the WHAT of tracking

You want to track. You intend to track. But, what do you track?

Don’t say everything. Unless you’re already tracking close to everything, everything might be too much.  Since tracking helps you focus your attention and energy on changing behavior and habits, consider what you want to change.  Then track that.

You could track…

individuals walking shoes

Your steps: If your goal is to get more steps, then tracking the number of steps you get each day is important.  If you don’t know how many you did yesterday, then how will you know you got more steps in today unless you track it. Check out how 100 more steps add up.

Cute parson russell terrier dog on lead on walk with his owner10 minutes of activity: If your goal is to move more, you could track your time in 10 minutes blocks of physical activity.  A walk around the block for your morning break could be one check-mark. Vacuuming the house could be another couple of marks. Walking the dog, yet another.  Soon you’ll want to mark off one more block then you did yesterday, or you’ll make the effort to get at least one in today. Change it up.

 

green and red healthy foodYour servings of fruits & veggies: If your goal is to eat 5 or more servings of fruits & vegetables each day, then give yourself a gold star for every serving.  Soon you might be planning your weekly menu around your veggies to ensure you get your gold stars. Increase your plant slant.

 

water with mint, cucumber, and limeYour water: If you’re trying to make water your go-to beverage choice, tracking the number of glasses or ounces you grab each day can help.  Celebrate and mark each time you choose water over soda.  Drink up.

 

use the remote control to change channels on TelevisionYour TV time:  Your tracking goal doesn’t just have to be about increasing the better choices. Sometimes tracking can help you decrease behaviors that you want to change.  With a goal of no more than two hours of recreational screen time each day, you could track your TV time to identify your baseline watching and then make changes from there.  Remember, I may have written TV, but this could include your computer, smartphone, and tablets too.  What’s in your day that shouldn’t be?

 

bigstock woman decision donut fruitYour emotions, feelings, level of satisfaction, or stress:  Tracking creates awareness about choices, situations, and behaviors.  If you track your emotions or stress level before you eat, you could identify a trend that when you feel bored, you reach for crunchy snacks.  After certain situations, you note that you’re feeling extremely stressed, and you go for chocolate.  If you track your satisfaction level during meals, you may find that you stop eating when you feel comfortable and not waiting until you feel full. Make each day delicious.

WHAT will you track this week?

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.

weight_loss_tracking_for_small_steps

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!!

GO - Get Organized in January and save 50%.  Keep what you love, let go of the rest.

Join a party and clear the clutter.

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

 

declare your freedom from the piles of paper with Dhucks Paperwork Parties.  You'll be able to find what you keep.

 

 

 

 

Offer expires 1/30/2016.

 Use GO2016! to add a promotional code discount to the total

(right hand box once you begin the checkout process).

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

if you want more potassium, grab this instead

When I get leg cramps I tend to grab a banana, but there are more ways to get potassium than you may have realized.

Forget the sports drink after a hard work out – grab your fruits and vegetables.  They’re a much better source of the vitamins and minerals you need.

But, why is potassium important?

Potassium is a mineral that is found in most foods. It helps your body in several ways. Potassium helps to balance fluids and minerals in your body. It also helps your body maintain a normal blood pressure. Potassium helps your muscles contract and your nerves function normally.  http://www.drugs.com/cg/potassium-content-of-foods-list.html 

 There is also indication that increased fruit and potassium consumption is associated with stronger bones.  A diet rich in potassium may decrease the risk of stroke and kidney stones.   It can also help with keeping blood pressure down.

It’s recommended that an adequate intake of potassium for men and women, ages 19+ is 4,700 milligrams (mg), but with the average American diet, we’re not getting enough.  This doesn’t mean take a supplement, this means eat more fruits and vegetables that are good sources of potassium (unless your doctor has specifically told you to stay away from potassium rich foods).

