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Hinderman: How to stay happy, healthy, wealthy and wise

Updated: February 23, 2012 8:05AM



Ah, the start of the year brings a feeling of renewal.

As the calendar is turned to 2012, plan to plan. In other words, anticipate what is coming your way and try to organize your life to flow with those benchmarks, instead of “stomping out fires,” which can leave you exhausted.

By mentally organizing your days, weeks, and/or months, you can easily transition between the many (busy) areas of your life.

Get organized

Take a few minutes to organize. On the weekends, look ahead for possible “crunch” times during the week. Could you prep some meals on Sunday for quick-to-assemble meals during the week?

Are there field trips, sporting events, parties, or other events you would need to schedule and prepare for in advance?

How about emergency school closings? Here are the websites for School District 135: http://www.orland135.org/ and High School District 230: https://district.d230.org. Weather information for both can be found at www.EmergencyClosings.com. Do you have a contingency plan in place for day care, child care and transportation?

HAPPY

What makes you happy? How can you find happiness in your days?

It seems that everyone is so busy these days that taking time out to do something enjoyable is a luxury. But could you find time to enjoy watching your kids play, participate in sports or engage in reading or homework? Could you make a (weekly) date with your spouse and enjoy the time (not discussing issues, problems or the kids)?

What if you committed to take up a hobby, sport or routine with a specific goal? Would the joy of accomplishment make you happy?

HEALTHY

Schedule time, each day or a few times per week, to improve your health.

Whether it is a long-overdue doctor, dentist or vision appointment, or just to commit to visiting the gym or going for a walk, make this a promise to yourself.

January is a great time to leave old habits behind and embrace new ones. Quitting smoking, eating healthier and adding exercise to your days are habits that seem easier to start as the calendar changes.

Eating healthier may take some preparation, but by planning snacks, meals, and grocery trips, you will save money in the long run. Think of the food you’ve thrown away due to expiration dates or the expensive and sometimes unhealthy meals you’ve had to grab “on the run.” Make that your motivation.

It seems that sometimes, the busiest people I know are the ones who are the most organized — usually because they have to be.

WEALTHY

Do you have wealth hidden in your closets, drawers, attic, basement or garage? Pick an area to organize each week, do a major, thorough clean, and promptly donate the items for a tax incentive or bring them to the many organizations that consign or resell, netting you some cash.

Baby or childhood items: Once Upon a Child, 9230 159th St., Orland Park.

Teen, women fashion clothing: Clothes Mentor, 9248 159th St., Orland Park, or Plato’s Closet, 9234 159th St., Orland Park.

Sporting goods: Play it Again Sports, 19921 LaGrange Road, Frankfort.

Musical instruments or CDs: Music Go Around, 9192 159th St., Orland Park.

Books, music, movies, games, game consoles, e-readers and audio books: Half Price Books, 31 Orland Square Drive, Orland Park.

WISE

Learning something new is a great workout for your mind. From the daily crossword and Sudoku puzzles in the SouthtownStar to earning an advanced degree, keeping your mind active is important.

Check out the Orland Park Public Library, http://www.orlandparklibrary.org, or Moraine Valley Community College, http://www.morainevalley.edu, for classes that pique your interest or may prepare you for advancement at work.

Let’s make 2012 a year of new beginnings.

Anything is possible.



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