January 2013
Tips for Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions
list of new year's resolutions

Tips for Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

These suggestions can help you realize your dreams.

Got New Year's resolutions? Chances are, you've resolved to tackle at least one of the following ambitious goals, which often appear on "top 10" lists for New Year's resolutions:

  • Lose weight
  • Exercise more
  • Spend more time with family
  • Learn something new
  • Save more money

But studies show that the vast majority of people fail to achieve their New Year's resolutions. One report in particular showed that one out of three people give up on their resolutions before the end of January!

What can you do to make your New Year's resolutions stick? Here are five tips for success.

  • Be specific: Avoid vague goals, such as "lose weight." Instead, specify measurable resolutions, such as "lose 15 pounds." You're more likely to commit to concrete objectives.
  • Break it down: Start with small, achievable steps. As you make progress, you'll build the confidence to take on more challenging tasks toward your final goal.
  • Track it: Record your progress with a journal or ledger. Documenting your progress can help you stay focused and can strengthen your resolve.
  • Get support: Support from friends, family, workmates and others boosts your confidence, and it can buoy your enthusiasm if setbacks occur.
  • Reward yourself: Celebrate your successes along the way. Positive reinforcement through rewards can make your quest a joyful one!

No matter what your New Year's resolutions are, make sure you proactively protect them with American Family Insurance. Consider scheduling a personal insurance review.

Top Picks for Safe Cars
car keys with red ribbon

Top Picks for Safe Cars

Make safety a priority when choosing a new car.

Is a new car in your plans for 2013? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) can help.

Every year, the IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test and evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

To earn the organization's Top Safety Pick designation, a vehicle must have good ratings in all four Institute tests.

See how your vehicle stacks up to IIHS standards by visiting the organization's website.

Stay Safe in Cyberspace
laptop with chain and lock

Stay Safe in Cyberspace

Protect your digital identity with these security steps.

From the time your alarm wakes you until you're tucked back in bed, online activity is integral to your day. (You're reading this story on the Web, right?)

But are you taking all the right precautions when you tweet, text, post, publish or perform any of the ever-growing options available via the Internet?

To help keep you and your family safe in cyberspace, here are some tips from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

General Web Precautions

  • Set secure passwords and don't share them with anyone. Avoid using common words, phrases, or personal information - and update your passwords regularly.
  • Keep your operating system, browser and anti-virus software up-to-date. Security updates and patches are generally available for free from major companies.
  • Pay close attention to website URLs. Malicious websites sometimes use a variation of a common spelling or a different domain (for example, the web address may end with .net instead of .com) to deceive unsuspecting consumers.

Social Media Safety

  • Limit the amount of personal information you post. Don't share details that would make you vulnerable, such as your address, schedule or routine.
  • Take advantage of privacy and security settings. Use site settings to limit the information you share with the general public.

Mobile Device Precautions

  • With mobile devices, only access the Internet over a secure network. Maintain the same vigilance you would on your computer.
  • Do not click on unknown links or answer strange questions sent to your mobile device, regardless of who the sender appears to be.
  • Download only trusted applications from reputable sources or marketplaces.

Here's one more way to help protect your good name: Use American Family's Identity Theft Protection Program, which includes identity fraud expense coverage to help pay costs associated with repairing your identity.

Practice Ski and Snowboard Safety
snowboarder catching big air

Practice Ski and Snowboard Safety

Maximize the fun of your next powdery adventure by following safety's tracks.

If this season's plans include trips to slopes, make sure you're heading downhill with your cranium covered.

Helmets are one of the best ways for ski and snowboard enthusiasts to protect themselves from serious head injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends choosing an ASTM-approved model that fits right, is ventilated and doesn't affect your hearing or field of vision.

Here are some other tips, compiled from a variety of sources, for staying safe on your next powdery adventure.

  • Go to "snow school." If you're new to skiing or snowboarding, a lesson will help you improve – and stay safe on the slopes.
  • Wear slope-appropriate apparel. Keep warm and dry with items such as long underwear, insulated tops and pants, ski pants and jackets and – perhaps most important – a hat. (Sixty percent of heat loss is through the head.)
  • Maintain control. Always be aware of your technique, the terrain and those around you. Conditions can change quickly, so make sure you can adapt.
  • Keep hydrated. Skiing and snowboarding are physical activities; be sure to replenish fluids.
  • Stay sober. Skiing and snowboarding do not mix well with alcohol or drugs. Ever.
  • Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment. This will help keep others from getting injuries while removing some hassles from your experience, too.
  • Always obey all posted signs and warnings.

When you share the slopes with safety, that day-ending cup of cocoa will taste all the sweeter.

Visit Our New "Dreams" Website
Dreams website

Visit Our New 'Dreams' Website

Visit American Family's new website designed to inspire dreamers, and help them explore, pursue and protect their dreams.

Dream Big!

Visit Our "Dream Protectors" Blog