get connected

right tribe — the eighth Power 9®

multi colored circle of people icons

 

 

Surround yourself with people who support positive behaviors.

 

 

Make connections with others. Don’t go it alone. I’m not just talking about losing weight, I’m talking about life. Make the effort to surround yourself with others who will laugh with you, cry with you, and make the healthier choices with you.

You can…green and red healthy food

Build the right tribe – one reader shared how her work group hosted a salad buffet at an all day meeting; inviting everyone to bring one salad topping to share. This was in place of the usual boxed lunches and snacks. Turns out, not only was it a healthier lunch, but people spent more time talking and connecting with each other.

Find the right tribe – there are a lot of online groups that enjoy the same interests or experience the same challenges that you have; you could join one of them. Make sure you aren’t just lurking at what others post. Share your own comments and make the connection to your new tribe.

I’ll admit though, I prefer live and in-person groups the most, which is why I will always belong to a Toastmasters club. Why do I feel Toastmasters (an amazing group focused on developing better interpersonal communication and leadership) is the right tribe to support positive behaviors? Because at Toastmasters we always cheer each other on. We support each other in growing, stretching, and expanding. I’ve seen the self-confidence that shines through after a fellow Toastmaster pushes his or her comfort zone out an inch or two.

If Toastmasters isn’t an interest, what about checking out groups focused on gardening, sewing, racing, running, photography, advancing the status of women (Zonta), or anything else you might enjoy doing.

Remember the goal is not just to live longer, it’s also to live happier, and being connected to the right tribe can make both of those more likely.

Listen to the “founder” of Blue Zone on TEDx talk about how to live to be 100+

 

Blue Zone Project Power 9 Infographic.jpg

 

Nice overview of the Power 9®

 

 

 

 

 

How will you get connected this week?

 

Organizing Tips for getting connected

Cut back on your screen time (television, computer, phone, tablet, and more) and you’re more likely to increase your face time.

Look in your address book and schedule some time with a friend who lifts you up and encourages the healthier choices (more laughter, more movement, more enjoyment of the moment, and more down time).  Make it a routine event now rather than waiting for life to slow down later.  Later rarely comes.

PWP colored three benefits infoSpeaking of building a social community to support positive behavior — that’s exactly what these paperwork parties are:  a group of individuals spending time together and supporting the positive behavior of getting our paperwork done instead of leaving it hanging over our heads.

You could also ask a friend over to do paperwork together, but it that’s not an option (or wouldn’t be productive) join my Paperwork Party.

Find out when the next Paperwork Party is and register at dhucks.com/classesworkshops/paperworkparty.html

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.

satisfied sooner

80% Rule  — the sixth Power 9®

Fuel Gauge.Eat mindfully and stop when 80% full

If this was easy for me, I wouldn’t be on this journey with you.  If I could stop eating before I felt full, I wouldn’t be struggling with my weight.  Here’s what I’m doing now to help me stop and feel satisfied sooner:

 

  • cup of vegetable chicken soupEnjoy soup before the main course.  I often suggested this but never really did it before.  I’ve been trying this for several weeks now with amazing satisfaction.  A cup of soup (broth based not cream based) at the start of the meal takes the edge off your hunger and gives your brain time to tell your tummy you’re getting full.  For a yummy soup at home try this vegetable soup (“0 point soup”)
  • to go boxAsk for the doggy bag before you start eating.  Cut your meal in half and load up the to-go container at the beginning.  This is another one that I often mentioned and never really did until now.  This helps me to enjoy the food I have on my plate and eliminates the temptation to have “just one more bite.”

 

Blue Zone Project Power 9 Infographic.jpgSome other ideas that can help you feel satisfied sooner are:

  • Eat an apple before lunch.
  • Have sufficient protein at breakfast.
  • Ensure you have your snack ready in the afternoon.  Go for fiber and maybe a little protein & healthy fat.

 

 

 

What will you try this week to feel satisfied sooner?

 

Check It Out

Two articles about the same studies:

To Your Health: What you should be eating between meals

Trick your tummy:  Eat before you eat

 

multi colored circle of people iconsGet Your Paperwork DONE! Party  Join us on February 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.  February 28 is free for everyone.

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.  No need to work on your closet alone, join the party and see how much quicker it goes.

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

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.

wine @ five

wine @ five  — the fourth Power 9®

enjoy a glass of wine with friends

 

Enjoy a glass of wine
each day
with good friends.

I was very excited to see this on the list.  Yes, I like my wine and didn’t want to give it up.  But this was a good reminder to stop ‘doing’ at the end of the day and relax with friends and family.
Blue Zone Project Power 9 Infographic.jpg
Too many of us are either working late at the office, bringing work home, or starting the second shift of taking care of the family and home.  We need to stop, smell the bouquet, and take time to enjoy the people in our lives.  We need to be instead of do.

Now that I have made the move to Pennsylvania, I will be building new routines. Two of them will be enjoying time with new friends each week and ensuring some relaxing time with my husband each day.

 

What will your Wine @ Five  look like?

Check It Out

5 Questions to Simplify Your Life During the Holidays from zen habits

For those who will be traveling for the holidays (these stretches would work for car travel as well) –  Release Tension on a Long Flight with These Stretches from Lifehacker

 

reduce * simplify * experience * live!

plant slant

plant slant  — the third Power 9®

 

Blue Zone Project Power 9 Infographic.jpg

Plant slant.  I like that.  It doesn’t declare that I have to become a vegetarian. It doesn’t announce that I have to give up meat. Slant makes me think of sliding in or leaning towards.  Slant is a great word to make me think about getting more fruits and vegetables each day in small steps.

