5 great daily habits from Barbara Jenkins at The House Of SoldThanks to our friend Matt Shirey with Fairway Mortgage for sharing these great tips for staying happy, healthy, and focused in 2013. Check out Matt's wonderful mortgage products at ;http://www.matthewshirley.com/Default.aspx

5 Great Daily Habits for the New Year

Here's a fresh idea for the start of the New Year. Instead of trying to improve ourselves by trying to follow another set of New Year's resolutions, some life coaches and self-improvement experts suggest that establishing a few good habits on a daily basis can be much more effective. Good habits, practiced regularly, eventually help us grow in the right direction.

 Following are five great habits that can upgrade every area of our lives: 

1. Keep moving. 
To improve your physical health, you don't have to join a gym or start training for marathons (unless that's what you absolutely love doing!). Just get yourself moving, every day. Instead of staring at a TV or computer screen for a couple of hours, get up and go for a 20-minute walk. Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Walk to some places you usually drive to. In nice weather, have a meeting with someone while taking them on a walk through the park. This was the favorite kind of one-on-one meeting for Apple founder Steve Jobs.

2. Stay positive.
Negative inputs sap our emotional energy, putting us in a mindset that can make it harder to succeed. Spot the negative influences in your life and eliminate them, or if they can't be avoided, at least don't indulge them. A brief list: 24-hour bad news channels; impossible deadlines; traffic; toxic people. If that radio talk show host or TV interviewer sets you on edge, why listen to them?

3. Work your mind.
Mental exercise is good for you too. Just make it a point to learn something new every day. It can be as small as someone's name or as big as a part of history you've always been curious about. Learn a new word from a list of most frequently misused or misspelled words. Figure out how to be proficient with every last function on your smartphone. Just learn one a day.

4. Take time out.
Even during your busiest day, don't forget to take a few minutes out and enjoy some quiet time. Don't open emails, and let your phone go to voice mail (OK, you can check Caller ID if you're expecting a really important call!). Turn off your smartphone, tablet, and computer. For 15 minutes, don't work at all. Just listen to your favorite music, read something for fun, stare out the window and daydream, or do whatever it is that relaxes you. The idea is to quiet your mind and refresh your disposition before heading back into the fray.

5. Reach out to someone.
Each day, try to connect to one person you haven't engaged in a while. That could be a college friend, someone you swapped business cards with on an airplane or at a trade show, or any acquaintance who's been on your mind lately. Pick up the phone, shoot off a quick email, or tweet them. Let them know you're thinking about them. Even better, share something that might be of value to them. We really can't do everything on our own, we do need each other. Reach out to one person daily and you may be astonished with the results.

 Here's to growing in great new ways and experiencing the greatest year ever.... Enjoy a great month!