• Breathe deeply. When you were smoking, you breathed deeply as you inhaled the smoke. When the urge strikes now, breathe deeply and imagine your lungs filling with fresh, clean air. Remind yourself of your reasons for quitting and the advantages of being an ex-smoker.
2. Volunteer to help others.
One in four adults donated their time and skills to an organization in 2012, indicating that volunteering is important to millions of Americans, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. The federal agency connects Americans to volunteer opportunities through its core programs, Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and the Social Innovation Fund.
Altogether, 64.5 million Americans performed nearly 7.9 billion volunteer hours in 2012, according to the CNCS. Those hours were worth roughly $175 billion, based on the indepedent sector’s estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour.
People who do volunteer work are helping their communities, but they can also improve their own lives by learning new skills and building on their previous experience. A CNCS study found that the odds of finding a new job were 27 percent higher for volunteers than they were for non-volunteers.
To check out volunteer opportunities in Ada, visit the Ada Regional United Way’s website at www.adaunitedway.org and click on “Volunteer.”
3. Managing your debt.
Managing debt and saving money is a perennial favorite, especially when the Christmas bills start arriving in your mailbox. But it takes discipline and commitment to develop a budget and adhere to it.
The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma offers these suggestions for developing a successful budget:
• Recruit your familyi. If you have kids, ask them to help you find areas where you can cut back, then identify savings goals. Their participation will make it easier when they’re tempted to spend money instead of saving for the goal.