don’t give up, tweak it

Is your small step working? – keep it

If it’s not working then – tweak it

Previously I asked can small steps really help? The answer was “of course!”

But, let’s check-in.  Are you still taking that small step?

YES! It’s easy to do – maybe it’s time to add another small step.

Yes, but I have to work at it – keep going, it’s important to build that habit.

No, can’t seem to make it work – TWEAK it.  It may not be ABCs of motivation footprint small stepa small enough step.  It may not be early enough in the habit cycle to make the desired change possible.  You could change the time of day, how often you commit to doing it, etc.  Tweak it.

Last week I committed to 5 minutes of meditation and visualization.  I had originally thought of taking 5 minutes first thing in the morning and making it a formal meditation session.  Never got around to it.  Instead I found that a few minutes of visualization while I was starting on the treadmill set the stage for a great workout.  I also chose a short mantra that I could silently say along with a short breathing meditation whenever I needed a quick pick-me-up.

I needed to tweak my small step in order for it to work.


How can you tweak your small step?


Check It Out

The difference between acceptance and giving up

PWP colored three benefits info









BOOKS about the power of small steps

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Doto Get More of It
by Kelly McGonigal Ph.D.



Small Move, Big Change: Using Microresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently
by Caroline L. Arnold


One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way
by Robert Maurer Ph.D.

snacking healthier

Make one snack healthier this week.

Instead of making sweeping changes to your snacking behavior, how about taking a small step and changing one of your snacks into a healthier choice:

  • substitute with fruits or vegetablesalmonds
  • add protein or good fats — 5 olives, 7 almonds, 1 tsp peanut butter, 1 Tbsp wedge/spreadable cheese,   2 Tbsp guacamole
  • take a smaller portion
  • take time to enjoy the texture and flavor of what you’re eating
  • add something healthier before you have the snack
    • drink water
    • eat an apple or banana
    • take a short walk2003-01-27 15.21.24

I snack when I’m bored (or procrastinating), and when I was in Hawaii, I gave myself permission to snack by walking out to the backyard to pick as many rambutan as I could eat.  Now, I have to figure out what to do here in Pennsylvania.  I think an ounce of sliced cheddar cheese with apple wedges will hit the spot.

Which snack or snacking habit will you make healthier this week?


Check It Out – ideas that can have you snacking healthier

Take  a Snack Quiz — you might be surprised.  Test Your Knowledge of Snacks and their Calorie Counts

I’ve heard about various tips on dealing with cravings, such as brushing your teeth, waiting 15 minutes or chewing gum.  Here’s an idea to try:  rinse your mouth with a tsp of baking soda and warm water when you’re craving for sweets. You can find this tip at PWP colored three benefits info

If you find yourself snacking when you’re working on your paperwork, try making paperwork a social activity (and therefore less stressful).  Join my Paperwork Party and save the calories for something else.

don’t wait, go now

If you’re not feeling as strong or as energetic as you were a month ago (or even a year ago), go to your doctor now.  Don’t wait.

Even if you think you know what’s wrong and have a plan, go.  Go now.

I say this because for the past year (maybe even two) my hip has been bothering me.  Over time, I started walking less and less.  I kept thinking I just needed to do some hip exercises; just get back to walking.  But the effort seemed too much.  I put my low energy and desire to make healthier choices down to the stress of moving.  I was gaining weight from not exercising (and the stress of moving).  I figured the hip was hurting more because of the weight and not exercising.  A vicious circle that I couldn’t seem to break out.

I moved, the stress levels dropped, I was walking more, and yet, the hip bothered me even more.  It started really hurting and not just when I was walking.  Finally, I went to the doctor.  Turns out it wasn’t my hip but my back that was the Physical therapist helps a patient with rehabproblem.

With a month of physical therapy, I am a new woman.  I feel better than I have in a very long time.  I have more energy and I’m walking strong!

My take away from this experience is: if my health, my abilities, my strength, or my comfort level changes for the negative then I’m going to my doctor now.  I’m not going to wait & see.



Is there something that you’ve been putting off?

Will you call for an appointment this week and not wait any longer?


Organizing Tip for Weight Loss (and Health)

New devices to motivate and track progress in 2015 – Wearables Carve New Path To Health In 2015

Schedule annual exams or check-ups around memorable events like your birthday, anniversary, or holidays, so that it’s easier for you to remember to go each year.

National Women's Health Week, May 10 - 16, 2015

May 10 – 16, 2015 is National Women’s Health Week.  Schedule your annual well-woman visit or any check up you’ve been putting off.

If you’re not sure what you might need, here are some screening tests that are recommended for women and men at different ages.

