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

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.

it’s stress not hunger

There I was, standing with the refrigerator door open, searching.  Stress or Hunger -eat or build a better coping habitMy eyes passed over the apples, as if they didn’t exist.  I was searching for answers, for relief, and for peace.  I couldn’t  find anything in the refrigerator that would help.  My mind went to the pantry, wondering if I had the ingredients for brownies or cookies.

It has been quite awhile since I turned to a batch of chocolate chip cookies as a solution to my stress and discontent.  It’s been more than nine years since I whipped up a batch of sweets to quite my distress and here I was thinking, “did I want to jump in the car and go shopping or should I call my sister to bring home the goods?”

bigstock-Detail-Of-Overweight-Woman-13897697 (1)I knew what was going on.  I understood that my mind was turning to old (and ineffective) copping strategies.  I also knew that my general crankiness was adding to my suffering.  I was fully aware that eating a batch of brownies was not going to solve the problem, but it was an old routine that never quite went away.

The good news is that I choose to put a heaping spoonful of cocoa in my coffee and go curl up on the couch and watch TV.  Okay, okay, I know.  The best solution would have been to either take my mocha java outside and let nature soothe my soul or better yet, forget the coffee and take a walk.  But hey, I at least chose a better solution than eating my feelings.

There are three things that reinforced my healthier stress relieving choice:

Environment was free from the foods (and ingredients) that I have used as an emotional crutch before or have a hard time limiting.

Support was provided by my sister because she chose not to bring home ice cream.  She was having a similar day and was thinking about a couple of quarts of our favorite ice cream.  She decided against it because we were both working on our weight and our health.  Thanks, Anne!!!

It's a journey, celebrate your successes and accept that your doing the best you can in the momentAcceptance that this is a journey; that a decision today does not mean the entire goal is derailed; that even if I’ve gained weight back, the fact remains that I have made some major changes that have stuck (such as not making a batch of brownies); and that I’m doing the best I can.  Though it may not be the best I’m capable of on other days, today… today, I did the best I could in the moment.


What can you do this week to:

Make your environment healthier?

Your support system stronger?

Your acceptance deeper?


Check It Out

Step #1 from Organize for Weight Loss … …place your portion control tools where you’ll use them.

Six Tips to Design the Ideal Bedroom for Sleep from the National Sleep Foundation


Share your journey.  Tell me about your environment, support and acceptance – leave a comment.


Eat better, become more active, connect with one another, and find a greater sense of purpose.  Those are the four things that help us live longer.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been trying to live “people over projects”.  I have a tendency to take on projects which leaves me less time to connect with the people in my life or to build new connections.

How will connecting help me on my weight journey?

Sure I might go out for coffee or lunch with a friend but I’m just as likely to go for a walk.  Besides, going out for lunch doesn’t have to add pounds.  Plan ahead and order first.

In my article life is a team sport I wrote how your team can cheer you on and keep you going.  After some time chatting with an old friend or making a new friend, I come away with new ideas, new perspectives and a renewed desire to keep going.  All my team members inspire and motivate me, no negativity here.

I’m an introvert by nature but everything I do or want to do is about connecting with others so I’ve had to learn how to manage the stress that comes with stepping outside of my comfort zone.  I still spend (and enjoy) time by myself (and with the dogs and cats) but I’ve also learned how to tolerate the feeling of being uncomfortable (or afraid) without eating to make it go away.  It’s taken me years (many, many years) and I’m glad I’ve been patient with myself.

Nurturing the connections you have and building new, supportive connections can help you on your journey to health and a long, active life.

Who will you connect with this week?

write a comment,  say “hi”, ask a question or share an idea. 

It counts as a connection.

Check It Out

Wondering if you should keep or toss your expired medication?  Check out my organizing article Expired Medication – keep or toss and how

Drug take back 2014If you have expired prescription medication to toss, save the date – April 26.  It’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and there’s probably a drop off location in your area.  I know there’s one in Hilo, so check here for a location near you.

defer, part 3 of dhucking your responsibilities

So far you’ve DUMPED one task and DELEGATED another.  This week I’m suggesting you DEFER one thing, with the goal of making sure that you have time to go for that walk, make a healthy breakfast, or take some time for yourself and your health.

