4 Ways To Indulge And Stay On Track During Holiday Party Season


The first snowfall always signals the beginning of 'the silly season'. The season's change means the start of the Holidays, the parties - workless days and long nights. And, while we all look forward to it, for many of us, it means the start of the spiral down the rabbit hole of endless drinks, parties and meals, as well as a lack of sleep.

By the time the New Year starts, you're wondering where the last 85 days went and how - among the many gifts Santa left for you under your tree - you somehow also got an extra ten pounds, puffy cheeks, and bags under your eyes.

It starts with Halloween, and that one Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, which let's face it, is the literal gateway drug that leads to the “I'll start in January", “It's Thanksgiving", “I have to go to holiday drinks with x, y, and z" nonsense that we kid ourselves with. Every. Single. Year. Before you know it, it's finally the New Year, and you're at the gym twice a day, brunching without your mimosa, convinced you've gained weight everywhere - even your feet, because your new Cole Haan suede loafers aren't fitting right.

It doesn't actually have to be like this though. We don't have to eat every single thing in sight, or attend every single party all in the name of good old Holiday Cheer, and we don't have to sacrifice a good time just so we don't regret it later.

It is still possible to enjoy the Holiday Season without changing our waistlines, and all you need is a few reasonable behavior modifications… if you're still reading, then I guess it's time to change the way you do the holidays forever!

1. Don't skip meals

I know this seems pretty obvious, but people amaze me every time I hear them say, “I have a party tonight, so I'm just going to eat a bar". This is a recipe for disaster. You might as well head out to McDonald's get a Big Mac meal and then grab four slices of pizza on your way home. Your body needs to be fueled properly throughout the day, so you don't overeat at later meals. Eating all your meals and snacks before a night out will most definitely ensure that you'll be able to say no to the pigs in a blanket, and the cookies.

And, because you ate your breakfast, your lunch, and the snacks in between before your holiday party, you'll be able to wait for the entree, without dipping into the appetizers first. You also won't be like my kids, who mainline juice at birthday parties because you've been deprived of food all day (juice is not allowed in my house, so when we go to parties my kids are crackheads for the stuff). Trust me, it's not cute to be shoveling food down your throat because you didn't eat all day and now you can't stop because a few drinks have loosened your willpower.

2. Pace yourself with the alcohol

Again, this seems logical, but hear me out. Strategies for drinking can really allow you to not overdo things, while still being able to enjoy yourself to the full. Anytime I don't have an alcoholic beverage in my hand, someone asks me if I'm pregnant, and I'm like, hello it's Tuesday! So, I know what it's like, but back to you... A way to make sure you don't have the equivalent of eight bottles of wine in a week, as you go from party to party, is to set a pacing rule.

My favorites are to decide not to drink until after dinner has been served, or simply set a time to start drinking. For example, determine not to drink alcohol until 9 PM… by which point everyone will be wasted, it will be too late to catch up, and you end up leaving by 10, relatively sober, and still in a caloric deficit because you took that spin class at lunchtime. And even if it is a late night, or you missed the spin class, you will still have reduced the amount you drank by starting later in the evening.

3. Dessert, or alcohol but not both

You're probably wondering what kind of monster makes you choose between dessert or alcohol? But I'm here to tell you, it's the one who loves you and doesn't want you standing in your towel inside your closet on January 1st with multiple pairs of pants on the floor because they don't quite fit right. I mean, you wouldn't normally have dessert and alcohol every single night, right? So, pretend it's April, the sun has been shining for a few days and you're going to have to wear a skirt and tank top soon. And here's an extra tip for free - when you do eat the dessert, eat three bites only - because all you will remember is the first and last bites anyway.

4. It's OK to say no

Finally, I give you permission to not attend every single event! I know there's that whole FOMO thing, but keeping the events to a maximum of once a week is the easiest way to make sure you don't over do it. Generally, we know the events ahead of time, so planning out where you really want to go ahead of time can help you figure out an excuse to bow out of the events you don't care so much about with enough time to let the hosts know with plenty of notice (manners first of course!). Or, if you simply must go, make an appearance at the beginning, drink a seltzer, and then make your exit before someone breaks out their recorder and starts playing “Joy to the World".

With a little bit of planning and a few choice strategies, you too can enjoy your holiday season to the fullest, without that rude awakening on your first day back to work in January! So, all that remains for me to do is wish you good luck and a very Happy Holidays!

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Choosing the Right Corporate Structure: Which Business Entity Should You Go With?

Business entities can be defined as the corporate, tax and legal structures which an organization chooses to officially follow at the time of its official registration with the state authorities. In total, there are fifteen different types of business entities, which would be the following.

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • General Partnership
  • Limited Partnership or LP
  • Limited Liability Partnership or LLP
  • Limited Liability Limited Partnership or LLLP
  • Limited Liability Company or LLC
  • Professional LLC
  • Professional Corporation
  • B-Corporation
  • C-Corporation
  • S-Corporation
  • Nonprofit Organization
  • Estate
  • Cooperative Organization
  • Municipality

As estates, municipalities and nonprofits do not concern the main topic here, the following discussions will exclude the three.

Importance of the State: The Same Corporate Structure Will Vary from State to State

All organizations must register themselves as entities at the state level in United States, so the rules and regulations governing them differ quite a bit, based on the state in question.

