Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Scale Down

In January, to scale down can have a number of meanings. Besides the scale on which we weigh ourselves, January sees a lot of individuals scale down on spending, eating out, entertainment, and clutter.

Are you one of those who was not born with the organizer gene? Do you have books and magazines stacked up next to your bed? We are a society with garages we can longer park in and walk in closets you can't walk into. To scale back can be easier than you think once you have a plan.

Starting the New Year with a strategy on how and what to scale back will do wonders for you. You suddenly feel lighter because you've purged excess. You feel generous because you've either given some things away to friends and family or donated them to a worthy cause. You might feel richer having made some money off objects or clothing that had been collecting dust. Once you've purged you can breathe, stand taller, and find everything faster causing less frustration.

My favorite things to scale down are closets and drawers. It's amazing what you can find when you shop your closet. The thought of going through your closet, house, garage, or office might overwhelm you but with a few tips you can be on your way to organizational bliss.

1. Decide what you need to tackle. What is the immediate need? Your closet, garage, drawers, basement, attic, etc. Remember you can't do it all at once and you don't want the entire house or office in disarray.

2. Like the saying goes - how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. If you decide to tackle your closet, start with one season. If you tackle drawers, make it a goal to clean out one a week. Chunk it down. Before you know it you'll be ready to tackle the next project.

3. With most projects you have to decide if it should be put away, given away, thrown away, sold, or saved in a sentimental box. Don't be afraid to let go of items you are never going to use again. If you find yourself looking at something thinking you might need it at some point but you haven't used it or worn it in over a year - get rid of it.

4. If all else fails - call a professional. As an Image Consultant I work with organizing closets and building closet capsules (related pieces of clothing where you have less clothing in your closet but more to wear). There are professional organizers who specialize in garages, offices, or homes. It will be worth the investment.

Make 2009 the year you scale down. If you do, let me hear your story.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Healthy Goals

This time of year a lot of individuals vow to lose weight and get in better shape. In writing my story for The Voice Tribune's Grand Glam Makeover I discovered a lot has changed over the years in food and fitness.

The height and weight charts of the 1950's are no longer an indicator of our health. Now, fitness is assessed by your body composition, cardio, muscle tone, and flexibility. It's not about a "magic number" on the scale.

Robert Kipp, personal trainer for Physique Institute at Louisville Athletic Club, had a lot of great tips for my makeover winner - Ginny Costello. You can read them in this Thursdays edition of The Voice Tribune. Here are a few of my favorites:

* There is no secret to being healthy - do what healthy people do.
* Flush the junk out of your system with an Eat Clean Diet.
* Make yourself a priority. Most individuals waste 15-17 hours a week on television. It's not selfish to take care of yourself. It sends a positive message to our next generation.
* Have realistic expectations.

Let me know if you have started a new fitness program or diet and how it is working for you. I know it's challenging to incorporate new habits but you can do it. As Nike says "Just Do It."

Happy New Year!