I often get into the mindset that if it comes allow struggles to bring out your best _ Tuckmanacross my desk or onto my schedule then it needs to get done now.  I end up pushing myself off my own priority list.  I forget that time management isn’t about doing more or even doing things more efficiently.  It’s about doing what matters most and being careful about what I commit to.  Effective time management is about managing the demands for my time by sometimes saying, “no” and sometimes saying, “yes, but later.”

This week I’ll focus on deferring those items that don’t need to be done right now and setting more realistic due dates.  I’ll focus on putting me, my exercise, my healthy choices, my family, and my self-renewal on the schedule first.

Next week, be ready to diminish your responsibilities.

What’s a reasonable due date this week?

Check It Out  

Hawaii Medical Service Association Well Being Connect

Check with your employer or your insurance company to see if you have access to Well-Being Connect or a similar on-line wellness assessment & planning tool.  If you have HMSA insurance go to  Even if you don’t have HMSA insurance there are some great articles and tools for health & wellness.


My book, 31 Small Steps to Organize Your Life on Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble NOOK




coaxed down the stairs - mark twainIs getting more activity each day on your wish list?  A pedometer might help.

Even though the common recommendation is to get 10,000 steps in each day, I use a pedometer to motivate me get more steps in.  I don’t always make the 10,000 steps, but I have definitely gotten more steps in over the past 5 months.  When I first started using a pedometer my low days were around 2 or 3 thousand (long days sitting at the computer and then a few more hours in front of the television).  Now, my low days are 7 thousand and I average more than 11 thousand steps per day over the course of a week.

Omron pedometer
Fitbit One

The right pedometer is important.  I loved my Omron pedometers, but what has really motivated and kept me going is my Fitbit and now my Fitbit OneIt’s tiny and light so I can wear it when I dress up and it stays inconspicuous.  It costs more than the usual pedometers but it’s the best tool I have to keep me going.


What tool will you use to keep you moving?

originally posted 2010.21


life is a team sport

quote small things together van goghLife is a team sport.  I can fully say this as I am a person that has had to grow into this truth.  I thought being strong meant doing it all myself, going it alone on my willpower and brains alone.  But today, this week (not to mention this past year, this decade and my whole life), have reminded me that I can accomplish more when I acknowledge that I am part of a team and accept the amazing gifts they have to offer.  My team cheers me on, believes in me when I can’t see it, encourages me to grow, sometimes pushing me off that cliff so that I can soar, and always offering different perspectives and ideas.

Who’s on your team?  A team can include a partner, your family, your friends, your co-workers.  A team also includes the groups and individuals you choose to spend time with.  Your team plays a key role in your success.  Your team can add to and multiply your energy, motivation and ability or they can limit it.  Choose your team wisely, let them support you and cheer you on.  And always show them how they can become an even better team player.  Tell them what you need them to say or not say, do or not do.

Here’s some of my team members and many thanks to each and every one of you:

  • my husband, Steve.  He’s one of the ones that believes in me when I can’t see it.  
  • my sister and my best friend, Anne.
  • my mother-in-law, Kate.  Who keeps me and my goals in her dream box.  Thanks!
  • You. Your continued encouragement, feedback and continued perusal of this newsletter keeps me coming back to the keyboard to share my thoughts on the adventure and journey to a healthy weight.
  • my Weight Watchers family.  Members and staff walk the same path with me.  We encourage and support each other every week.  I couldn’t have done it this long without you.
  • and there are so many more that make the journey easier and more enjoyable.  Thank you! 

The next step is to build your team.  Add support where you need it.

Who will you  add to your team this week?

Three Breathing Exercises from Dr. Andrew Weil

Ditch Excuses, Not the Workouts from Island Scene

originally posted 2013.01