Foods such as:

  • 1 cup cooked beans (more on dried beans)
    • white beans (1189 mg)woman shopping for vegetables
    • edamame (970 mg)
    • lima beans (707 mg)
  • 1 cup steamed greens
    • Swiss chard (961 mg)
    • spinach (839 mg)
    • beet greens (1300 mg)
  • 1 cup baked, cubed acorn squash (899 mg)
  • 1 medium baked potato with skin (751 mg)
  • 1 medium baked sweet potato with skin (542 mg)
  • 3 ounces of cooked halibut  (449 mg)
  • 1 medium banana (425 mg potassium)
  • 1/2 papaya (390 mg)
  • 3 ounces of baked or broiled salmon (319 mg)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (312 mg)
  • 1 medium raw tomato (290 mg)
  • 1/2 cup of mushrooms (280 mg)
  • 1/4 of a medium avocado (245 mg)
  • 1 small orange (240 mg)

Various sites provided differing amounts of potassium in the foods above.  That’s okay since you’re not necessarily trying to add your potassium up to reach 4,700 milligrams exactly.  The goal is to eat more fruits and vegetables.  Reach for these foods to get the vitamins and minerals you need to get and stay healthy & happy.  Also keep in mind, how you cook it is important.  Stay away from boiling.  Instead bake, broil, grill or lightly steam them.  Of course, some you won’t even need to cook.

Here are the sources I used for my list:

Huffington Post – Foods With More Potassium Than a Banana

Drugs.com – Potassium Content of Foods List

WebMD – Are You Getting Enough Potassium?

Get the Facts_ Sodium and the Dietary Guidelines - Sodium_Dietary_Guidelines

When you find information about potassium there is usually a link to information on sodium.  If you’re  interested in learning more about salt in your diet?  Check out the CDC’s Get the Facts –  Sodium and the Dietary Guidelines.

 

 

 

What potassium rich foods will you reach for this week?

 

Organizing Ideas for Getting Your Potassium

Make a meal plan this week around the foods listed above.

Put 5-7 of the foods listed above on your shopping list now.  If you don’t have a shopping list, start one.  You can use:

  • sticky note on your refrigerator – Your family as well as you can add to it, and you can grab it when you’re headed out the door to go shopping.
  • white board on your refrigerator –  Again you and your family can add to it, then you can take a picture of it before you head out.
  • there’s an app for that.  I use ShopShop which allows me to email or text or share with another app user.
  • if you’re using a meal planning app or program, there’s probably a shopping list feature built in.  Use it!
  • join the Paperwork Party on Saturday (May 30th) and make the time to finally create that master shopping list you’ve been meaning to.  Click here to register.
  • What do you use for a shopping list?

Pre-cut, -chop, -wash, and prepare several snacks from the foods above.  You’re more likely to reach for the healthier snack if it’s ready to eat.  If you have to fix it, it’s probably too late.

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.

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

revisit & revise

collection of forks with vegetables and fruitLast week I talked about putting your fork down, which then led me to revisit the concept of not putting food in my mouth when I have food in my mouth (if there’s food in your mouth).  Sometimes we’ve made changes and found strategies that worked, but over time, we may have drifted away from using them.  It’s now time to go back and revisit one strategy, change or idea that worked for you.  Put it back in play this week.

In addition to focusing on putting my fork down and finishing my food one mouthful at a time, I’m looking at my habits around what and when I drink.  In the morning, I drink coffee, and that’s not going to change (at least this week), but I do want to revise what I reach for in the late afternoon.  As the days transition into summer, it’s time to make water more exciting than my other options.  I could drink more water by:

  • Adding mint leaveswater with mint, cucumber, and lime
  • Adding fresh or frozen berries, cherries, or other favorite fruit
  • Choosing mineral water with a slice of orange
  • Adding cucumbers
  • Making flavored ice cubes from fruit juice (I miss my lemon tree!).

 

What change or strategy will your revisit?
What habit or behavior could you revise?

 

Organizing Ideas for choosing water

Pull out your favorite pitcher and fill it up in the morning.  Either place it front and center in the refrigerator (blocking your previous beverage choices) or put it on the counter with your best water glass.

Prep the mint, cucumber, or fruit ahead of time so that’s it’s easy to add.

Challenge family and friends to find refreshing and tasty zero-calorie ways to liven up your summer beverage.

Track the amount of water you get each day or gain awareness of what’s in your other options — drink up.

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 dhucks.com/classesworkshops/paperworkparty.html

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.