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New Year’s resolutions will have you looking forward to reaching a goal

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The coming of the New Year means room for new opportunities, new ideas and maybe, a new you.

New Year’s resolutions trace to ancient Roman mythology and the god Janus, where we get January. Janus had two faces. One of the faces looked to the future and the other face looked to the past. Romans believed that Janus could forgive them for their past actions while blessing them for the future. 

Over 66 million people make New Year’s resolutions in the United States, and those personal promises can lead to big improvements. Whether the resolution is to save money, get better grades or work out more often, looking forward to a goal can make each day purposeful. Making a promise to reach the goal makes it more likely that you will get there.

Here are a few tips to making resolutions and sticking to them:

  • Be realistic. Make the goal specific  and achievable. Big goals are great, but don’t set yourself up for failure.
  • Start with one goal, not several.
  • Make a plan. What steps do you need to take to achieve your goal?
  • Tell someone about your goal. Don’t keep it a secret. People will want to support you.
  • Track your progress. Keeping a daily journal is one way to keep the journey real.
  • Celebrate milestones along the way.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Change is hard, and slip ups are human. Instead of seeing them as failure, try to see them as learning opportunities.
  • Keep trying. Take it a step at a time, recommitting to the goal every day.

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Dave Says – September 18, 2011

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Each Sunday on VicksburgDailyNews.com we bring you special pearls of wisdom from Dave Ramsey with the syndicated column called “Dave Says.”Dave Says is a weekly column carried by more than 300 publishers, with a total, combined circulation of more than 14 million! Featuring the financial advice of nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey, the Dave Says column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual letters and calls on Ramsey’s radio program, The Dave Ramsey Show.


Don’t do it!Dear Dave,My husband and I have been married for three months, and we’re debt-free. Right now, we’re trying to save up a 20 percent down payment for a house. I work for a real estate company, and they’re really pushing us to take advantage of a first-time homebuyer deal. The program offers 100 percent financing, no money down and no private mortgage insurance. They say it’s a great deal. What do you think?Stacy
Dear Stacy,You guys are off to a great start! Don’t blow it now. Those people are wrong. I grew up in the real estate world, and this is a bad idea.Slow down. It’s great that you guys are young and debt-free, but you need to do things that are smart for you. And for you, smart includes a couple of things. First, make sure you have an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses in place. Then, keep saving up for a big down payment.You know, when I hear the advice you were given I just want to smack somebody. Haven’t the mortgage lenders learned anything from the last few years? Nothing down, interest-only and sub-prime loans are a big part of the reason for the financial debacle in this country. A house is not a blessing when you’re broke, and a bargain is only a bargain when you’re ready to buy!I always recommend waiting at least a year after you’re married to buy a house. It takes that long to decide how close you want to live to your in-laws! Plus, you want to spend some time getting used to each other, and knowing each other even better, before making what will be your largest asset purchase.—Dave
What do the numbers mean?Dear Dave,We hear all kinds of numbers relating to the economy every night on the news. To be honest, I have no idea what most of them mean. Can you tell me more about the Dow Jones Industrial Average?Ken
Dear Ken,The Dow is an index of the stocks of 30 selected companies. We’re talking about outfits like Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and Nike – some of the big boys. The percentage that the stock prices of these companies rise or fall as a group, on any given day, is the Dow Jones Industrial Average for that day.Technically, this index is not a good representative of what the stock market is doing because it only takes into account 30 companies. The S&P is a much better measure of what the market is doing, because it represents the stock-price activity of 500 companies.Let’s say you’re watching the news, and a reporter tells you the market just went down 300 points and it was at 10,000. That represents only a three percent change, and that’s not big news – regardless of what some of the “experts” say.Great question, Ken!—Dave
* For more financial help please visit daveramsey.com.
The first person to post a response to this post will win a FREE copy of Dave’s book “The Total Money Makeover” from Dave Ramsey and Vicksburg Daily News]]]]> ]]>