For Women Health Screening Tool
For Men Get Preventative Tests

take a break

Take a Break from…

relax on armchair in office - business woman in red dress  exercSo many times we think we can’t take a break because there is too much to do.  Well, there will always seem to be “too much to do”.  Your inbox will not stay empty, your papers will not stay sorted, your closet will not stay organized, and your teeth will not stay brushed (without ongoing effort).  So, Take a Break!

That project that you absolutely need to get done this week, will still be there if you take a ten minute stretch break from your computer.

You are more likely to accomplish all those errands and end the day with a smile if you take a break.  Even a 5 minute breathing meditation break in the car before you pull out of the parking spot on your way to the next errand will help.

Woman sitting on the beach looking away at oceanThink about taking a bigger break – a  vacation, a long weekend, or even just a day trip.  Take an afternoon to play or a day to relax.  Take a Break!

Here’s the bonus to taking a break – you gain insight, clarity and may even have a breakthrough.

An organizing client of mine has been working hard on getting her papers sorted and her mail processed.  As part of her organizing homework, she was also assigned to set aside time for a reward; something creative, fun, and indulgent.  Here’s what she shared with me about her “break time” (dancing):

Bonus was that in the middle of the routine, I came up with the solution for something that I wasn’t trying to work on during the dance, but it just popped into my head – I get those kinds of breakthroughs sometimes when doing creative stuff.

Maria J.

When is your next break?


Organizing Tip for Weight Loss (and Health)

If you tend to forget to take your breaks, you could:

  • Set your alarm on your phone for a particular time every day
  • Get a kitchen timer and take a short break every 60 minutes
  • Use your computer software to remind you to take a break

Time TimerI use Time Timer on my phone and computer when I want to make time visible.



If you never seem to find the time to take a vacation or get that massage, take your calendar/planner out now, flip ahead a month or two and set a date.  Then take the next step to call and schedule that self-care or book your hotel.

Don’t wait to find the time, you will never do it — TAKE the time.

move naturally

Move Naturally  — the seventh Power 9®

women in blue pants walking her dog - move naturally

Find ways to move more!

You’ll burn calories without thinking about it.




You may have heard these ideas to getting more steps in your day before, but are you doing any of them now?

  • Park further away.
  • Take a lap around the store before you start shopping.
  • Take your dog for a walk (or take your neighbors dog).
  • Take the stairs instead.
  • When unloading groceries, hauling leaves, or lugging laundry, lighten your load and take more trips.


woman planting and weeding her gardenDo you like to garden, dance, or play with the kids?  Do more of it.



Do you enjoy traveling?  Go places that are walkable.


bigstock-Children-Helping-Washing-Car-2438102Do your floors need vacuuming, your windows need cleaning, or your car need washing?  Okay, so they may not be my favorite activities, but it is a great way to multitask (cleaner space & more movement).  Get others to help you.  It will go faster and be more fun.



two dogs walking in the snowAs for me — my dogs are getting me off the computer throughout the day.  We don’t have a fenced yard yet, so I get to take them out every couple of hours.  I also think I should get credit for the time and effort it takes me to bundle up so I don’t freeze.


Find ways to stay active and move naturally.


How will you naturally move more?

Check It Out

Blue Zone Project Power 9 Infographic.jpg

Blue Zones Project is coming to Hawaii check out their Facebook page





multi colored circle of people icons
You’re not alone!

Get Your Paperwork DONE! Party  Join us on March 28 to work on taxes, complete your bookkeeping, or organize your photos.  Click on the link for details and to register if you want to get your paperwork done.

Closet Clearing Party — March 21  Click on the link for details and to register if you want to create a closet that supports and energizes you.  No need to work on your closet alone, join the party and see how much quicker it goes.

Organize your PAPER for weight loss (and health)

Let it go or organize it now – organize your paper for weight loss

If you’ve been collecting exercise ideas and possibilities, now is the perfect time to get them organized.  Now’s the time to create an exercise notebook.

You can either go paper or electronic:

Available at or an office supply store near you

Spiral Bound Index Card Notebook

Pick through the stack of exercises that you’ve been collecting from your favorite magazines or handouts.

Sort by body part
(arms, legs, shoulders, etc) or build your routine for the week.

Cut and paste them into a index card notebook (spiral or ring bound). This is an easy way for you to flip through the exercises and remember which ones you want to do.  It also travels well.


Go paperless with Evernote or OneNote

Evernote logo

If you collect exercises from the internet and/or want to scan your paper stack, create a notebook in Evernote or OneNote.  Add tags to make it easy to find the exercise you want.  Add a reminder.  Take your exercises  wherever you take your smartphone, tablet, or computer.



If you’ve been collecting recipe ideas and food possibilities to make your own healthier eating cookbook, now is an excellent time to get it started (or finished).

