dreams that I started having. Needless to say that solution was short lived.

I went online and did a little research to find another route to stopping my nicotine cravings. I came across a dietary supplement that claimed to relieve nicotine cravings. It also had a 90 day money back guarantee, so I gave it a shot. Surprisingly enough the product worked for me. I also got a pretty good deal. I ordered a four month supply and got two bottles free. I don’t know about you but I love free stuff.

How does that saying go? Different strokes for different folks? Well, this is the stroke that worked for me folks and it might just work for you too. You can learn more about the product that I used by visiting their website. There is a ton of useful information that might help you. Good luck on your endeavor and Happy New Year!!

Top 10 Checklist Before Leaving for the Airport

Anyone who has left the house for the airport knows that moment of panic as you pull into the parking lot: What did I forget? Is the iron/toaster/hair dryer unplugged? Did I put those shoes I wanted in the bag? There’s always some nagging voice in the back of your head trying to shake you up with doubts.

As someone who traveled – usually by air – about three weeks out of every month for more than six years, I became somewhat of an expert on packing light, with the minimal amount of risk of getting stopped at security. I also quickly discovered the difference between essential and unnecessary items to worry about and check on before leaving home.

A list of what is essential to do before leaving for the airport requires understanding what is NOT essential. It is NOT essential to check your toiletries case five times to see if you’ve remembered your toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, and other bathroom items. Unless you’re traveling to the remotest of places, all of these items will be available to purchase, or complimentary in most hotels, at your destination. Throw what you think need in and don’t worry about it. What you DO need to be sure of is that you have any medication that you won’t be able to obtain at your destination, or that you may need while traveling.

The same holds true for clothing. If you’re traveling in the US, rest assured, virtually every town has a strip-mall row, complete with a few Targets, Wal-Marts, and K-Marts, where you can get any underwear, socks, or shoes you may have forgotten. For travel outside the US, again, unless you are going to a remote location, there will be similar stores at your destination. Pack your clothes with a list of what you want to take, but once the suitcase is closed, don’t sweat it. What you DO need to be sure of is items like prescription glasses, hearing aids, support hose, braces, or specialty items are packed.

If you are traveling for business, be sure you have what you need for any meetings, but again, in this day and age, that isn’t very much. Files and paper you’ve forgotten can be emailed from the office, copies of any paper you forgot can be printed at any office supply store, and your cell phone keeps you in constant touch.

While you can travel far without cash these days, what you CAN’T do without are travel documents – your identification, passport, and credit card. If your wallet is empty of cash, don’t worry. There are ATMs on every corner all around the world – again, with the exception of the most remote destinations.

As you can see, what you take with you – other than items that can’t be purchased elsewhere – becomes a non-issue. The top-10 things to remember are those things that you will have no control over and no ability to change once you have left. Those are items in your home. Did you leave a key with the neighbor or pet-sitter for entry into the house in your absence? Have you arranged to have mail and other signs of your absence removed on a daily basis? Are all electrical appliances not only off, but unplugged?

The following check list of ten most important things to do before leaving for the airport won’t keep you from wondering what you forgot, but they will ensure you haven’t forgotten anything too important.

