The Five Gardening Tasks To Complete in February

Take steps now to ensure a great fruit crop, get your roses ready, and prepare to start seeds

February is the shoulder season in many parts of the U.S. It’s been in the 50s the last few days, and the irises and tulips have started to emerge. For most gardeners, this fills some with both excitement and anxiety with a capital A—am I already behind? You’re not, because February is the time to catch up.

So in this, the shortest of all months, you have not one, but two jobs:

  • Wrap up all the things you’ve not yet accomplished for winter while preparing for spring
  • Get your fruit positioned for an amazing season

Work that will determine what kind of fruit harvest you’ll have

Start by pruning any fruit trees and shrubs you haven’t gotten to yet. This includes blueberries, currants, huckleberries, winterberries, and all other berry shrubs. Prune and train your grapes, and prune back your fall-bearing raspberries. Check with your garden center to see if it’s time to prune summer-bearing raspberries and other cane fruit. If you’re planting fruit trees or shrubs this year, the window is now open. It’s also the right time to relocate any trees or shrubs that might do better elsewhere. You can start planting rhubarb, too.

Once you’re done with the structural work above, it’s time to think about fertilizing all that fruit. Your garden center can help you with fertilizer specifically for fruit trees, vines, and the special acidic fertilizer that blueberries love.

If you’re up for the challenge, consider cloche-ing or wrapping your strawberries to encourage early fruiting.

Take care of your roses

As with fruit, now is the time to give your roses the late winter chop. If you’ve never really paid attention before, this kind of pruning helps encourage your roses to grow strong vines with prolific blooms. Just letting them grow without any pruning or training can result in scraggly and crooked vines. Check out a guide to pruning roses, sterilize your pruning clippers and wear arm protection. You’ll start to see roses in the garden center, and you can start getting them into the ground later in the month. All roses will benefit from fertilizer as well.

Now is the time to divide (some of) your plants

There are a wealth of plants in your yard that benefit from occasional dividing. Dividing gives plants more space to grow, more ability to absorb nutrients, and allows roots to flourish. They’re also two plants for the price of one. Now is the ideal time to dig into those herbaceous perennials and divide those suckers and relocate. To do so, you dig up the entire plant, generously going around the root ball. Lift it out of the ground, and then tease apart the roots with your hands or a sharp knife. You want each division to have at least three shoots. Replant them within the day, and give them a drink of water and a little shade for a few days. Now, this isn’t all perennials, but the fall-blooming perennials. Asters, astilbe, iris, bee balm, blanket flower, bleeding heart, daylily, phlox, hosta, lambs ear, agapanthus, ornamental grasses, and sedum are some common plants you could look to divide.

Resist the urge to clean up

The first week of 50-degree weather sends everyone into their yards, eager to be back outside. While you can embrace the feeling, resist cleaning up the leaves and woody stems you so graciously left in fall. The beneficial insects that are using the leaves and stems to hibernate aren’t ready to exit quite yet. You’ll want to wait until closer to summer. In the meantime, those leaves and stems are becoming useful mulch and compost. Redirect the energy into tuning up your lawnmower for the spring and hunting down every slug and snail that survived winter.

On the precipice of seeding

We’re still too far out to seed tomatoes, eggplants, and your summer vegetables. You can, however, get a crop of spring vegetables started, including broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, and other short crops. If you can find starts at the garden center, they can go in the ground about now, too. What can definitely go in the ground now are pea seeds, including sweet peas.

What you can seed right now is your earliest annual flowers: your petunias, portulaca, sweet alyssum and trailing nasturtiums, the flowers for your hanging baskets and window baskets. You can start your ginger and turmeric inside.

Mostly, you can use this time to get your seed starting supplies cleaned and sterilized with a mild bleach solution and ensure you have all the seeds you want for a bountiful year.

The Top 6 Dental Care Resolutions for 2024

Far more than any other time of the year, New Year’s is filled with gleaming, bright optimism to improve our overall health. Your resolutions can help give your teeth and oral health the attention and care they need. Want to raise the attractiveness of your smile and lower the costs of your dental care?

Our Top Dental Resolutions for the New Year

1) Brush for a Full 2 Minutes

Brushing your teeth is one thing. But brushing your teeth well is something lese altogether. Studies have concluded that most Americans brush for less than 60 seconds. Make sure you brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes. To ensure you’re brushing long enough, use a timer or an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer.

