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5 smart New Year resolutions to look out for

Do something that makes you happy, take up a new hobby, travel somewhere you’ve never been before — all these will help you refocus and realign your goals and priorities.

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2018 resolution
New Year resolutions which we can try and make our lives better

More than half of December is gone, and this is a good time to not just make a to-do list for 2018 but also stick to it and complete it. Here are five smart resolutions to make for the coming year — compiled by Patanjali Somayaji, Co-Founder of the Walnut App.

1. Save more, spend less (and pay bills on time)
A no-brainer really, but easy to say and tough to do. Check your past spends and work out how much you want to save each month. Allocate part of your income automatically so you’re not tempted to use the money elsewhere. This could be in an auto-sweep fixed deposit, a SIP in a mutual fund or a transfer to another bank account. Use a money management app to track your spends, create a budget and get reminders to make your bill payments on time.

2. Clear high-interest debt
Do you have several credit cards that are maxed out to the available credit limit, and are you paying only the minimum due each month? If so, you are headed for financial disaster. If you have multiple credit cards, give them up and keep a maximum of two, with the highest credit limit. Avoid any fresh spends on your cards till dues are cleared. List all your debts, from highest to lowest, and clear them in that order.

3. Health is wealth — ensure it
Being healthy and fit is the best gift for yourself and your family and dependents. Cut down on wasteful spending and eating/drinking, make actual use of that gym membership, get a complete health check-up done and make it a yearly habit.

Set aside money each month for an emergency fund worth 6-8 months of living expenses to see you and family through any medical emergency. Regardless of whether you are single or have a family, get a life and health insurance policy so that you/your next of kin don’t suffer financially if something happens to you.

2018 resolution
Every New Year brings a lot of hope and excitement to be unleashed

4. Documentation and nomination
Sounds boring, but it is a good idea to ensure your spouse/family is aware of your finances — not just investments and insurance, but also debts. Likewise, while opening a bank/demat/mutual fund account, not many pay attention to adding a nominee — or in case of a life insurance policy, updating beneficiary from parents to the spouse. Documentation can be further split into financial/debt, health/life and legal (if applicable). Ensure it is easily accessible to next of kin in case something happens to you, so they are spared the running around and unnecessary paperwork.

5. Remember to have fun!
Working 9 to 6 daily, five (or six) days a week can take a toll on your health and personal life. Make a conscious effort to set aside time for your family and friends. Plan mini-breaks every quarter and a full-fledged vacation once a year.

Do something that makes you happy, take up a new hobby, travel somewhere you’ve never been before — all these will help you refocus and realign your goals and priorities. IANS

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2018 Fourth-hottest Year Since 1880; Earth Set to Get Warmer, Says NASA

"The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt a" in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change," said Schmidt

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Earth depletion
Earth depletion, Pixabay

Earth’s global surface temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest since 1880 and the planet will warm further, especially since greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise, Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have said.

Global temperatures in 2018 were 0.83 degrees Celsius warmer than 1951 to 1980, according to scientists at Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

Globally, 2018’s temperatures ranked behind those of 2016, 2017 and 2015. The past five years are, collectively, the warmest years in the modern record.

“2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” GISS Director Gavin Schmidt said in a statement on Wednesday.

Since the 1880s, the average global surface temperature has risen about 1 degree Celsius.

Kepler, NASA, tissue
NASA. Pixabay

This warming has been driven in large part by increased emissions into the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases caused by human activities.

“Weather dynamics often affect regional temperatures, so not every region on Earth experienced similar amounts of warming,” said NOAA.

Warming trends are strongest in the Arctic region, where 2018 saw the continued loss of sea ice.

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“In addition, mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets continued to contribute to sea level rise.

“Increasing temperatures can also contribute to longer fire seasons and some extreme weather events.

“The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt a” in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change,” said Schmidt. (IANS)