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February 2014 Newsletter


Dear Clients and Friends, 


Hailed by Inc. magazine as one of the five must-read business books for 2014, Caroline L. Arnold's Small Move, Big Change describes how microresolutions, small alterations to our daily habits, can transform our lives. They ask little of us and in return help us slim down, declutter our spaces, get the sleep we need and improve our relationships.


Unlike many resolutions that that leap wild-eyed into the New Year then go down for nap by February, microresolutions succeed by tortoise steps: slight, steady, purposeful. Say, for example, you decide this year you really want to get fit. You sign up for a gym membership and resolve to go for a half-hour each day after work. But your body is not used to this rigor. It rebels. So does your family, who would prefer you didn't get home so late every night. You decide to take Tuesday off, and that break feels so long overdue, you realize you need another...


Arnold's microresolution for the same goal goes like this: I will meet with a personal trainer once a week. You keep the commitment because it's not overtaxing, and because you stick to it, you feel good about yourself and improve your chances of keeping other commitments. That's the radiating perk, or what Arnold calls an experiential paradigm. Good habits, once cultivated, carry over into other aspects of your life.  


When you choose your microresolutions, don't take on more than two at a time, said Arnold. You want to stay focused. Here are a few areas to consider: 


  • Sleep. Routine hordes so much of our day: work, exercise, running errands. When that little slip of unstructured time finally arrives, doesn't it feel like nirvana? Aren't you tempted to stretch it a bit and delay that next routine, bedtime? Arnold found herself falling asleep on the couch every night to avoid getting ready for bed, then lost out on precious Z's when she finally did get up and couldn't get back to sleep. Her simple microresolution: I will brush my teeth and put on my pajamas before I unwind on the couch. After she adopted it, going up to bed seemed so much easier and she got her much-needed sleep. Other sleep enemies: TV, facebook, snacking. What's keeping you up?       
  • Clutter. Long ago I noticed an inverse relationship between my happiness and the amount of stuff that surrounds me. I am a purger. Every day when the mail comes in I sort it and toss any junk mail in a pretty wicker basket I keep in my office. About once a month, I take the basket in and pay $2 to have the contents shredded. I also keep a donation bin in my mudroom where I can toss any outgrown clothes or underused items. After it's full, I zip over to Goodwill.      
  • Diet. Like many of my friends, I just finished the Whole30 diet, which is more like a macroresolution and, I realize, not for everyone! Arnold recommends very modest changes to help stay trim. She says people often mistake thirst for hunger, and cites a study that shows 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. You might start each morning with a glass of ice water at your desk, or end each day with a cup of green tea. Also think about meal times. The Tribune ran an article this week called "Nibble, Eat, Repeat" that said our traditional three squares are fading away; we're noshing all day in lieu of dining. You could resolve to keep a firm Sunday family dinner date, a time to sit awhile and savor both the food and the company.


For more suggestions on these and other topics including punctuality, spending and relationships, pick up a copy of this quick-read book! Or even better, WIN ONE!


To celebrate the launch my newly redesigned website, unveiling next week, we're raffling off a complimentary copy of Small Move, Big Change, signed by the author herself.


As a subscriber to my newsletter, you are already entered to win. The winner will be announced on March 11th via my Facebook Page. Please like my page to find out if you are the luck winner at www.facebook.com/ProvostConsulting.


Warm regards,

Barb Provost




We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.



Barbara J. Provost, MS EdD



Certified Coach, ACC






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