Top 10 Checklist Before You Leave for the Airport

  1. You have your travel documents (drivers license, passport, ticket (although most people have e-tickets these days), and itinerary) and they’re readily accessible.
  2. All electronics are unplugged.
  3. Pets are taken care of – either at the boarders, or the pet-sitter has a key.
  4. Essential, irreplaceable medical items are packed – prescription medications, support hose, prescription glasses, hearing aids, braces, mouth guards, etc.
  5. You have confirmed your flight. This can save hours of waiting at the airport if your flight has been delayed or changed!
  6. Doors (including garage) and windows are locked.
  7. Electronic timers are set for lights, or arrangements have been made for a neighbor/friend to turn lights on/off so house doesn’t look empty.
  8. Arrangements have been made for mail, packages, and newspapers to be picked up each day to ensure house doesn’t look empty.
  9. Power cords for recharging electronics are packed. Be sure you can recharge your cell phone, camera, and computer while on the road. These items are usually brand and model specific and so may be difficult to replace or find an alternative for while on the road.
  10. Kiss your loved ones. Not that you want to panic that it could be the last time you see them every time you walk out the door, but whether you’re going to the airport for an extended absence, to work for the day, or to the store for thirty minutes, there’s nothing more important than letting those you love know it. Always kiss them and tell them you love them when you leave their presence.
  11. In addition, you should be able to make sure that all your bookings have been made properly. For instance, if you are travelling to Denver, always ensure that you have booked aspen to Denver airport shuttle or vice versa.

New Business Idea! Make Money Cheering Up the Elderly!

Are you looking for a unique business idea?

With the graying of the population and the fact that people are living longer, more elderly people are spending a portion of their lives in nursing homes as they need a lot of care and help because of their conditions. This is where you will find that bath aids for the elderly Australia are really helpful and amazing considering their efficiency. Their families are often unable to take care of them full time due to job restraints. Many of the residents of nursing homes have families that live in other states, making it impossible for them to visit their relatives on a frequent basis. A significant number of these families feel guilty that they’re unable to visit their nursing home bound relatives at regular intervals.

This is where your small business can provide a much-needed service to these guilt-ridden families.

For a small fee, your company will have an employee visit your nursing home bound relative on a weekly or biweekly basis. Each employee would be assigned to a particular nursing home resident so that he or she gets to know the resident well and understands his or her wants and needs. The family would simply call your office to sign up for nursing home visitation services. They would be given a faxed form to fill out regarding the frequency of visits and any special needs of the nursing home resident. The nursing home resident would then be assigned to one of your employees who would speak with the family by phone to establish rapport before the initial nursing home visit.

The family could choose a 30 minute or one hour visit depending on their preferences. During the visit, the employee would talk with the nursing home resident, read to him or her, and make sure their needs are being met. At the end of the visit, the employee would fill out a form outlining what activities took place during the visit and any observations as to the emotional state of the resident. This would be sent to the family on a regular basis.

A website would be critical to marketing your new business to out-of-town families. You could market your services by contributing articles on caring for elderly parents to article directories and advertising via online classifieds. You could also market your small business directly through the nursing homes in your area. When families visit their relatives at the nursing home, they could be given a brochure outlining the service you provide.

This unique business would fulfill a growing need to provide care and service to the elderly population who are growing in number by leaps and bounds. It can also be rewarding to know you’re providing a service that benefits both nursing home residents and their families.

Shipping Containers Home- A Unique Way of Living

Which is the best country in the world? What is the best city to live in? There are many that instantly come to mind but nothing can equal your own house. By ‘own house’, I don’t mean any building that you are occupying or even your parents’ house.

Your own house is one that you can call and feel at home, which serves as proof of your hard work and sweat because you bought it with your hard earned money and that is saying something.

Having your own house is the best feeling that you can get but now we are going to discuss about another type of house that may look somewhat different from regular house but is quite effective enough to qualify as one.

Makeshift Home

Shipping container is not a term that you get to hear in your everyday conversation but not many people are aware that it can be used as a home, which has served as an alternative for sailors who are always on navy missions and the containers are used for storage purposes that contain food and arms supplements.

They are also known as freight containers as sales executives working in shipping companies are called freight brokers and have a vast knowledge of these vessels that are used for various purposes.

Shipping containers are quite up to the mark when you don’t play around with them for the sake of it, which is why the base becomes weak that leads to dents in various parts of steel and they are not as useful as they used to be.

Many people might hesitate to consider it even close to a house but fact is fact and it cannot be denied once you see it for yourself how most containers are indeed used as a makeshift home even in current times.

Box Design

Shipping containers are first and foremost containers or vessels that are used for storage purposes and therefore come under various shapes and designs depending on the size of the ship and the mission at hand, which makes it interesting to explore a bit more.