Again, you can either stick with your paper or go electronic:

Go Paper with a notebook and sheet protectors or an expanding file folder.  Check out Organizing Your Recipes (As-is) for the specific details.

Or go Electronic with Evernote, OneNote, and more.  Evernote created Evernote Food specifically geared for food, recipes, and restaurants.  I haven’t tried the app yet, but over the next week, I’ll check it out.

Lifehacker wrote The Best Apps to Manage Your Recipe Collection.  If you’ve already had experience with a recipe app, I’d suggest you stick to it — if you use it and like it.  The time you spend on learning a new app may be better spent enjoying the meal with friends.

Get support and have a party getting your paperwork done.  If you’ve been meaning to organize the stacks of exercise ideas or tasty recipes for months now, but haven’t made any progress, consider joining the Paper Party on February 28th.  You won’t have to get your paperwork done by yourself.  Join us on-line. I’ll be there to offer suggestions and guidelines to move you forward and we will all be there to keep each other focused and on track.  Click here for details and to register.

You're not alone!
You’re not alone!


When will you organize your papers?

Check It Out

Get Your Paperwork DONE! Party February 28.  Click on the link for details and to register if you want to get your paperwork done.

Closet Clearing Party March 21 (early bird pricing ends February 28).  Click on the link for details and to register if you want to create a closet that supports you today.

These are online (virtual) parties so anyone can join from anywhere.

Get Organized:  How to Digitize Your Recipes from PC World (you can also use OneNote.  It’s not mentioned; this post was written before OneNote was available as an app.)

invest time with loved ones

family first  — the fifth Power 9®

Colorful  Solidarity Design Tree


Invest time with family  (and loved ones)

Back to the Power 9®

However you define family (large, small, related or not, pets), the key here is invest time and build stronger connections to your loved ones.  Make your family a priority.


Blue Zone Project Power 9 Infographic.jpgIf you have a hard time turning off work when you’re with family, start small:

  • Give yourself some transition time between being at work and being with your family by doing five minutes of breathing meditation (or just 5 slow, deep breaths).
  • Establish a technology free family meal, in other words — put your smartphone down and talk to each other.
  • Choose an activity that you can do together that keeps your attention on the present moment such as hiking and games; or plan a family vacation.

If your family consists of you and a pet, get active with your pet.  Take your dog for a walk or play with your cat.  Pets are not a part of the Blue Zone lessons, but they are still family and provide a lot of support and love.  So pet ’em if you got ’em.

Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer suggests creating a family shrine, making a point to purposefully celebrate holidays, and even living in a smaller house to create togetherness. (note: a smaller house certainly works with pets, the two dogs and two cats that I moved from Hawaii are actually getting along much better since we drastically cut the living space we have).

Though the Power 9® states ‘Family First’ that doesn’t mean their needs come before yours or that all your time should be focused around them while you neglect yourself.  It means taking the time to be with them and connect with them, strengthening the ties between you.


What will your Family Time  look like?

Check It Out

5 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health from WebMD

Home Offices: How to Stop Working from the Wall Street Journal

100 Fun Family Ideas (try these even if you don’t have kids – put ‘play’ on your to-do list)

Get Your Paperwork DONE! Party February 28.  Click on the link for details and to register if you want to get your paperwork done.

Closet Clearing Party March 21 (early bird pricing ends February 28).  Click on the link for details and to register if you want to create a closet that supports you today.

These are online (virtual) parties so anyone can join from anywhere.

make the most of your gym membership (or exercise equipment)

Single purple gift box with silver ribbon on white background.Did you get exercise equipment for Christmas?

Did you ask Santa for a yoga class (or Zumba)?

Did you find a gym membership in your stocking?


Do you have everything you need to successfully use it this year?  Here are some things you can do to increase the likelihood that it gets used.



  • Set it up permanently.  Even if the equipment is made to break down for easy storage, the time it takes to set up eventually will be a great excuse to skip your exercise.
  • bigstock home gym treadmill elliptical Make your exercise spot a destination.  Make your environment welcoming, supportive and motivating.  Don’t put your treadmill, exercise bike, or elliptical in the basement or out in the laundry room, unless the view draws you in each time.  Some paint, posters, and other decorations can make your area a destination to enjoy.
  • Define success through smaller goals.  Instead of promising to exercise for an hour every day, commit to starting out with 15 minutes three days a week or something similar.  As my life coach, Carole Billingham, told me years ago – under promise and over perform.



