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Five tips for a better year

Small changes now can have a positive effect all year long.By Kristy Alpert

From saving time online so you can spend more time with your loved ones to taking that first step to living a more holistic and healthy life, a better life in the New Year is just as attainable as you want to make it.

But a little expert advice never hurt, right! Here are five tips from five experts on ways to make 2013 a better year for you and your family.

  1. “Take control and empower yourself to live life on your terms,” advises Rip Mason, CEO for LegalShield. “Get your affairs in order and keep them that way. Get your will in place; get your tax and estate planning done; if you own a business, get your succession plan in place; and get a legal plan in place so you’re protected long term. If you know that you have these things taken care of, and that you have protections for the future, you really can worry less and live life to the fullest.”
  2. “Take the opportunity in 2013 to create the life you imagined,” says certified family manager coach and productivity consultant Ellen Delap. “It’s up to you to put it into practice. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”
  3. “One step toward healthy eating is planning ahead,” says Shannon Miles, owner and holistic health counselor at Miles Holistic Health and Simply Smiles. “Preparing healthy foods in bulk can set you up for success when trying to improve your health or save money by helping you stick to a healthy diet. Don’t get too bogged down in the details of meal planning. Instead pick just a few ‘go to’ foods (i.e., baked chicken tenders or breasts, quinoa, brown rice, large salad bin) to cook and prepare in bulk. You’ll then have a variety of prepared foods to mix and match or choose from when either creating meals from scratch or planning pre-made meals. Preparing in bulk can even give you ready-to-eat foods and meals for a week or longer since you can refrigerate or even freeze just about anything.”
  4. “Use an auto fill tool for your credit card and shipping address,” advises Michelle Madhok, shopping expert and founder of “You can set up tools like roboform to remember your passwords to your favorite sites and also fill in shipping addresses to various places.”

“The biggest advice I can give is to start 2013 off with the word variety,” says Abby Malmstrom, exercise physiologist and owner of Live For It All. “Whether it’s via nutrition or exercise, variety really is the spice of life. If you are a runner, make sure to add in other forms of cross training to balance out the body’s fitness level in all areas. If you are a weight lifter or Cross-Fit junkie, make sure to try other activities such as yoga or Pilates. Not only will adding in different forms of exercise contribute to your fitness level, it will also keep you from getting bored, and it will definitely keep your body better protected from overuse injuries.”