Pro-Tip: To add a little fun, try singing a “timing” song. For example, the Jeopardy! theme is a good choice. It’s 30 seconds long – so, sing it once for each quadrant in your mouth.

2) Floss Regularly

There’s always a good excuse not to floss – you’re tired, flossing is annoying, you’ll do it tomorrow. But there’s an even better reason to floss: –flossing can reduce your risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Plus, you’ll have fresher breath!

Pro-Tip: Choose a time of day that will make it easy to remember and stay committed to flossing regularly. If you find your rush in the morning, make the evening the time of day you floss. However, if you feel too tired at night, try to create a morning routine. The more you make it something easy to do, the more you’ll look forward to doing it!

3)  Stay Away from Staining Foods

Stained teeth have a big impact on your appearance (and self-confidence). While frequently irresistible and delicious, foods like chocolate, coffee, tea, cokes, red wine, dark beer, and berries can significantly stain your teeth. If you can’t cut these food choices out entirely, at least try to cut back – even a small reduction can make a big difference.

Pro-Tip: Teeth whiteners can have excellent initial results, but the improvement won’t last if you don’t stop consuming staining foods and beverages.

4) Stay Hydrated

In addition to cutting down on hunger and fatigue, staying hydrated also boosts your oral hygiene. When your mouth dries out, there isn’t enough saliva to consistently wash bacteria away from your teeth. As a result, it can increase the risk of cavities and bad breath.

Pro-Tip: A fancy new water bottle to sip from throughout the day can be the best investment you make for your dental hygiene!

5) Get Enough Calcium

Remember when you were a kid and were told to drink your milk so you can “grow up big and strong”? Even at this stage of life, adequate calcium intake remains a key nutrient for our bodies, bones, and teeth. Calcium keeps the roots of your teeth strong and secure in your gums.

Pro-Tip: You can still get calcium from milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, tofu, almonds, and dietary supplements.

6) Visit the Dentist Regularly

Another good resolution for the coming year is to see your dentist at least every six months for an examination and cleaning. Regular cleanings remove tartar and plaque, which cause cavities and tooth decay. And, if you’re prone to gingivitis or gum disease, routine dental visits increase the likelihood of early detection, making it easier to manage symptoms and reverse damage when possible.

Pro-Tip: NCRGEA and AMBA have a Dental Plan that’s right for you. Get coverage for routine checkups, exams, fillings, and many other procedures. Not only are you GUARANTEED COVERAGE, this plan also lets you see any dentist you choose with even bigger savings by choosing an In-Network provider! Enroll today at www.AMBAdentalvision.com/NCRGEA or call 800-956-1228.

Join NCRGEA with Meals on Wheels NC!

March for Meals logo

January 2024

NCRGEA is teaming up with Meals on Wheels NC again this year to encourage our members to volunteer during their “Community Champions Week,” March 18-22.

We want MOWNC and our communities to know that NCRGEA members are active and engaged and care about their communities. If you register to volunteer before February 16, we’ll send you a t-shirt to wear during Community Champions week and anytime you are volunteering for MOWNC.

The “Power of a Knock” from a MOWNC volunteer can transform lives, bring hope, health, nutrition and care to seniors throughout North Carolina, so please volunteer for this worthwhile event.

To volunteer and receive your free t-shirt, sign up online at tinyurl.com/4XARK4AX.

Click the video below to view volunteers from our 2023 MOWNC Community Champions Week!

Envisioning a New Future in Eyecare: Man Receives First Complete Eye Transplant Ever

Although surgeons have been able to transplant corneas successfully for years, the quest for a complete eye transplant has remained elusive. That is, until now.

Surgeons say Aaron James, who suffered a high-voltage electrical accident, is the first patient who has undergone the world’s first complete eye transplant on a man.

Although it is not certain James, a military veteran, will regain vision, this breakthrough is a pivotal moment in a decades-long search to restore sight to millions of people.

James, a high-voltage utility line worker from Arkansas, lost most of his face when it accidentally touched a 7,200-volt live wire in 2021. He had to have his left eye removed because of the pain.

A Dream Team To Do The Eye Transplant

In May of 2023, James underwent numerous surgeries. In all, more than 140 healthcare professionals were involved to help replace half of his face, provide him with a prosthetic arm, and – perhaps the most complex of all – the eye transplant.

The donated face and eye came from a single male donor in his 30s. During the surgery, doctors injected adult stem cells from the donor’s bone marrow into the optic nerve to encourage its repair.