  • Choose something you love to do. Or try out different classes to see if both the activity and the instructor are a good fit for you.bigstock exercise class small
  • Schedule it first.  Enter your classes on your planner/schedule now.  Schedule it for the next three months.  As other appointments come up, schedule around your classes.  Be sure to keep some time before and after the class as a buffer so that you can transition from one appointment to the next.
  • Set your alarm.  Use your phone or an alarm clock to remind you to get ready and go to your class.  If you have a tendency to lose track of time, an alarm will be useful in refocusing for the next activity.



  • Grab a buddy.  Having an exercise buddy can definitely help get you to the gym, especially on those days when any excuse will do to keep you away.  Accountability to someone else, as well as, the support and encouragement that a buddy provides can make the difference.Portrait of a smiling female trainer with clipboard pointing tow
  • Take advantage of any complimentary training sessions offered.  Most gyms have staff who will show you around the machines and may offer a 30 minute personal training session.  Take it.
  • Make it a habit.  Find a spot in your day where going to the gym makes sense for you and stick to it.  Even if your original exercise plan can’t be followed because of an injury or not having enough time, modify your work out and keep going to the gym.  This will build the habit of walking through those gym doors.

I got a gym membership for Christmas and was excited to get back into a routine.  However, because of a chronic back problem I had to go for physical therapy (PT).  For now, I’m restricted to only the PT exercises.  I was worried that I’d lose my motivation if I wasn’t going to the gym regularly.  Then I realized, I can still go to the gym (building the habit) and do my PT exercises.  When I’m ready to get back on the elliptical, it won’t be much of a change — I’ll have the habit of walking through those doors.  Make the most of your gym membership!

May this year bring all that you need to be
healthy and happy!

Happy New Year 2015 colorful triangles

What change do you want to see?

Check It Out

10 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Gym Membership from ultimate geek girl

I’m trying out the iPhone app – Habit Builder.  Share your favorite health app with me (and I’ll add it to the list next week).  They also make an app for Android.


bigstock-Believe-24514889Courage to Create Your Life on Purpose

Email me to see if lifestyle coaching is right for you.

motto, theme, or microresolution

Happy New Year 2015 colorful triangles

Many people have given up on New Year’s resolutions because they never seem to last past January.  But you don’t have to give up on the idea of making a change in 2015.  You could:

Decide on a theme for 2015.  A friend of mine would always come up with a theme for the year.  One year it was ‘Wonder Woman’ and the next year included more peace and calm along with the strength.

Choose a motto for 2015.  Last year my motto was — will this help me?.  This year I’m going with —  courage to create.

Achieve a microresolution in 2015. Instead of resolving to exercise more, consider creating a microresolution.  You might focus on parking in the last stall or walking the perimeter of the store before you start shopping.  Instead of promising to eat healthier, consider building the habit of putting your vegetables on first or ordering soup (clear not creamy) as an appetizer when eating out.

For more ideas on making small moves and setting microresolutions, check out the book by Caroline Arnold,
Small Move, Big Change: Using Microresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently




What change do you want to see?

Check It Out

reduce * simplify * experience * live!

keep * let go * begin

review & reconsider

I’m taking a short break from the Blue Zone’s Power 9® and recommending that you spend some time reviewing and reconsidering this past year before you focus on making goals or dreams for the next year.

We often spend so much time reminding ourselves of what we haven’t achieved or planning new goals to strive towards, we fail to look back and see just how far we’ve come.  Reviewing the year allows us to reconsider why things worked, what tripped us up, what challenges we overcame, and how we might make it work next time.

I could stand at the end of 2014 and say I failed to keep the weight off.  I failed to lose the weight.  I failed to make the better choices.  [None of this is really helpful]Juggling your responsibilities can be overwhelming

However, if I reconsider the year, I can see that there was a lot going on that affected my ability to make choices. There was: helping a family member through a health crisis; my husband getting a great job in Pennsylvania and moving there in February; preparing for my CPO-CD® certification peer review; preparing the Hilo house to sell; juggling all the things I had said ‘yes’ to in 2014; building my business; moving two dogs and 2 cats; leaving friends and family behind; and waiting to be a family again with my husband.

Ooooohhhh.  That explains the struggle.  Once I reviewed and reconsidered, I stopped judging and then focused on what would support my health & happiness.  I identified that I need the weekly structure of a Weight Watchers (WW) meeting.  I also want to get more activity (beyond walking the dogs).  So, I rejoined WW last week (!!) and I’m asking Santa for a 3 month gym membership.

road sign directing you to a new life or remaining in the old lifeWhether your 2014 challenges are ending or if they will be continuing into 2015, take the time to review your year as a whole, reconsider your failures & successes, and identify what resources you need & what actions you’ll take.


What were your challenges & wins?

Check It Out

A tasty selection of 2014 Small Steps:

  • play more – Play more.  Laugh more.  Think fun!