What this means is that a Texas LLC for example will not operate under the same rules and regulations as an LLC registered in New York. Also, an LLC in Texas can have the same name as another company that is registered in a different state, but it's not advisable given how difficult it could become in the future while filing for patents.

To know more about such quirks and step-by-step instructions on how to start an LLC in Texas, visit howtostartanllc.com, and you could get started with the online process immediately. The information and services on the website are not just limited to Texas LLC organizations either, but they have a dedicated page for guiding fresh entrepreneurs through the corporate tax structures in every state.

Sole Proprietorship: Default for Freelancers and Consultants

There is only one owner or head in a sole proprietorship, and that's what makes it ideal for one-man businesses that deal with freelance work and consulting services. Single man sole proprietorships are automatic in nature, therefore, registration with the state is unnecessary.

Sole proprietorships are also suited to a degree for singular teams such as a small construction crew, a group of handymen, or even miniature establishments in retail. Also, this puts the owner's personal financial status at jeopardy.

Due to the fact that a sole proprietorship entity puts all responsibilities for paying taxes and returning loans, it directly jeopardizes the sole proprietor's personal belongings in case of a lawsuit, or even after a failed loan repayment.

This is the main reason why even the most miniature establishments find LLCs to be a better option, but this is not the only reason either. Sole proprietors also find it hard to start their business credit or even get significant business loans.

General Partnership: Equal Responsibilities

The only significant difference between a General Partnership and a Sole Proprietorship is the fact that two or more owners share responsibilities and liabilities equally in a General Partnership, as opposed to there being only one responsible and liable party in the latter. Other than that, they more or less share the same pros and cons.

Registration with the state is not necessary in most cases, and although it still puts the finances of the business owners at risk here, the partnership divides the liability, making it a slightly better option than sole proprietorship for small teams of skilled workers or even small restaurants and such.

Limited Partnership: Active and Investing Partners

A Limited Partnership (LP) has to be registered with a state and whether it has just two or more partners, there are two different types of partners in all LP establishments.

The active partner or the general partner is the one who is responsible and liable for operating the business in its entirety. The silent or investing partner, on the other hand, is the one who invests funds or other resources into the organization. The latter has very limited liability or control over the company's operations.

It's a perfect way for investors to put their money into a sector that they are personally not experienced with, but have access to people who do. From the perspective of the general partners, they have similar responsibilities and liabilities to those in a general partnership.

It's the default strategy for startups to find funding and as long as the idea is sound, it has made way for multiple successful entrepreneurial ventures in the recent past. However, personal liability still looms as a dangerous prospect for the active partners to consider.

Limited Liability Company and Professional LLC

Small businesses have no better entity structure to follow than the LLC, given that it takes multiple good ideas from various corporate structures, virtually eliminating most cons that are inherent to them. Any and all small businesses that are in a position to or are in requirement of signing up with their respective state, usually choose an LLC entity because of the following reasons:

  • It removes the dangerous aspect of personal liability if the business falls in debt or is sued for reparations
  • The state offers the choice of choosing between corporation and partnership tax slabs
  • The limited legalities and paperwork make it suited for small businesses

While more expensive than a general partnership or a sole proprietorship, a professional LLC is going to be a much safer choice for freelancers and consultants, especially if it involves risk of any kind. This makes it ideal for even single man businesses such a physician's practice or the consultancy services of an accountant.

B, C and S-Corporation

By definition, all corporation entities share most of the same attributes and as the term suggests, they're more suited for larger or at least medium sized businesses in any sector. The differences between the three are vast once you delve into the tax structures which govern each entity.

However, the basic differences can be observed by simply taking a look at each of their definitive descriptions, as stated below.

C-Corporation – This is the default corporate entity for large or medium-large businesses, complete with a board of directors, a CEO/CEOs, other executive officers and shareholders.

The shareholders or owners are not liable for debts or legal dispute settlements in a C-Corporation, and they may qualify for lower tax slabs than is possible in any other corporate structure. On becoming big enough, they also have the option to become a publicly traded company, which is ideal for generating growth investments.

B- Corporation – the same rules apply as a C-Corporation, but due to their registered and certified commitment to social and environmental standards maintenance, B-Corporations will have a more lenient tax structure to deal with.

S-Corporation – Almost identical to a C-Corporation, the difference is in scale, as S-Corporations are only meant for small businesses, general partnerships and even sole proprietors. The main difference here is that due to the creation of a pass-through entity, aka a S-Corporation, the owner/owners do not have liability for business debt and legal disputes. They also are not taxed on the corporate slab.

Cooperative: Limited Application

A cooperation structure in most cases is a voluntary partnership of limited responsibilities that binds people in mutual interest - it is an inefficient structure due to the voluntary nature of its legal bindings, which often makes it unsuitable for traditional business operations. Nevertheless, the limited liability clause exempts all members of a cooperative from having personal liability for paying debts and settling claims.

This should clear up most of the confusion surrounding the core concepts and their suitability. In case you are wondering why the Professional Corporation structure wasn't mentioned, then that's because it has very limited applications. Meant for self-employed, skilled professionals or small organizations founded by them, they have less appeal now in comparison to an LLC or an S-Corporation.