keep, let go, begin in 2016

I love the week between Christmas and New Years.  It’s a great time to dream about what I can accomplish in 2016.  But it’s also a time to look back and see what worked, what didn’t, and move forward.  I don’t set resolutions, but I do choose a motto for the new year.  I also look at what I want to KEEP, LET GO, and BEGIN in the next year.


KEEP Tracking — Okay, I did let the tracking go over the last couple of weeks, but I’m going to keep tracking my food, my treats, and my activity.


Cute parson russell terrier dog on lead on walk with his owner, isolated on white background

LET GO of excuses — There will always be more to do in re-establishing my organizing business here in Pennsylvania.  I will let go of the excuse that I’m too busy, or that I’ll just finish this or that before I go to the gym or for my walk.


illustration depicting a sign post with directional arrows containing a life choice concept. Blurred background.

BEGIN asking — Whether it’s asking how a meal is prepared or asking for additional support on my journey, this year I’m going to ask more questions and make more requests.


What will you Keep, Let Go, and Begin this week?


Start 2016 off with a bang!!

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make room for the new year with Dhucks Closet Clearing party.  You'll love what you keep.


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don’t let yesterday’s dreams get stuck in your closet

Your Closet BEFORE word cloud

Your closet reflects your thoughts, beliefs, hopes, dreams and opinions of yourself.  Make your closet a reminder of how great you are right now.

Do you have clothes in your closet or stored away that you’ve kept for that someday when you’re back to a size…?  Did you keep some “fat” jeans just in case you gained it back? Get rid of them.  Start living in the present. Face each day with a closet full of clothes that fit and make you feel great about you.  Get out of the past and don’t worry about the future. LIVE TODAY!

Don’t let yesterday’s dreams get stuck in your closet, reminding you of what you thought you were going to do.  Focus on the clothes you enjoy wearing now.  The clothes that feel good on, that fit when you move, that give you a spark of joy & energy when you wear them–those are the clothes you should create the space for today.  LIVE TODAY!


Are you willing to create a closet that supports you?

Organizing Ideas for today’s closet

Create a wardrobe capsule – check out:

A great tool to help you choose your wardrobe a step at a time – My Wardrobe Genius: a personal clothing management assistant


closet clearing - is this your closet - join my virtual closet clearing - image


Schedule a date and time to go through your clothes and unstick those dreams

Join me and others on Saturday August 1, 2015 at 2 pm – 4 pm Eastern (use a time zone converter to find your local time).

I’m hosting a Closet Clearing Party and I’ll be there to offer motivation, encouragement, and answers to your questions.

Commit to living TODAY!  Register and make your closet a priority.

why try

Why keep trying
to make the better choices?

Try because:
You want to walk, run, fly, dance
You still have places to go and things to do
You have people you want to enjoy
You have work you want to do
You have gifts to share
You’re alive

Keep going!

What are your reasons for making better choices?

Organizing Ideas for motivation

Post a picture(s) of your answer to the question — What are your reasons for making better choices? — in a location where you’ll see it every day.  Make this a positive picture or at the very least non-judgmental.   Don’t post a picture of yourself, if every time you look at it you say something negative about yourself.

Journal about your reasons.  Find your reasons that you want to make the healthier choices.  Not why you should or why someone else wants you tobut your internal reasons for making the changes.

Make it a game.  Draw out the path you want to take, just like a board game.  Draw in those spaces where you wait out a turn (or choice), make a harder choice, go back a few squares, get an extra reward, or whatever your imagination can come up with to positively move you forward.

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.

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.

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

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.

balance, priorities, and multitasking

I’ve been off-balance for awhile. I’m not sure I’ve been prioritizing correctly. And I’ve been trying to multitask.

I would really love to go on to write that: I’ve been challenging my leg muscles by standing on one leg as I brush my teeth (off-balance); that I’ve been putting myself first over work (prioritizing); and that I’ve been getting my steps in by getting the house ready to sell (multitasking).

The only true statement is the last one. I have, at least, been lifting and stretching as I pull items out of cabinets. I’ve been actively lugging boxes of donations up the stairs. Anytime I have to run to the store for a missing fixture, I park far away from the front door and I take a loop around the store before I check out. That’s a productive way to multitask.