Doctors say the donated eye is recovering well and looks remarkably healthy. The breakthrough surgery offers scientists an unprecedented window into how the human eye tries to heal. In fact, one of the reasons the doctors are most optimistic James may regain his sight in his left eye is that there is direct blood flow to the retina – the part of the eye that sends images to the brain.

He says he is “grateful beyond words” to the donor and their family for making the surgery possible and describes the eye transplant and its possibilities “life-changing”.

The future holds incredible breakthroughs and miracles for our eyes and vision. Even today, with the help of regular checkups and proper eyecare, maintaining healthy vision for our lifetimes is more likely than ever. That’s why regular eye exams are so important. The Vision Plan from NCRGEA and AMBA covers annual WellVision exams, 100% coverage for most lenses, even progressives, and thousands of nationwide in-network providers. Sign up today – acceptance is GUARANTEED! – at www.AMBAdentalvision.com/NCRGEA#vision or call 800-956-1228.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/surgeons-new-york-announce-worlds-first-eye-transplant-2023-11-09/

Rate Hike Proposed in 2024 for Homeowner’s Insurance

NCRGEA urges you to let North Carolina Department of Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey know your comments concerning the North Carolina Rate Bureau asking for an average statewide increase in homeowners’ insurance rates of 42.4%, with some rates as high as 99.4%. To see a specific table of proposed homeowners’ rate increases across the state, please click here.

You can provide your comments four ways:

  • A public comment forum will be held to listen to public input on the North Carolina Rate Bureau’s rate increase request at the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s Jim Long Hearing Room on Jan. 22, 2024 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Jim Long Hearing Room is in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh, N.C. 27603.
  • A virtual public comment forum will be held simultaneously with the in-person forum on Jan. 22, 2024 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The link to this virtual forum will be: https://ncgov.webex.com/ncgov/j.php?MTID=mb3fe10c8f69bbedd2aaece485915db7e
  • Emailed public comments should be sent by Feb. 2 to: 2024Homeowners@ncdoi.gov.
  • Written public comments must be received by Kimberly W. Pearce, Paralegal III, by Feb. 2, 2024 and addressed to 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1201.

All public comments will be shared with the North Carolina Rate Bureau. If Department of Insurance officials do not agree with the requested rates, the rates will either be denied or negotiated with the North Carolina Rate Bureau. If a settlement cannot be reached within 50 days, the Commissioner will call for a hearing.

The North Carolina Rate Bureau represents companies that write insurance policies in the state and is a separate entity from the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

This rate filing follows the homeowners’ insurance rate filing that the Department of Insurance received from the North Carolina Rate Bureau in November 2020, where the Rate Bureau requested an overall average increase of 24.5%. That filing resulted in a settlement between Commissioner Causey and the Rate Bureau for an overall average rate increase of 7.9%.

The Rate Bureau has asked for the rates to become effective Aug. 1, 2024.

For a video from Commissioner Causey, on this rate increase, click the following link: https://ncdoi.sharefile.com/share/view/s5c733a53111e4cf68ff490ff5bd0f737

Rate increases affect everyone living in North Carolina; either directly for homeowners, or in increased rents as landlords pass the cost to renters. Don’t think that someone else will speak for you. Take action and let Commissioner Causey know how this will affect you.

Meetings Designed to Meet Your Needs

NCRGEA’s Local Outreach was back on the road in September and October, and we held seven meetings throughout the state to provide information about open enrollment. As you all know, this is a very busy and sometimes confusing time with questions about medical, dental, and vision plans. Our goal was to provide members with helpful resources they may need to navigate the process.

Our meetings included representatives from Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), Humana, and our partner, AMBA. We value these relationships and the help they provide to the retirees in our state. All who attended said they learned something beneficial and enjoyed the meetings.

Please plan to attend future events, and be on the lookout for all the ways we communicate upcoming meetings:

  • Meeting announcements in Living Power
  • Postcard registration invitations
  • Online (www.ncrgea.com) and phone (919-834-4652) registration options
  • Email reminders for those who register

Our next meetings will be held in the spring of 2024 at a location near you. Check out the January edition of Living Power for dates, times, and locations, or go to our website for meeting details and how to register. You can also reach out if you have a group of state or local retirees and would like us to plan a meeting in your area. We’d be happy to arrange one!

How A New State Law Could Impact Pensions

by Paul Woolverton, Jan-April 2024 Living Power

pension piggybank

The new law, called the Transformational Investments in NC Health, was created for UNC Health and ECU Health. UNC Health and ECU Health are the regional healthcare systems based at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and East Carolina University in Greenville. Both are state agencies.

