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.

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.

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!


make your health a habit

I heard  a great quote on The Biggest Loser years ago, “willpower is overrated”.  This was a freeing concept for me, because it meant that better choices were easier to make if I didn’t actually have to be aware of making the choice — if the environment was clear of temptations or if the better choice was a habit.

Have you tried to build a habit lately?  Did you go in with the expectation of it taking 21 days to build?  Were you successful or disappointed?

Let me tell you — it does NOT take 21 days to build a habit. It takes more than 21 days to build a habit I’m not just speaking from personal experience, there is research* that shows, on average, a habit takes 66 days to build.  The actual number of days needed to build a specific habit will depend on you and the behavior.

The research found a range of 18 to 254 days (yes! yes! I so agree).  Some participants were unable to build a habit as the research ended before the habit was formed (in other words, it can take a really long time).  In general, healthy drinking habits (such as drinking water) were easier to build than exercising (running for 15 minutes or doing 50 sit-ups).  What I found most interesting was that the eating habits were harder to create then both drinking and exercise.  Hmmm, that might explain a few things.

Next time you decide to build a habit or make a change, give yourself more than 21 days. Make as long as it takes your mantra.  I feel that some new habits will take as long to make as you lived the old behaviors.

Keep building new and healthier habits.

* How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world (Lally, van Jaarsveld, Potts, & Wardle, 2010)

What healthy choice will you build into a habit this week,and for ‘as long as it takes’?


how I can help with Lifestyle Coaching

Ever wonder where the ’21 days to build a habit’ came from?  It has to do with plastic surgery and self-image.  HUH???
Check It Out

Busting the 21 days habit formation myth
‘Health Chatter’: The Health Behaviour Research Centre Blog

How Long Does It Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science) Huffington Post

These are the three most powerful books I’ve read on change and creating habits.

Share your journey.  How long did it take you to build your last habit? – leave a comment.


less than perfect progress is still progress

Last week I suggested that you walk 100 more steps than you did the day before, and I shared what those steps could add up to over 6 weeks. Almost as soon as I sent it, I realized what could happen if I had an unusually high step count one day.  How would I keep my commitment to take 100 more steps than the day before?  Or what to do if the day doesn’t go according to plan and I get a lower step count than usual. Since the intention behind this commitment was to encourage me (and you) to take more steps and was not an all-or-nothing goal, I chose to set up two Plan Bs.

  • If I have a higher than normal step day then my goal the next day is to continue on from the previous normal step count and add 100.
  • If I have a lower than normal step day, then my goal is to get 100 more steps before I go to bed; the following day continue on with the normal progression of adding 100.

These Plan Bs allow me to keep going even if I’m not meeting my goal perfectly.  This allows me to succeed with the intention of the 100 more steps goal and not just toss my ongoing efforts aside.

Bottom line:

do 100 more than yesterday,

do 100 more than you think you can, or

do 100 more than you have now.

Repeat tomorrow.

I resolve never to quit, never to give up.

keep, let go, begin in 2014

Teleclass January 2014 pic


Organizing Your Health, Your Family, and You

January 16 & January 23

Simplify your life in 2014 with tools & strategies for organizing your family and your weight loss.

For more information and to register…


As I mentioned last week, I don’t do resolutions.  I do New Year’s mottoes and this year my motto is will this help me? 

The next step in my New Year’s re-focusing is to identify what I want to Keep, what I want to Let Go of and what I want to Begin.

KEEP:  I know I’m doing some things in support of my weight and health that are working.  So what will I continue to do in 2014?  What will I keep?

I will continue to stay sweets-free. I am not suggesting this for everyone, but sugar is something I’ve struggled with my whole life.  I’ve spent years trying to control my consumption of sweets, chocolates, desserts, etc.  I was able to limit it while losing weight, but during maintenance, I’d start adding it back in.  Then more and even more.  I’ve gone sweets-free several times and only in this last year have I been able to make it a natural part of my lifestyle. And though I have fallen off the wagon (the pecan pie for Thanksgiving), I’m now back to what helps me feel better –no sweets!

BEGIN:  I knew my begin would have something to do with exercise this year because I’m ready to take it to the next level.

I’ve got the basic 30+ minutes of walking in for general health and now I’m looking at what’s next.  Yes, I definitely should increase my aerobic exercise but, besides not being big on shoulds, I believe yoga would be more beneficial for me.  It would give me flexibility, strength, and help me quiet my mind and reconnect me to my body.  So yoga it is.

LET GO:  Normally I look at what to let go of before I decide what I’ll begin, but sometimes in order to bring more into your life you need to open up the space, the time and the energy by letting go of something else.  If I want to begin yoga, what will I let go of in order to fit it in my life?

I will let go of my expectations that in order to start yoga today I have to make time to go to a 75-minute class across town.  Instead I’m going to try out some 20-minute yoga videos on YouTube in the morning, when I get home or before I got to bed.

I will let go of my belief that I have to go to a class.  I get bored and usually turn off the yoga CDs, so a class is usually the only way to keep me going.  But a 20-minute video should be short enough to keep my attention.

I will let go of my all-or-nothing thinking.  Since I don’t have the time to fit in a 75-minute class right now, I’ve been putting off getting back into yoga at all.  But by taking small steps like a 20-minute yoga video now, it will allow me to start.  Then as my schedule opens up I can add a class here and there.