Corrugated boxes are the first that come to mind and can be used as freight containers in a perfect manner as they fit the description to a tee and have been used for various missions at sea.

These boxes are used for keeping smaller products as they provide protection by their own self and are entirely reliable for cushioning and managing contents that are sensitive and fragile.

Even with disaster lying in wait at every corner in such dangerous missions, these boxes are strong enough to handle a large deluge and even powerful waves that strike the ship every now and then, especially during a storm.

In such situations, the entire logistics system is put into play where a complex operation is organized by the people onboard and these containers are kept in a separate cabin on the deck of the ship and on the rare occasions when the enemy attacks if you accidentally stray into his quarters, they simply refuse to budge and leave the containers behind.

Crate is quite a large container compared to its other counterpart and is used for ferrying large and heavy items into it but at times of siege, act as the perfect home for the people on deck as it is strong enough to hold a couple of people inside it along with the food supply, which helps them to survive onboard for many days and is an extremely inventive use of shipping containers.

Worthy Choice

Shipping containers weigh about two to three tons in size and are usually for lodging and perfect as a mode of transport but also have a plus point that it is virtually impossible to migrate.

Unlike your regular house, there is no need to destroy the container to use it for transportation purposes and simply need to lift it from one place to another, which is a practice that has been utilized by shipping expert right from the early days but can only be lifted by a crane or forklift due to its immense weight.

All in all, a truly worthy choice for people who aspire to use shipping containers as an alternative for their house and most of them are even willing to try out this experiment on their own. 

How to Stop Unauthorized Debits from Your Bank Account

Unauthorized debits from your bank account can be devastating if you do not act quickly. Many companies continue to take money from your bank account or charge your debit card after you cancel a service, magazine subscription, or free trial. It may be an honest mistake or it may be a scam.

To stop unauthorized charges and debits, follow these simple steps and always be polite, firm, and persistent. If your bank account has a negative balance or outstanding checks may bounce, skip directly to Step #5 to avoid hundreds of dollars in penalty fees. Before you start following all these steps make to get a sneak peek at a balanced scorecard with example that will allow you to manage your charges and debts more effectively. 

Step #1

Get organized. Gather all pertinent information by reviewing your bank statements, online banking records, and the company’s terms of service. You should have enough information to answer these questions: When did you buy or sign up for the service or product? What steps were required to cancel? When and how did you cancel? You should also know the dates and amounts of all debits you are disputing.

Step #2

Call the company. Be sure to note the date, time, and names of all people spoken to. First, explain that you signed up and then canceled and now their business is taking money from your bank account. You may wish to also speak to a supervisor. No matter what they say, do, or promise to do, do not assume the problem is solved.

Step #3

File a complaint with the BBB. Filing an online complaint with the Better Business Bureau is quick and easy. Be sure to only state factual information. It may take up to 30 days to receive a response, but if the business cares about their reputation they may refund your money.

Step #4

Call your bank. Many people are embarrassed and blame themselves for being gullible. Don’t worry, you did nothing wrong and even the best bankers have been fooled by dishonest business tactics. Explain your situation, the steps you have taken to correct it and ask about your options. You may have a time limit, so ask if you should wait for a response from the BBB or take action now.

Step # 5

Go to your bank. Tell them you need to “put a stop payment order” on all current and future unauthorized withdraws from your bank account from Company XYZ. This may cost you $15 to $25 but will be well worth it in the long run. If you’re really persuasive, they may do it for free. This will prohibit the company from ever taking money from your account again. They may even refund your most recent unauthorized withdraws. If you have a negative balance, be sure to speak to a person of authority about removing all penalty charges.

Step #6

Close your bank account. If none of the other steps have worked, you may need to close your bank account and cancel your debit cards. Many people do this as a first step, but the hassle and inconvenience are not worth it if you can resolve the problem using the steps above.