The law prohibits new employees at UNC Health and ECU Health from participating in the traditional state retirement program—a system that guarantees retired state employees an income for the rest of their lives after they retire. Instead, new employees at UNC Health and ECU Health would enroll in an investment program to save for retirement, but that program doesn’t guarantee a post-retirement lifetime income.

The Transformational Investments in NC Health law was part of the state’s 2023–2025 biennial budget, which the General Assembly approved in September. The law allocates $420 million to UNC Health and ECU Health for the NC Care initiative. The initiative is for health clinic and hospital construction and other medical services for rural areas of eastern North Carolina.

According to the office of State Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, some of the $420 million for NC Care is coming from the $1.6 billion “sign-on bonus” that North Carolina is getting from the federal government for expanding Medicaid health insurance to several hundred thousand uninsured lower-income North Carolinians. Funding for NC Care also comes from the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund, a fund the legislature established to pay for public infrastructure and facilities.

But State Treasurer Dale Folwell says this law threatens the stability and long-term health of the pension plan for retired state employees and future retirees. “This is a torpedo to the pension system,” he says. He believes the law also would drive up the price of providing health insurance benefits for state employees, and the costs could be transferred to the employees through their premiums or to North Carolina taxpayers.

Folwell estimated the liabilities to the pension and state health benefits systems could exceed $1.5 billion. The new law could have the collateral damage of putting increased income taxes on state employees by canceling the tax-deferred status of their retirement contributions, according to Folwell. His office oversees the state pension system and the state health plan medical insurance benefits system.

Critical Choices

The normal pension offered to state employees is the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System. But there also is an optional retirement program for employees of the University of North Carolina System, which includes all the state universities and UNC Health and ECU Health hospital systems. While the state treasurer’s office oversees the traditional pension program, the UNC System manages the optional retirement program. Employees of those health systems may participate in either retirement program.

In the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, employees put in 6% of their salaries (and this money is tax-deferred, so it reduces the employee’s taxable income). The employing agency also contributes. The treasurer’s office invests the money, and when the employee retires, he or she will get a monthly payment based on how long they worked and the average of their highest four years of salary, a state retirement document says. Approximately 85% of a retiree’s benefits from the pension are derived from their own contributions and earnings.

“More than 90% of those who make less than $40,000 a year choose the retirement plan because it provides them with the certainty that they need when they don’t have the income to be retirement-ready on their own,” Folwell says. Among university employees earning more than $100,000, 58% choose the pension plan, and 42% choose the investment plan, says Patrick Kinlaw, the director of policy, planning, and compliance for the Retirement Systems Division at the treasurer’s office.

People who would like more control of their retirement planning can use the Optional Retirement Program, according to a guide published by the UNC System. As with the normal plan, employees put in 6% of their income (tax-deferred). Employees can direct the money to various mutual funds and other investment tools.

Folwell says the optional retirement program can be more attractive to employees with higher incomes. Regardless of whether the employees choose the standard or the optional retirement program, the state already offers all of them supplemental investment options to help increase their retirement nest eggs.

According to the Retirement Systems Division at the treasurer’s office, as of December 2022 there were 298,000 state employees contributing to the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, and 21,000 in the UNC optional retirement program.

The treasurer’s office says that if UNC Health or ECU Health produce a new retirement program that allows employees to put in an amount other than 6% of their income (for example, 4%), the Internal Revenue Service could cancel the tax break that the employees receive on their retirement contributions.

The tax break on the retirement contribution reduces the employees’ taxable income. If an employee had a $50,000 salary, the 6% contribution is $3,000 and lowers the taxable income to $47,000.

The IRS requires the retirement contributions offered to the employees to all be the same percentage, according to the treasurer’s office. If UNC Health offers existing employees both the current 6% program plus a new 4% contribution program, the IRS could revoke the tax break for everyone.

The Big Picture

Dan Doonan of the National Institute on Retirement Security says employers in the public and private sector sometimes withdraw from their pension plans, and there are three concerns when that happens.

First, when UNC Health and ECU Health reduce their participation in the retirement system by excluding new employees, the agencies’ share of payments going into the retirement system will decline more quickly than the amount retirees drawing pensions from the plan are paid.

“What that means is, with any unfunded liabilities, there’s going to be a cost shift to the rest of the employers still in the system,” Doonan says. In this case, the other tax-funded state agencies.

