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Success From the Nest

By Tony Clark

Improving your odds at keeping New Year’s resolutions

Sue Shellenbarger, the work and family columnist for the Wall Street Journal, yesterday wrote “Steps to New Year’s Resolution Success” detailing the science behind keeping resolutions. Great advice begins right at the beginning of the article: When setting a resolution, simply deciding to change your behavior may work for a while.

Reader Mailbag: Family and Friends

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Pets, roommates, and repair costs 2. Gift receipts 3. Why get married? 4. Lonely Christmas 5. College athletic compensation 6. Preparing for a layoff 7. Why Christmas? 8. Diversifying retirement savings 9.

Last Minute Tax Steps for 2010

credit: David Reber's Hammer Photography on Flickr With 2011 just around the corner, you’re probably thinking about closing out the books on this year. You might be considering what you need to get your taxes done and generally start the year off right.

Wall art: My IKEA hack

Buy a HULTET bamboo dish 45cm. Cover it with golden acrylic paint, front and back. Look for a picture or a drawing of a hibiscus flower you like put it in the size you like and print it out, then cut it out trace it on the dish. Look for tendrils samples you like, or draw the lines freehand on the dish. Fill in the black background with acrylic paint. For the tendrils, you need 3D glue for foils

Pay It Forward (How to Make More of a Difference Than You Ever Thought Possible)

What would YOU do for someone you loved? I’d do just about anything. It’s true – in fact it’s my greatest weakness. I struggle to set boundaries. I put myself last. And quite frankly, I enjoy ignoring my own untended messes in order to help others clean theirs, leaving my own life in occasional (okay, steady) disarray. But guess what?

Hitting the Bull: The Game of Darts-Part I

Many of us have a favorite watering hole where we to go to unwind and have a good time. Some of us may prefer the dive bar, others the neighborhood brewery; some appreciate a younger crowd or the club/bar scene. I personally prefer the cozy pub, and in my town I’ve found one of the best I’ve come across.

Spare Change: Help a Reporter Edition

From time to time, reporters contact me for help on their stories. But often, I’m not the person they want to talk to. The person they want to talk to is you. This week, I’ve connected with two reporters writing stories with which they hope GRS readers can help. The first is looking for somebody in the Twin Cities area who has elected to live without credit cards.

Give the Lack a bit of time

  Materials: Lack side table Description: A clock, built from the top of the same table (Lack). Rough-grit sanding is necessary for the paint to stick. The back (which was the bottom side of the table) was routed out with a Dremel rotary tool and filled with clock parts purchased online. See more of the Lack side table clock. ~ Charles Crawford, http://crawfordcreativestudio.com

Out With The Old, In With The New: Start a Potluck Circle

Throughout the month of December, The Simple Dollar is posting a daily series focusing on specific activities you can do right now to set the stage for a great 2011. Out with the old, in with the new. 22. Start a potluck circle. One of our favorite social events is the potluck dinners we have with our friends.

One legged lamp stand

Materials: One leg from a Lack side table Description: It's a lamp with a textile electrical cord, hand built from the leg of a LACK side-table. See more of the textile electrical cord lamp. ~ Charles Crawford, http://crawfordcreativestudio.com

Do You Make These 6 Mistakes When Asking Questions?

How hard can it be to ask a simple question? Believe it or not, the ability to ask clear, incisive questions is a learned skill and one that most people haven’t mastered. Don’t believe me? Think about what you’d ask the President if you got the chance to interview him.

Unitasker Wednesday: Electronic bubble wrap

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy! One of my favorite things about unwrapping gifts at the holidays is playing with the bubble wrap that was protecting the gift. Popping the air pockets is oddly stress relieving.

Coffee table with Bjarnum legs

Materials: Bjarnum Description: Coffee table with Bjarnum shelf brackets for legs. ~ Clay Nunnally

A year ago on Unclutterer

2009 Brainstorming resolutions for 2010Over the next couple weeks, I’ll write about how to create and organize a schedule for achieving your difficult goals. Right now, though, I want you to brainstorm on what you want to achieve in 2010. Make a list, or three or nine. Talk to friends, family and/or your boss about the ideas that are bouncing around in your head and get their feedback.

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Christmas Thoughts Edition

This week, I went through the archives of several of my favorite personal productivity and personal finance blogs and found some of my favorite articles they had written about the Christmas season. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. A Non-Consumer Christmas: Simple Gifts for Kids and Grown-Ups Our biggest challenge, honestly, is limiting who we give gifts to.