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Encourage staff and managers to take their vacation time. Even a day or two of vacation can make a huge difference in employee motivation. Now is the best time to plan the summer schedule and ensure that your employees are taking those earned and deserved vacation days and Arizona .

USA Today published that some 51% of executives surveyed by Accountemps, Menlo Park, Calif., a specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance, and bookkeeping professionals, maintain they are more productive after a vacation than before.

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Now there is more proof that vacations increase employee productivity and even improve overall health, as the Travel Industry Association released its conclusions from studies of data that looked at the health benefits of vacation travel.

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Texas is the second biggest state in the US and is known to be a great vacation destination. It has a rich and diverse landscape and the people too are extremely friendly. You will definitely enjoy yourself here on your vacation.

Here are some Texas vacation ideas that will help to make your vacation a memorable and enjoyable one:

If you are planning a vacation to Texas, then select a destination that you would like to visit. The state has several beautiful towns and cities that cater to tourists. Some of the most frequented tourist destinations in the state are Galveston and Houston which offer several activities and also places of interest.

Accommodation is not an issue in the state. You can kind one to suit any budget. The capital Austin has several hotels that you can book without worrying about the cost. While cities like Houston, Galveston and San Antonio have budget hotels that offer excellent lodging.

If you are in Texas, you just have to taste the local cuisine. If you are not interested in it, then the restaurants would be more than happy to serve you something more to your taste.

There are just too many places to see in the state and one trip may not suffice. Take a trip to the Gulf Coast, to the town of Port Arkansas. Here you can spend time relaxing in the sun, strolling on the beach, bird watching or just picking up beautiful shells that are found in abundance on the sandy beach. You can also charter a boat and go for a cruise or watch dolphins frolicking in the ocean.

Otherwise, plan a visit to Gladys Porter Zoo, which is situated on South Padre Island. Here you can see wild animals living in their natural habitat. You can even take a safari to watch the animals from up close.

If you are more of a city person, then visit Austin. Here you can spend time at the Barton Springs Pool, Austin Duck Adventures or the Zilker Botanical Garden.

If all this does not interest you, then you can visit a ranch and watch rodeo and live the life of a real cowboy for a few days. This will surely get you all excited and pepped up!

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It is almost that time again: time to reflect on the old year and bring in the new. What is your New Year's Resolution?

If you are making a New Year's Resolution, you are not alone. Millions of Americans make a New Year's Resolution. While popular goals are weight loss or to stop smoking, there may be one goal you haven't thought of before. Giving to charity—whether it’s money, donations, or your time—is a great way to kick off the new year. Besides helping others in need, giving to charity has several positives for the giver.

Even if life is going great, giving can be a challenge. Money and resources can always be spent elsewhere and finding the time to volunteer can be tricky. Despite these challenges, giving can reap personal and even financial benefits that outweigh the sacrifice.

Here are the biggest benefits of giving back this new year:

1. Make Your Brain Happy

Science may not seem to have much in common with the matters of the heart, so you might be surprised at this first benefit. Donating can activate the reward areas of your brain. A study from the University of Oregon showed that charitable actions trigger a similar reaction to drugs or other pleasurable stimuli, releasing happy chemicals including dopamine and endorphins. Another research study from the National Institutes of Health looked at participants who decided to donate a portion of $100. The people who did donate experienced a similarly positive reaction in their brains.

Instead of splurging on a new dress or pair of jeans, make a New Year's Resolution to donate to charity and enjoy the good vibes.

2. Help Others Who Need it Most

In a perfect world, there’s always a good time to give. But real life is different. There’s always a friend's birthday or big vacation to save up for. But while you are making your big plans for the new year, there will always be someone out there who could use your help.

Giving back doesn't always have to mean monetary donations. Volunteering your time and your talents can be an incredible gift as well. Do you have a knack for arts and crafts? Make a resolution to work with the kids in the neighborhood to build simple art products. Are you a musician? Visit your nearest nursing home and perform a mini-show for the residents.

There are times where it’s tricky to donate time or money. If you own a good amount of extra clothing or toys, you can donate these to your local thrift store or organization. These items are especially useful during a natural disaster when families have lost everything and need the basics to get back on their feet.

3. Be a Role Model for Friends and Family

If your New Year's Resolution is to connect better with your children, consider donating to charity. Seeing you give will set a solid example for children - think of others and help those in need. You can also encourage your children to give a portion of their allowance or go through their old toys to see what they can give away. It’s important to let your children decide on what to give so they don't feel like it’s another chore.

Tell your family and friends about your resolution to give more this year. Letting them know will help make you accountable throughout the year as well as motivate them to donate.

When you do give, make it personal. Do research and find causes important to you. Don't feel limited to giving money: your time and old items can be equally helpful to those in need.  


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