Second, after the employer departs from a pension program, the risks involved in running the pension plan will be more concentrated on the remaining employers and employees. “If you have a Great Recession-type event, the employers who leave aren’t going to be there to help get things back on track,” Doonan says.

The third concern, according to Doonan, is ending up with a pension fund with more retirees and fewer workers.

“And when you look at private sector multi-employer plans that have struggled—and particularly coming out of the Great Recession—they tend to be the ones that had a lot of retirees and few workers,” he says. “Because there’s no way to get back on track if you start to get really retiree-heavy.”

When an employer or state agency exits a pension plan, it normally makes a payment to the pension plan to cover the financial liabilities it leaves behind for its employees who have been in the system.

That’s not happening with UNC Health and ECU Health, according to Folwell. “It’s a divorce where one party leaves the family and doesn’t pay the liabilities and debts they’ve left behind,” he says. Fowell estimates the health systems would have to pay more than $1 billion to make the state health plan whole, and more than $500 million to make the pension plan whole.

A study that Doonan and Tyler Bond of the National Institute on Retirement Security published in 2019 looked at what happened when pensions were shut down for state workers in several states.

When Alaska shut down its pension for state employees and teachers in 2005, it still owed pensions to workers who had already been in the system, the report found. Those costs grew into the billions. Meanwhile, after the pensions were eliminated, the state had trouble recruiting teachers, state troopers and other public employees. And people retiring without a traditional pension were more likely to suffer financial hardship.

The Alaska Beacon reported this past February that Alaska was considering reviving its pensions for state employees. It said a state study found that Alaskan government retirees relying on investment-based retirement programs were getting significantly less income than they would have if Alaska had not done away with its pensions.

Elsewhere, Michigan cut off new employees from pension eligibility in 1997. The burden on taxpayers grew to pay the retirements to the workers that had been in the system. And workers in the new, non-pension 401(k) were projected to receive only $300 per month on average, vs. $1,849 under the old pension plan, the study found.

Differing Opinions

But the two health systems say Folwell’s dire predictions for the retirement system and state health plan are wrong.

“ECU Health does not anticipate these changes will negatively impact the state of North Carolina,” ECU Health says in a statement. As of early November, details about the new retirement programs for UNC Health and ECU Health were unavailable.

In a statement to Living Power, UNC Health also defended the Transformational Investments in NC health law.

“These new benefits will mirror what other similarly sized health care systems in the state offer their employees,” says Alan Wolf, a spokesman for UNC Health. “That will allow UNC Health to better compete with the private sector on hiring and retaining employees by allowing for new retirement benefits, outside the ones normally offered by the state.”

The law also allows UNC Health to let existing employees switch to the new benefits plans, although there are no current plans to do so. “That is a new policy we could consider offering, but we are not obligated to do so,” Wolf says.

ECU Health says it “does not anticipate any impacts to existing state employees” based on its participation in the new law’s benefits programs. Of the 14,000 people at ECU Health, only 1,200 are state employees. The rest are private-sector employees operating under ECU Health and do not participate in the State Health Plan or state retirement system.

UNC Health has 30,000 people, with 13,500 state employees and 16,500 private sector employees, according to Wolf.

But NCRGEA executive director Tim O’Connell shares concern with this new law. He believes it will increase costs over time to these healthcare entities, those seeking healthcare, and even the taxpayers.

“There is some great empirical research highlighting the fact that defined benefit plans like a pension are nearly twice as efficient as defined contribution plans,” O’Connell says. “Pensions plans have distinct advantages by design with longevity pooling, portfolio diversification, and lower management fees. If these two state healthcare systems do away with the current pension and health benefits, they will either need to absorb these higher personnel costs that are then passed on to patients or reduce the employee benefits. Neither are great options.”

Tax Credits to Help Reduce Your Tax Bill

by Civic/ LivingPower Nov/Dec 2023

You may be familiar with a few personal itemized deductions to help reduce your tax bill, but maybe you’re not as familiar with “tax credits.” Here are four categories of tax credits that may help you find more than pennies under your couch cushions.

Refundable vs. nonrefundable credits
Taxpayers whose tax bill is less than the amount of a refundable credit can get the difference back in their refund. However, once your liability is zero, you won’t get any leftover amount back as a refund for nonrefundable tax credits. In other words, the taxpayer gets a refund only up to the amount owed.

