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 Texas .
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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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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Texas is a great place to visit no matter what time of the year it is. Each part of Texas has a unique scenery to offer and it tends to stay pretty warm down south. You are sure to find a lot of great events whenever you decide to visit. Head down to warm San Antonio for the annual Wine Opener. This is an annual event held by the San Antonio Express-News. The wine festival features gold-medal winning wines from American and Foreign Vintners. San Antonio's River Walk also hosts the Bud Light Mardi Gras River parade. The event turns the River Walk into Bourbon Street on water. There parade runs from 3 to 5 pm and features live entertainment and costumed revelers.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the world's largest stock show and rodeo. The competition lasts 20 days and features rodeo events, concerts, livestock and horse shows, carnivals, educational exhibits and children's activities. There is also great shopping and food. Rodeo Houston features a large number of entertainers including George Straight, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, ZZ Top, Alan Jackson, Los Lonely Boys, Gretchen Wilson and more.
The Dallas Mavericks are full swing in their season. You can't miss the NBA 2006 Western Conference Champions compete against other great NBA teams for a chance to make it to the Finals. The American Airlines Center hosts the Mavericks' home games and there are several home games in the month of February. While you are in Dallas, don't forget to hit the West End for great dining and entertainment. The West End features a large number of popular restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
If you are looking for some place a whole lot warmer, head down to Port Arthur for the Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas and Holiday Razzle Dazzle. The event features huge Mardi Gras parades and events. They also feature a large number of bands including Pat Green, Robert Earl Keen, and a whole lot of zydeco music. The Amarillo National Center hosts the National Cutting Horse Association World Finals. This is a cutting horse event that draws competitors from all over North America. Exhibitors and horses make their way into Amarillo for a chance to be world champion and win up to $50,000. More than five hundred of the top cutters come to compete at this show. Texas is a huge state and each region has its own special attributes and sites to see.
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