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The 4 A.M. Crafter

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Three brown paper lunch bagsAdhesive (red line tape is great)CardstockPatterned paperSummer themed stickers or die cut shapesPicturesPaper trimmerStrong hole punch (crop a dile)Binder ringsRibbons (4” pieces)RulerInstructions:Fold all bags in half lengthwise. Stack them putting them opposite directions.  Fold all together n punch holes, if you don’t have a hole punch that is that strong make sure you line them up before punching each bag  Measure each page and determine exactly how much of the bag you want covered with paper… some people like the whole bag to be covered, but I enjoy showing off that I made this out of a recycled product.After you cut your papers, adhere to the paper bag  pages, taking care to notice things like the folds in the bags.  You can even put some photos onto cardstock pieces to make them stronger and insert them into the bag openings as a little interactive embellishment, plus this allows you to add even more photos to this little album.  Choose your pictures and embellishments for the pages and decorate as desired.  You might consider using smaller pictures or crop some down because as you see above a 4×6 print takes up a lot of room on these pages… After you get the pages assembled as u desire, run a binder ring through the holes on the side of the bags.  Then tie the ribbon around the binder clips to cute-ify it.  Have fun with this project, everybody!!! Its always a crowd pleaser to show off to your friends and relatives, and it always looks more complicated than it actually is when it’s complete!Flip flop mini albumYes, everybody. You are seeing this correctly… that is an actual flip flop made into a scrapbook… (take that critty lu!)  This is another awesome crowd pleaser but be careful if you have young daughters—they will try to put it on!Supplies needed:A pair of $1 flip flops (new preferably)Strong adhesiveBinder rings (biggest size)StickersPatterned paperChipboard sheets (like what is on the back of notebooks)PencilStrong hole punch and possibly an ice pickOptional: you can glue silk flowers across the band of the flip flop with hot glueInstructions:Before we get to the fun part you need to take the flip flop and trace out desired number of pages out of the chipboard.  Then cover both sides of the chipboard with patterned paper.  You can use any number of coordinating sheets, again creativity is up to the creator.  After you get the pages covered but before you embellish or add pictures, you need to punch the holes in the tops of the pages and in the flip flops.  After that, its all up to you, create to your hearts content.  You can add stickers and such to the flip flops and just have fun!  When you get the album to your finishing point, assemble and flip the entire album over. You need to remove the strap on the back of the album so it will lay flat.  You can add ribbon to this binder ring also, as much or as little as desired.Well, my cup of coffee is gone again, as well as my daughter… guess it’s time to climb back in bed for a little longer… happy crafting!  Also, if you have any crafting questions, feel free to email them to me to be answered in future segments!!!]]]]> ]]>

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The 4 A.M. Crafter

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Supplies Needed:ClipboardPaper (scrapbook not just printer paper)Adhesive (scotch tacky glue is awesome)Craft knife (or really tiny scissors)EmbellishmentsInstructions:For making one similar to above, you will need two pieces of patterned paper.  Decide how far down you want the first paper to go.  Trim one sheet of paper to that length.  Sit the second piece of paper aside for the moment.  Now, the top of a clipboard is where most people get discouraged.  PAY ATTENTION to the clip itself when purchasing a clipboard.  It makes a difference when you start to put paper around it.  All clipboards are not created equal!  The one featured here is actually sold at Family Dollar.  Okay, back to what we were doing.  Take that piece of trimmed paper and line it up at the top edge of board.  Take a pencil or pen and draw a line at the bottom edge of the paper.  Remove the paper and cover the area with adhesive.  You can use a piece of scrap paper or foam brush to spread it.  You want a good thin coat because a thick coat might wrinkle the paper.  After you spread the glue lay your paper on there.  Don’t worry about trimming the sides, we will get to that.  Now spread glue on the rest of the clipboard.  Align the second sheet of paper to butt the bottom of the first sheet.  Place on the clipboard and sit aside.  Let dry for about 30 minutes, so the adhesive has a good strong hold.  Get your craft knife or tiny scissors and trim of excess paper around edges.  Now we have come to the embellishment stage.  This is where you have to decide things on your own, sorry.  I will tell you that running a thin ribbon between the papers looks cute.  Also tying small pieces of ribbon to the clip is great.  Almost every clipboard I design winds up with a huge silk flower on the corner, taking up two to three inches of space.  You don’t have to do any of these, they are just things I wind up doing.  Creativity is about freedom.  It is your handiwork and no one can take that from you!Altered composition book: Supplies needed:Composition bookAdhesivePaperEmbellishmentsCraft knife or small scissorsInstructions:Spread adhesive all over cover of book, leaving the spine of the book uncovered.  Place paper over adhesive.  Flip to the back and repeat.  Sit aside to let adhesive dry.  Trim off excess paper from both sides.  Okay, now to the fun part.  Again, this is the part of the project that is up to you, it’s your book.  You can add stickers, run ribbon along the black part, add flowers, etc.  Have fun with this project.  You can personalize these books as presents, especially to teenage girls!  I buy these books by the stack just for altering.Okay, well it’s now 5:30 so I believe this segment of the 4 a.m. Crafter needs to draw to a close.  The baby is sleeping soundly in my lap so it’s time for this momma to catch a little shut eye.  Join me next week for another segment!  Happy crafting!]]]]> ]]>

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