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 or call 800-956-1228.


Please Mind the Age Gap: Planning for Couples with a Significant Difference in Age

Financial planning always has complexities, but couples with a significant age gap face additional concerns. Issues like differences in retirement eligibility dates, life expectancies, health issues, income needs, and more.

Strategies for Couples with a Significant Age Gap

  • Staggered Retirement Dates

Couples with a significant age gap may find themselves juggling different retirement dates. The older spouse may be ready to retire while the younger spouse is still enjoying prime earning years.

From a financial perspective, there can be significant advantages to staggering your retirement dates. For example, the working spouse may be able to maintain employer-sponsored health insurance until their own retirement. And the income they continue to bring into the household can reduce the need to draw from retirement assets, preserving retirement savings.

Of course, if the lifestyle challenges of one working spouse and one retired spouse prove too complex, consider a compromise. Perhaps the older spouse takes a part-time job for a few years and the younger spouse joins their partner in retirement a few years earlier than originally planned.

  • Timing Social Security

Properly planning for Social Security is critical for couples with an age gap because the younger spouse has the potential to live significantly longer than the older spouse. This means the younger spouse may need to rely on a survivor benefit for an extended period.

If the older spouse is the primary earner, consider the viability of delaying taking benefits until 70 or later. Doing so allows the Social Security benefits to grow by approximately 8% each year, which can also provide a higher survivor benefit for the younger spouse. 

  • Pension Payments

If the older spouse is eligible to receive pension payments, it may make sense to elect a joint-and-survivor payout option. While this choice typically reduces the amount of the household’s monthly payment, it also helps ensure the younger spouse can continue receiving payments for the rest of their life, even after the older spouse passes away.

  • Estate Planning

Estate planning for couples with an age gap is especially important. Take steps to ensure the younger spouse will remain financially secure for their entire lifetime. Make sure all documents are up to date, from your will to old 401ks that you may have assigned a Transfer On Death to a previous beneficiary, and other matters like financial and healthcare powers of attorney.

Another Important Step

It also makes sense for the older spouse to have a life insurance policy so each person can have peace of mind. If you’ve attempted to purchase life insurance in the past but were turned down due to lifestyle or health issues, NCRGEA and AMBA have good news. The Whole Life policy available through NCRGEA and AMBA guarantees acceptance if you’re between the ages of 45 to 85. No exams, no tests, no questions. Plus, premiums are set at a fixed rate – and as long as they are paid, you’ll never be dropped for any reason! This plan even features a no-obligation 60-day return policy. You can now purchase your Whole Life Insurance Policy online. Learn more at or call 800-956-1228.