6 Tools to Help Achieve Your Resolutions

6 Tools to Help Achieve Your Resolutions
Happy New Year!

Like millions upon millions of other people on this planet I am resolving to make some changes in 2014. I don’t consistently make resolutions every January but this year I am motivated to work on a couple of things, keeping my list short and simple:

~ Improving my health (moving more, eating better, lessening stress).

~ Building my writing/blogging career.

I am more excited about this new year than in years past and am so ready to get started! But instead of going about it in my usual willy-nilly, let’s-see-what-happens way, I’m preparing myself with an arsenal of tools meant to help me achieve my goals!

1. A Fabulous Journal
A couple of months ago I collaborated with the stylish active wear/lifestyle line Lorna Jane. About a week before Christmas, a package showed up on my doorstep. Inside was a beautiful hot pink 2014 journal – hard-bound and spiraled – full of everything I need to jot down my thoughts and keep track of my progress. Throughout the journal there are exercises, fitness challenges, recipes, and motivational quotes with beautiful graphics. It’s just what I want to organize my life and my goals.

2. The 20-Minute Rule

This is a little trick that I came up with out of frustration about my consistent procrastination of certain tasks:
I can do almost any chore if I know it’s for a short amount of time. Twenty minutes is a chunk of time I can manage.
I set the timer on my phone for 20 minutes, then do something I’ve been putting off like editing photos for my next post, prepping dinner, folding laundry and straightening a room or making a phone call I know will be time consuming. I will work on the chore for a solid 20 minutes, then I do something I enjoy, whether I am done or not. But if I want to keep at the chore I will.

3. A Personal Fitness Tracker

I received a Fitbit Flex for Christmas from my husband. It’s a tracking device that you wear like a bracelet. It records your movement and the one I have also tracks sleep. It’s very motivating!

The first full day I hiked 8.5 miles, walking over 20,000 steps! But two days later, I stayed home all day to write and I logged in less than 1400. Yikes! That scares me because there have been many days like that since I began this blog. Not a smart way to live and quite dangerous to my health to be inert so often.

The goal is to log in 10,000 steps per day but it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. For example, yesterday I went for a 2.5  mile walk/run, did loads of chores around the house and still only managed 8500 steps by bedtime. I’ll be busy trying to reach this goal!

4. Form a Group

Early last year two friends and I formed a group that meets weekly to share ideas for moving our careers forward and improving our overall lives. We each get our chance to have the floor, then brainstorm ideas, help one another set individual goals for the week and even assign homework tailored to each person. The best part is we have a created a trusting environment where we can express ourselves without being in fear of judgment. And we are accountable to one another, checking in with the group daily. It’s a fantastic way to get unstuck, voice your ideas, struggles and opinions, and get different perspectives.

5. Invest in Toys

For me, the key to eating well is eating at home. I don’t keep junk food in the house and I am pretty good about making lists and choosing healthy foods. But sometimes I get lazy in the kitchen. I bought this contraption, a Presto Salad Shooter, to cut down on time spent prepping vegetables and to make things a little more exciting.

Although it doesn’t save me from never chopping vegetables and grating cheese by hand again, it does help with big jobs and it’s fun to use. I thinly sliced an entire bunch of celery with the Salad Shooter in under a minute to make cream of celery soup. It would have taken me ages and a lot of patience to do that by hand.

That little polka dot knife makes it fun to cut things up.
I just have to make sure it’s not cutting pound cakes and brownies.

My absolute favorite kitchen toy is this Vitamix. I use it almost daily for smoothies in the morning and pureed vegetable soups anytime. It actually makes the soup by heating it up while it blends!

Having new toys helps me feel reenergized and more creative in the kitchen which leads to healthier meals.

6. Pin What Inspires You

I get many ideas, inspiration and motivation from Pinterest. And I love some of the quotes I find on there. Like this one that really made sense to me:

I created a board on Pinterest called 2014 that is devoted to quotes and links to articles to keep me motivated this year. And I also have a very extensive Low Carb/Paleo board with lots of recipes. But they only help me get healthy if I actually make them. That’s where the fun kitchen toys come in!

How about you? Have you made a list of resolutions for 2014?
If so, is it a lengthy list or short like mine?
What tools do you have for getting your goals off the ground and flying high this year?
Make it a rich day…make it a rich year!

***Reminder! How I Wear My: Coat is next week. Submit your photo by Monday, January 6th to howiwearmy@yahoo.com to be featured. Please include your blog address, if you have one, and a brief summary of your look. Jill of Everything Just So and I can’t wait to see your fabulous coat!



  1. January 3, 2014 / 5:11 am

    I like the 20 minute rule because that is 20 minutes more than I do at present…

    I am going to try and work harder this year at everything and be more disciplined in general.

    Streamlining energy and focus is another theme for the year. I wish you all the best in sticking to all your goals!! x

    • January 3, 2014 / 9:39 am

      Exactly! 20 minutes is better than zero minutes. This is great for exercise, too. I will tell myself to do 20 minutes on my recumbent bike or 20 minutes of stretching and am always so happy I did it. And proud of myself, too.
      Love that sentence “Streamlining energy and focus” – may have to jot that one down for my office!