The first thing that comes to mind is — put the vegetables (and fruit) on the plate first.  Easier to get more on when there’s plenty of room.  Your plate will have a plant slant.

 

Next is to have two vegetables (or fruits) at every meal.  Again, a plant slant.

Bulk up stews, soups, and casseroles with veggies.  I found that putting finely sliced kale in my spaghetti sauce was a great way of building up the sauce (reminded me of parsley) and getting lots of nutritional benefits.  Definitely a plant slant there.

Just so that the fruits don’t feel left out in my discussion — plan your snacks around fruit.  Some flavorful cheese and an apple is a great afternoon pick-me-up, grab a banana while you’re waiting for dinner to cook,  or crushed pineapple (in it’s own juice,not sweetened) with cottage cheese is a tasty dessert.  Plant slant!

collection of forks with vegetables and fruit

How will you have a plant slant this week?

 

Check It Out

Hawaiian Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Pennsylvania Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables  Yes, Pennsylvania has a shorter growing season than Hawaii (there was no snow for my arrival but the high will be in the 30 today) — I’ll be enjoying a lot more baked winter squashes.

 

Leave a comment and share the steps you want take ‘on purpose’. 

If you found this post useful, supportive, interesting or fun, please share it with a friend.

wake up with purpose

purpose  — the next Power 9®

Blue Zone Project Power 9 Infographic.jpgWaking up with purpose isn’t about filling out your to-do list the night before.  Waking up with purpose is the reason behind the choices you make, or at least, it’s behind the choices I make.

When I’m afraid to step fully into my purpose — I eat.  When I’m scared to stand squarely facing the world and say ‘here I am’ — I eat.

I eat to keep the fears quiet. I eat to keep the uncertainties subdued.  I eat to keep the doubts at bay.

I would love to say ‘NO MORE!’  Today, I live on purpose and I no longer make poor choices.  But it’s not as easy as that.  It’s a journey.  It’s a journey to build the courage.  It’s a journey to create the life that supports the better choices.

My purpose has always been to encourage and support turning dreams and desires into reality.  I haven’t always been comfortable in telling the world though. Today, I’m taking a small step:bigstock-Believe-24514889

  • If you want to build your courage to create your life on purpose;
  • If you desire support and encouragement while doing it, then…

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

What step will you take this week to live your life ‘on purpose’?

Check It Out

How to Live With Purpose, Identify Your Values and Improve Your Leadership by Anne Loehr (Huffington Post)

 

Leave a comment and share the steps you want take ‘on purpose’. 

If you found this post useful, supportive, interesting or fun, please share it with a friend.

down shift

Down shift  — the first Power 9®

Blue Zone Project Power 9 Infographic.jpgThere’s two parts to down shifting – finding strategies that help you relieve the stress and preventing the stress in the first place.

The stress relief strategy that I’ve been working on for the past several weeks is taking breaks.  Whether it’s a break during the work day or a break from slaving away on that project (in my case — packing and moving).

Productivity actually increases if you take breaks.  You’ll come back refreshed and re-energized.  You might even come back with that brilliant idea that makes everything easier.

Another strategy that I will put back in play this week is breathing.  Yes, breathing.  When we’re stressed, our breathing changes.  It’s more shallow and rapid.  We get less oxygen.  So next time you feel overwhelmed, tired, stressed, or grumpy, take 3-5 deep, slow breaths.  Make each one deeper and slower than the last.  Then jump back in.  You’ll find that you land in a better place.

The other aspect to down shifting is prevention.  Sometimes this means saying ‘no’ to the next opportunity that someone offers you.  Just because it needs to be done doesn’t mean that you’re the one that has to do it.  My Dhucks‘ motto — reduce * simplify * experience * live! — applies to activities and responsibilities too.

Remember, taking the time to relax, re-energize, and re-connect with yourself, friends, and family is very important and it makes the world better.

What strategies will you use to down shift this week?

bigstock-Believe-24514889

Courage to Create Your Life on Purpose

living to 100 and beyond (live longer)

I am renewed, or at least I’m re-motivated to keep going.  Yesterday, I participated in the East Hawaii Blue Zones demonstration site visit and I am inspired by their motto – Live Longer Better.  They’ve identified 9 principles (Power 9®) to living longer.

  • Down shift Blue Zone Project Power 9 Infographic.jpg
  • Purpose
  • Plant Slant
  • Wine @ Five
  • Family First
  • 80% Rule
  • Move Naturally
  • Right Tribe
  • Belong

I think you’ll be hearing about the Blue Zones’ principles for the next 9 weeks (great topics for Small Steps) but this week my focus is on assessing where I am and where I want to go.

I definitely want to be a strong and vibrant 100.  Where am I now?  And what do I need to do to get there?

For more about the Blue Zones Project in Hawai’i go to Hawaii Community Selection.  Show your support for making your community a Blue Zone: sign up for updates and check out the resources.

Do you know where you are and where you want to go?

Leave a comment and share where you want to go. 

If you found this post useful, supportive, interesting or fun, please share it with a friend.