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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Join a party and clear the clutter.

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


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you know you should, but you don’t

Are you struggling to do something about your weight or your health you know you should, But you just can’t seem to stick to it longer than the one day?  You’re not alone.  Here are some things you can do:

Turn the should into want toChange the words you use.  It can make a difference in your willingness to take the action.  Instead of sayingI should go for a long walk every day,” say “I want to go for a long walk every day.”

Prevent all-or-nothing thinking –
Add flexibility to your goal.  In addition to “I want to go for a long walk every day” tack on “or as often and for as long as I can.”

Get specific – Include the where, when and who.  “I want to go for a three-mile walk every morning before 8” or “I will walk at 4:30 pm on Tuesdays with Janet and we’ll meet at the park.”

two women walking


What will you change or add this week?


Stop living life for what’s around the corner & start enjoying the walk down the street. 

Grant L. Miller

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.

eyes still bigger than your stomach?

Small Steps grilling potatoes of a reasonable size - DhucksWe got our new grill!!!

Grilling is a great way for Steve and I to make healthier choices and simplify summer eating. We (all right, it’s usually Steve) throws lots of veggies on the grill (sometimes even fruit). Enough vegetables to add to a slow cooker dish or as a flavorful side in a meal later in the week.

On our first night as grill owners, we chose steak and baked potatoes. Steve brought out two small potatoes as our bakers and my first reaction was “not enough”. They in fact were enough and very tasty, but my eyes are still bigger than my stomach. My inner five-year old still yells for MORE, but here are some strategies I use:

  • Acknowledge that I feel/think I want more, but the smaller portion is really sufficient and enough.
  • Give permission ahead of time to have a second helping if I’m still hungry afterwards.
  • Measure! Using measuring cups, spoons, and the scale, helps keep portion creep at bay.
  • Use smaller plates and glasses. Check out my YouTube videos on 3 ways to lose 10 pounds:

What strategies can you use to keep your eyes smaller than your stomach this week?


Organizing Ideas for reasonable portion sizes

Move your larger dinnerware up to the top shelf and keep your smaller plates, bowls and glasses within easy reach.

Keep your food scale out on the counter and easy to use.

Serve your food buffet style instead of family style.  Use measuring spoons and ladles for serving utensils.

quote if at first you don't succeed, find out why - stephen covey

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!


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’. 

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First I suggested some places to start reducing, then I mentioned how to simplify, last week I asked what could you experience now (don’t wait for someday).

This week it’s about living life.

That’s why this is the end of the blog.  Close your browser or put your computer to sleep and go live.  Go laugh with a friend.  Go look at the sky.  Go embrace your day.

How will you live your day?

Live your life to the fullest potential and fight for your dreams ~ Ashley Smith


Leave a comment and share how you are living your day. 

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Do you ever mention that you’ll do something once you lose the weight?  Do you put off doing X until you can fit in a size Y; delay learning how to do X until you’re at goal weight; or think you don’t deserve X until you lose those 5 (or 50) pounds?

Well I’m here to tell you — stop!  Stop waiting for tomorrow.  Stop waiting for someday.  Start living, doing and experiencing today.

I can’t count how many memories and experiences I missed out on because I didn’t feel that I could do it, try it, or experience it because of my weight.  But when I got down to the right weight, I still didn’t do most of the things I said I would “if I were only thin.”

It’s okay to choose not to do or experience something but don’t use your weight as an excuse or a reason to hold yourself back.  Sure if you’re 50 bigstock-A-metal-toggle-switch-flipped--34032557pounds overweight then the challenge of running a marathon, skydiving, or zip-lining might be a bit more, but train and plan for it now.  That can be motivation.  If  you’re waiting to ask for that raise, make that presentation, or dress with more flair; take steps now to build your confidence in your skills, abilities, and style.  They’re needed at any weight.

This week, observe and be aware of any comments or thoughts you have that delay experiencing life until you lose the weight.   Do you want to wait or can you start now?

What will you choose to experience now rather than later?

Check It Out

Health At Every Size® Approach from The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH)


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.

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.

play more

Play more.  Laugh more.  Think fun!

Watch a funny movie.  Read your favorite cartoons (lot’s of them).  sunflowerSkip. Dance to your favorite song.  Play a game of jacks.  Blow bubbles.  Plant sunflowers.  Add more fun to your week because laughter burns calories.

In a previous post, add some fun and laughter, I suggested that you:

  • Choose your playground and play.bigstock-Little-boy-spending-happy-time-43429318
  • Share playtime with a friend.
  • Find something that makes you smile

Here’s what makes me smile:

  • filling my office with balloons; balloons
  • buying a coloring book and crayons – just did it;
  • posting pictures of what makes me smile to Facebook


How will you play more this week?

Check It Out

The Stress Management and Health Benefits of Laughter by Elizabeth Scott, M.S.,

Looney Tunes of Wiley E. Coyote – Roadrunner cartoon made with today’s technology at

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.


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