Earned Income Tax Credit
A refundable tax credit for moderate- and low-income taxpayers with or without qualifying children is the Earned Income Tax Credit. Special rules apply to military members, clergy members, and those with disabilities. Visit the IRS’ EITC Assistant webpage to learn whether you’re eligible.

Energy efficient property credit
Earn more green when you go green! This allows for a credit equal to the applicable percent of the cost of qualified property such as solar electric property, solar water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines, and fuel cell property. Various limitations and applicable percentages are found on the IRS’ Energy Incentives for Individuals webpage.

Electric vehicle tax credits
Do you have the drive for this tax credit? You may qualify for a credit of up to $7,500 under Internal Revenue Code Section 30D if you buy a new, qualified plug-in EV or fuel cell electric vehicle (FCV). The credit is available to individuals and their businesses. To qualify, you must buy the vehicle for your own use and use it primarily in the U.S. Income restrictions apply, so check with your tax or financial professional for details.

Don’t leave money on the table! No matter your stage in life, there are ways to affect your tax bill. For more money tips, visit the You+ Money Blog at civicfcu.org.

Stuck in Bad Habits? Here’s How to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Did you know New Year’s Resolutions go all the way back to ancient times? Since the Babylonians, people have been making – and, inevitably, breaking – New Year’s resolutions.

In 2000 B.C., the Babylonians celebrated the New Year during a 12-day festival called Akitu. Since it was an agriculturally based society, one of the most common resolutions was the vow to return borrowed farm equipment.

The ancient Romans adopted the Babylonian New Year as well as the tradition of resolutions. The timing, however, eventually shifted with the Julian calendar in 46 B.C., which declared January 1st as the start of the new year.

In fact, January is named after the Roman god, Janus. With his two faces, Janus simultaneously peers forward to new beginnings and backward for reflection and resolution. The Romans would offer sacrifices to Janus and make promises of good behavior for the year ahead.

More People Succeed at New Year’s Resolutions Than You Think

Today, even without making sacrifices to two-faced deities, more people succeed at New Year’s resolutions than you’d think. 68% of people who make New Year’s resolutions succeed. You can do it!

What’s the secret to succeeding at New Year’s resolutions? It’s a combination of factors:

  • Frame your resolution positively!

For example, instead of saying, “I want to stop smoking” say “I want to breathe and feel better.” Each day, as you sit down at the breakfast table, long a long, deep breath in and appreciate how much better you feel and the progress you’re making.

  • Pick a goal that is truly for YOU.

Research has proven that if you’re not truly motivated at a task, achieving it becomes that much harder. On the other hand, how you frame your resolution can make a difference. “I’m quitting smoking for my kids” might not be enough. “I’m quitting smoking so I might be around to see my grandkids get married someday” might incentivize you more.  

  • Make mistakes cost you. 

Then again, another way to incentivize yourself is by imposing penalties. For example, let’s say your goal is to stop using your phone at dinner. If you take it out and use it, then you need to give a family member at the table a dollar. 

  • Know your history.

One of the best ways to keep your New Year’s resolution is to avoid making the same resolutions – and the same mistakes – that you’ve made in the past. If you choose to set the same goals that you’ve tried in recent years, your confidence might be shaken. Take time to evaluate what you set to achieve in the past, what went wrong, and what strategies will enable you to make progress. With the right approach, you are likely to achieve your goals.

  • Don’t mistake a mistake to be a failure.

It’s the second you admit failure and throw in the towel that you fail, and not a second before. It doesn’t matter if you caved and smoked one cigarette. The only way to get back on track is to start over. Never make a big deal about a mistake. Remember: there’s a big difference between a slip and failing.

Whether we’re resolving to return borrowed farm equipment or drop a few pounds, we’re tapping into an ancient and powerful longing for a new beginning. But even if you do have trouble maintaining your New Year’s resolutions, you won’t have any issues getting a Whole Life policy. NCRGEA and AMBA have a Whole Life policy that guarantees acceptance. Not only that, you’ll never be dropped for any reason as long as premiums are paid. This plan even features a no-obligation 60-day return policy. You can now purchase your Whole Life Insurance Policy from NCRGEA and AMBA online. Learn more at www.AMBAlifeinsurance.com/NCRGEA or call 800-956-1228.

Source: https://maristpoll.marist.edu/polls/1220-being-a-better-person-weight-loss-top-2018-new-years-resolutions/#sthash.T6d3y43k.dpbs

https://www.almanac.com/history-of-new-years-resolutions