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

Check It Out 

Here’s my YouTube playlist of yoga videos I’ll be trying out.  I’ll delete the ones I don’t like and keep adding and trying more.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

31 Small Steps to Organize for Weight Loss by Shawndra Holmberg

31 Small Steps to Organize for Weight Loss

by Shawndra Holmberg

Giveaway ends January 03, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win



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a motto instead of a resolution

I don’t do resolutions. Instead, I establish a motto for the new year. Previous mottoes include: balance; acceptance; choose with no regrets; and it’s all good. I’ve also asked and I’ve been kinder to myself.

Goals are simply tools to focus your energy in positive directions, these can be changed as your priorities change, new ones added, and others dropped.  unknownI’ve spent some time thinking of where and how I want to be this time next year. I’ve thought about what motto could embrace my health goals as well as my career goals. What words would encourage me to shape my finances and build my relationships.

My 2014 motto is…

Will this help me (or us)?

I can use this motto when I’m tired and stressed and want to eat that bag of chips. Will it help me feel better? After all, that is my intention when I’m stress eating – to feel better. But there are more effective ways. I could go for a walk, take a break and sit in my garden, or maybe, I could eat. I could eat something nutritious and filling, not loaded with sugar and grease which will just make me feel worse in 15 minutes.

I can use this motto when I have a task or project to do and I’m considering skipping my walk in order to finish it. Will it help me be more productive? Will that 15 minutes make a difference to the project or would a 15 minute walk help me feel energized and focused?

Instead of a New Year’s resolution would a motto for 2014 be more encouraging of your goals?

Next week I’ll share the other half of my non-resolution New Year focus — Keep, Let Go, Begin.

What’s your motto for 2014?
or just this week?

Check It Out 

Thanks Jeanne for these great links from The Seattle Times

Make your holiday bites count with mindful eating

How to get through the holidays without weight gain

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january teleclass with amy org for weight loss 2014

Do you juggle? 

Juggling your responsibilities can be overwhelmingI bet you do.  In fact, you’re probably juggling right now.  You’re juggling your weight journey (meal planning; shopping; cooking; and exercising), organizing or maintaining your home, taking care of yourself and your family, and you’re working (paid or volunteer, you’re still putting in the hours).  Then life throws one more ball for you to catch.  Is it the holidays, illness, new job, moving, or a loss?  Do you add it to the mix or do you drop something else?  Sometimes you may even drop them all.

That’s what it feels like for me this week.  I feel like I’m just waiting for the next ball to drop.  So what do I do?  What can you do to keep your most important balls in the air?

First – repeat to yourself the quote from my post, just for today — “I’m doing the best that I can.”  Repeat it again (and again) throughout your day.

Second – keep the balls that will help you continue to juggle – exercise and eating healthier.  I know they are usually the first to go, but don’t let them completely drop.  They will help you weather the rest.pessimist challenge opportunity optimist _ winston churchill

  • Go for that walk.  Get to that yoga class.  Or just set a reminder for short stretch periods throughout the day.
  • Eat more fruits, veggies and protein and less sugar and processed foods.  I didn’t say you had to pick up your tracking ball or even your portion control ball.  Just eat different foods than you normally do under stress.

Third – figure out which balls are key TODAY.  Then dhuck your responsibilities:

  • hand off the balls that someone else can do. Ask for help and delegate.
  • temporarily set aside the other balls that can wait – defer.  It’s not procrastination, it’s making a realistic decision.
  • identify what’s good enough for each ball.  Your normal walk is an hour or more, but today, 15 minutes is good enough.  15 minutes of walking is better than no walking at all.  Diminish.

Fourth – focus on ONE at a time.  One ball, one choice, one habit, or one small step.  Don’t try to do it all now.  Don’t multitask. Don’t think about the next task or activity.  Focus on the one action you can take now.

What will help you juggle this week?

Check It Out 

For more on dhucking your responsibilities –

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if it doesn’t fit

Here’s some advice I’m living this week.

— if it doesn’t fit, stop forcing it — 

And I’m not talking about my jeans.  I’m talking about my expectations, my commitments, and my goals.  My intention this week, this month, and the rest of the year is to lighten up and stop forcing change, success and progress.

I’m not saying ‘give up’.  I’m saying ‘lighten up’.  Sometimes we expect success to be easy and quick.  If it isn’t, we throw up our hands and cry “I can’t”, “it’s not fair”, “maybe this isn’t the right goal”, or something else just as crippling.

As I contemplated the topic this morning, I was expecting to focus on the second R in SMARTER goalsRevisit to see if it’s the right goal for you.   That is, check in every once in awhile to see if your choices, actions, goals and priorities are still a good fit for you, for what you want, and for what’s going on in your life at the moment.  If they’re not a good fit, then chuck ’em or change ’em.  Stop forcing what doesn’t fit.

However, just as I was thinking of throwing in my own proverbial towel (on the career side of life), I got a reminder of why I started Dhucks.  I was also reminded of the messages of persistence that I’ve shared with you over the years:  persistence (still and forever) and persistence.

If your journey (whether it’s weight loss, organization, or something else in life) is more difficult than you expect, take a break.  Take a moment to step back, revisit your underlying hopes, intentions, and desires.  Look for how you can get the fun back.  Search for ways you can lighten up and rekindle your inner flame.

What will you stop forcing this week?

My Survival Tips for Halloween
Weight Watchers PPV for Halloween candy