If the idea of “change” feel big, overwhelming and impossible – take a deep
breath, and dive into one of these three quick do-today tasks, that will put
you on the road to improvement.
Life Coach and Author Connie Sokol explains how to get organized, get fit
and get financially set – or at least get a start on it!
Sometimes we feel the New Year perfection paralysis of, “I should be on the
ball with x, y or z.” And when we’re not, we then simply avoid that “x, y or z.”
But we don’t have to! A jump start to change releases avoidance and helps us
enjoy springboard to change in chewable chunks.
1. Get Organized: Quick Clean Counter. This is a down and dirty
clutter. First, take a look at the counter as is—with the backpacks, apple
cores, soccer cleats, messy school papers and strewn bills. Breathe. Now,
visualize and evaluate how you want the counter to really function: do you
need a file holder for kids’ school info, a phone stand and pad for
scheduling, a billing center or holder for vital financial papers, or fun family
pictures to perk the whole look? Next, take a large clear tub and put
everything—every last bit of mess—into the tub. Voila. A clear counter.
Lastly, only put back on the counter what belongs. If you can, add those
decorative touches that might be missing—pretty colored containers or a
bushy plant. Now step back, have a sarsaparilla, and enjoy the beauty!
2. Get Fit & Fabulous. In a phrase, lose a habit, get a habit. It’s that
To eliminate a habit, try cutting just 100 calories a day. Doing so, you could
lose 10 pounds in a year. That translates to baked chips instead of fried (save
150 calories), wrap one sandwich in a lettuce leaf instead of bread (about
150), or forego the bagel for two slices of wheat toast (a big 200). If you’re
feeling brave, kick your soda intake for the day. A typical American sucks
down 200 calories of sugary soda daily. Eliminate it and you can lose two
pounds in a month, with that one change.
To get a habit, try brief exercise to lose 100 calories a day. Just three
minutes of jumping jacks with one or two pound weights, doing 100 without
stopping, will sculpt arms and cut the calories. Or, try adding just one fruit or
vegetable per meal—just one. That’s so doable. Both new habits are quick
and simple. Combine a few lose and get habits and drop weight even faster!
3. Get Financially Set: Do a Money Hunt. As a family (kids love this),
through the house and find spare change. Pair children in teams and make it
a contest of who can find the most, and first—it’s hysterical, and
enlightening. One time we found $75 in the house, no small change. Then
put it toward a family financial goal or to donate it to charity, depending on
what your family financial goals are. Next, Money Hunt in your family budget.
Again, make it a game—split into teams and see who can save the most
money in the budget. I found that if I “shop at home” I can save big. That
means, one week of the month I don’t buy anything but dairy and simply
“shop” from our cabinets, fridge, and freezer. I regularly have saved $200-
$300 a month from that one change (disclaimer: we have big appetite
Give one of these jumpstart tips a try and you’ll feel just how doable making
new year changes can be.
Connie Sokol is the mother of six—expecting her seventh—and a presenter,
former TV and radio host, and author of several books, including Faithful, Fit
& Fabulous. For tips, columns, and products visit www.8basics.com.