Life has been filled with some major changes in the last year or two and I’ve been struggling (and failing) to make better choices. Here’s the advice I would give to someone else in the same situation (I will be taking my own advice):

  • never give up on yourselfI resolve never to quit, never to give up.
  • do one thing, each day, that makes you smile, laugh and hug yourself
  • stop struggling against everything and instead, choose one small step to take
  • ask for additional support and look for resources

Thank you for reading Small Steps. You have been my support this past year. Each week I felt that I was accountable to you; that I had to think about what small step I could take, what insight I might share, or what idea might spark a connection. You motivated me to keep going – thank you! And thank you for sharing your wins, your struggles, your comments, and your ideas.

I’m ready to take a deep breath and dive back in to life, choices, and health.

What small action can you take this week to dive back into your health?
I have no idea what I am suppose to do ... I only know what I can do.    Captain Kirk Star Trek Into Darkness


Leave a comment and share how you are balancing, prioritizing, or multitasking. 

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

overweight or just under stimulated

If you are still struggling with snacking (or not aware of all the snacking you really do) it’s probably not something you can control with willpower alone.  Your brain may be under stimulated.  You may not be aware of being bored, but your brain may be trying to get the juices flowing and eating is a way to do it.  It’s just not helpful or supportive of your health goals.

Here is one situation where I find myself snacking and multiple solutions I will be trying (and you can too).

Snacking while working on the computer – sometimes the words fly and it’s easy to focus.  But sometimes I’m trying to figure out what to say or wondering where to start and I reach for something to eat or drink.  Multiple strategies that may be just what I need to keep the stimulation high without added calories:

  • chew gum
  • suck on hard candy, particularly mint, cinnamon, or citrus flavors.
  • drink tea, again mint or other flavors
  • use energizing & focusing scents, such as peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary
  • engage the body while sitting with a yoga ball or an exercise disc such as…

Balance Cushion – 14″ Diameter by Isokinetics Inc. from Amazon



These strategies can be used also when you’re doing paperwork or anytime you have a tendency to snack.  Try one out and let me know how it works for you.

These ideas for preventing or limiting snacking are fidget strategies used for increasing focus and concentration in individuals with Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Find additional links below for more information on ADHD.  There is evidence showing that individuals that are overweight are similarly challenged with planning, motivation, and self-control.  So let’s use what works in other areas and apply it to our own challenges.

How will you stimulate your mind & body in order to limit your snacking?

Check It Out

Aromatherapy for Concentration

After Three Months of Using a Standing Desk… realistic view of standing desks and links to other resources

Make Yourself a Standing Desk This Weekend

Attention Deficit Disorder Association (

Children & Adults with ADHD (

My Organize for Weight Loss teleclass was developed based on the concept that the same challenges that individuals who are chronically disorganized face may be the same for those chronically overweight.

Share what stimulating strategy works for you.

find motivation 2, plot your path

Last week, I suggested that you might find motivation by training for an event.  If an event isn’t your cup of tea, or a certain event interests you but you can’t make it, train for the course instead.
park near Butler PA SLParker
The Marilla Trail half marathon race in Pennsylvania interests me, but since I don’t want to run it and I’m not sure I’ll be there in mid-October, I thought I might include hiking the course in our fall vacation.

For some people, the energy and excitement of an event is what gets them motivated.  I like an event because there’s a set date to cross the finish line.  Others may focus on the experience of walking a certain route or trail.

I will be using 5K events as part of my training (deadlines and finish lines) and then enjoy the experience of hiking a half-marathon trail in the fall.

What path will you take?

Check It Out

Find a trail that interests you:

  • The US National Trails System
  • New Zealand Trails (yes, it’s on my list of places to visit)

Let me know your favorite trail(s) or swims or bike paths.

This isn’t a trail or a hike, but maybe your life journey has included frustration around getting organized.  Your path may be cluttered with paper, plans, mixed-up priorities.  If so, check out my blog entitled Why can’t I get organized?, which may give you some insight to why it’s been hard for you to get organized, stay organized and be organized.

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