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100 ways baby boomers can improve their lives in 2009

It’s often difficult to remain cheerful in these turbulent economic times. News of more job layoffs. Banks and other financial institutions continuing to have problems. Businesses closing.

Although the news can be discouraging, it’s important to think through what’s positive in your life and how to get more joy and satisfaction.

Here are 50 ways to improve your life this year:

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Health

  • Read novels to reduce stress.
  • Walk, walk, walk.
  • Use less toxic products, especially for cleaning your home and on your body.
  • Eat more vegetarian meals.
  • Plant fruit trees.
  • Buy organic food.
  • Talk honestly to your doctor about your health needs.
  • Try yoga.

Community

  • Talk to your neighbors.
  • Find a rewarding volunteer activity.
  • Move to a walkable neighborhood.
  • Contribute to your city or county government.
  • Take a walk in a park once a week.

Finances

  • Compare prices before you buy.
  • Pay off your credit cards.
  • Complain when something you buy or a service isn’t right.
  • Figure out ways to simplify your life.
  • Read Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan: Keeping Your Money Safe and Sound.”

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Joy

  • Read “Finding Joy: 101 Ways to Free Your Spirit and Dance With Life” by Charlotte Davis Kasl.
  • Sign up for the lessons you’ve always wanted to take.
  • Say “I love you” to someone you love every day.
  • Have coffee or lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Relax by soaking in the bathtub.
  • Laugh out loud.
  • Sleep in once a week.
  • Hold a baby.
  • Remember to get as much joy as you can from the present, rather than worrying about the past or future.
  • Visit a farm.
  • Watch movies that are fun.
  • Stop being a perfectionist.
  • Visualize daily what you’d like your life to be like.
  • Surround yourself with people who are positive.
  • Spend a realistic amount of time using the computer.
  • Don’t think about work when you leave for the day.
  • Pursue your dreams.
  • Enjoy the wonders of nature.
  • Give up nagging.
  • Figure out ways to enjoy your children more.
  • Reduce the amount of television you watch.
  • Take care of yourself.
  • Don’t dwell on your mistakes.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Be open to new ideas and activities.
  • Let go of disappointments and negative people from the past.

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Home

  • Turn on your favorite music when you clean house.
  • Organize one spot or cupboard in your house weekly.
  • Use lights and plants to make your home more enjoyable.
  • Remodel a room.
  • Buy a pretty new bedspread.
  • Organize your photos.
  • Recycle.

Here are additional suggestions from the article "50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2009" in U.S. News and Reports:

Money

  • Recycle old gadgets for cash.
  • Choose “Obama” stocks.
  • Advance your career online.
  • Put your cash in safe accounts.
  • Start your own nonprofit.
  • Drink screw-topped wines.
  • Lose the ‘microwave’ mentality.
  • Make friends at work.
  • Watch television free online.
  • Try that home before buying.

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Health

  • Bike to work.
  • Use glass to store food.
  • Take an afternoon nap.
  • Get paid for good health.
  • Walk the cravings away.
  • Get a new toothbrush.
  • Move to Vermont.
  • Get your eyes checked.
  • Add obstacles to your jog.
  • Get fit as you get older.

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The brain

  • Read Edgar Allan Poe
  • Publish your book yourself.
  • Go back to school for new skills.
  • Study philosophy.
  • Save that November 5 newspaper.
  • Silence noise pollution.
  • Finish a crossword puzzle.
  • Start using Twitter.
  • Learn Russian
  • Keep a “clothes hanger” journal.

The world around you

  • Learn about Abraham Lincoln.
  • Plant a square-foot garden.
  • Hypermile when you drive.
  • Help those hit by the recession.
  • Switch to a push mower.
  • Air dry your laundry.
  • Practice spreading tolerance.
  • Ditch the phone while driving.
  • Get your news online.
  • Buy laptops for kids.

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Play

  • Learn to play bridge.
  •  Visit Alaska.
  • Celebrate the life of Miles Davis.
  • Take a “staycation.”
  • “Geotag” your digital photos.
  • Watch the Beatles “Let It Be.”
  • Teach your kids to cook.
  • Play a fake musical instrument.
  • Read the book before you see the movie.
  • Try your hand at pottery.

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