get connected

right tribe — the eighth Power 9®

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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

let go of your fork

Put your fork down between bites.  I don’t know how many times I’ve read that strategy for losing weight.  And I always gave that advice a nod and a ‘yeah, yeah’, but I never really tried it.  I always thought of it as a behavior or a habit that I couldn’t quite change.  But that changed when I read The Jean Nidetch Story by Jean Nidetch:

…people who are overweight still do the same thing.  They hold on to the fork all through a meal.  They never let go, because they’ve never learned how.

When I read those words, the light came on.  I realized that, for me, holding on to my fork was more of an emotional attachment.  It was a security blanket that I wouldn’t let go.   No wonder I’ve had such a hard time putting down my fork.  It wasn’t about changing a behavior, it was about changing my thoughts.  It was about overcoming that emotional attachment and seeing the fork as a tool for eating rather than as my Excalibur against life’s pain and frustration.  I will again be practicing letting go of my fork at least once each meal this week.

Can you let go of your fork this week?


Organizing Ideas for letting go of your fork

If you are eating with someone who eats slower than you, you could make a game or challenge yourself to:

  • put your fork down if you see their fork down.
  • sneak a peak at their plate when you’re half-way done and wait for them to catch up.

You could use your non-dominant hand to hold the fork.  I’m thinking that this would not be a good one to try in public initially.

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.

can small steps really help?

Can taking small steps really help?

Will it really make a difference?


Well…yes, taking small steps does help and does make a difference.  Small changes are less likely to trigger fear, doubt and overwhelm.  Small steps are less likely to use up all your willpower in a day.  Small steps allow you to start down a healthier and happier path.  Small steps can stop the pain of digging the hole deeper.  Small steps are possible.

And yes, there are also loads of stories about individuals who have completely turned their lives/habits/choices around in one huge leap.  But there are so many more tales of people who struggle to make changes and end by giving up completely.  So yes, I believe in and I live by taking small steps.

What small step will I take this week for my health and happiness?  I will take 5 minutes each day to meditate and visualize.


What small step do you want to take this week?


Check It Out

Happify – games and activities to conquer negativity and focus on the positive.  Day 1 was fun.  There is a free track and a paid membership track.

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You’re not alone!

Get Your Paperwork DONE! PartyMarch 28

If you want to get your paperwork done with other like minded individuals.  The February party goers loved it and made amazing progress on their paperwork.

Closet Clearing Party – March 21

If you want to create a closet that supports you today.


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


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.

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.)