  2. January 3, 2014 / 5:35 am

    I love the 20 minute rule. I’ve tried it from time to time and am amazed by how much one can actually get done with 20 focused minutes of work at one task. Maybe I’ll try it more often in the New Year — for everything from dusting to laundry folding to my fiction writing!

    I have one simple resolution: get down to 140 pounds, which would be a healthy, happy, but still pleasantly curvy weight for me. And I’ll do it through watching portions, and getting out more for walks. This, in turn, should lead to more outfit blogging, as I become happy again with how my favorite clothes fit.

    Resolutions work best for me when they are few and clear! Like, one or two, with distinct goals.

    • January 3, 2014 / 9:45 am

      It’s true! You can accomplish so much in 20 minutes, especially when focused on the task at hand without distraction.
      I know what you mean about your weight and blogging. I don’t want to put on my tight clothes and pose for the camera when my weight is up.
      Few and clear is best. I actually have some that are more specific but I thought they would bore everyone so I kept them to myself and made them general on the blog!

  3. January 3, 2014 / 6:46 am

    LOVE the 20 minute rule. Brilliant! All the ideas are great. Thanks!

    • January 3, 2014 / 9:46 am

      It works so well for me. At the end of 20 minutes, I often want to keep going – write more, edit more, exercise more, cook more. But I rarely want to do more housekeeping. That always ends at 20 minutes! 😉

  4. January 3, 2014 / 7:17 am

    All great ideas. I do think new gadgets are great to help motivate healthier cooking and exercise. As for the 20 mins thing, I’m not sure it would work for me, because of my personality. I tend to be all or nothing, but maybe should work on that?

    • January 3, 2014 / 9:48 am

      Gadgets for cooking and for exercise help get me motivated. The Fitbit is really a gem. I love checking in on my stats throughout the day and makes me want to get out and walk or run.
      I would try the 20 minute trick. It helps me tackle all those things I dread doing.

  5. January 3, 2014 / 8:17 am

    Love this post and I knew you would love the Vitamix!!!! Happy New Year.

    • January 3, 2014 / 9:49 am

      I do! I really love it – favorite appliance of all time. I am blending up some cream of celery soup today for lunch. It’s so easy to use and clean, too.

  6. January 3, 2014 / 10:03 am

    Good morning Adrienne,
    I love your resolutions and your ‘tools’ to help achieve your goals. I think that Fitbit Flex is a brilliant idea and seeing the difference between an active day and a blogging day is a little daunting. I too feel more sedentary since I started blogging, as we discussed, and it’s one of my goals for the year too. I’m like you in that I love the feeling of having all the holiday fluff packed and put away for the new year. It feels fresh and clean. I am so NOT there yet but will get there in a week or so. #it’senough. Loved your comments on Stylemindchic this morning. Wishing you a fabulous new year my dear friend.
    xx, Heather

    • January 3, 2014 / 2:44 pm

      The Fitbit tally for my writing day was so scary! I can think back to too many days I spent on my rear end…not good! It’s keeping me mindful of movement and that’s what I really like and need.
      I wish you a wonderful new year as well. I hope we can get together again soon…Scott and Bill need to meet!
      xoxo, A

  7. January 3, 2014 / 10:09 am

    I am horrible at keeping resolutions so it’s something I don’t do. The only goal I ever seem to set is to lose 20 pounds before it turns into 30 pounds. Good luck with your list, and that Vitamix looks awesome!

    • January 3, 2014 / 2:43 pm

      I usually give up on my goals around mid-February but this year feels a little different. I am a bit more serious about it than I usually am and have fewer goals.
      I am quite familiar with your goal of losing some weight..am currently focusing on that. It’s easy to do after all the holiday goodies. After awhile that stuff gets tiresome!
      The Vitamix is amazing…I adore it and use it almost every day.

  8. January 3, 2014 / 3:00 pm

    Wonderful tips Adrienne!! I’ll give the 20 minute rule a try. I’ve been considering getting a Vitamix. I’m glad to hear you love yours so much. Is it a pain to clean out? Have a great weekend!

    • January 3, 2014 / 3:11 pm

      The Vitamix is a cinch to clean…very easy. AND mine has a self-cleaning option. You just add a little water and some dish soap, run it through its cycle, rinse it out and you’re done! It also makes ice cream – allegedly – I have yet to try that feature.
      I hope you have a great weekend, too!

  9. January 3, 2014 / 4:30 pm

    That cinches it. I’ll look for one with the self cleaning feature. Thanks!!

    • January 4, 2014 / 7:37 am

      Great! You won’t be disappointed if you use a blender often as I do. I made soup Thursday night and waited to blend it until last night. Right out of the fridge, I poured it in, selected the soup feature and I had hot soup in minutes! And it really is super easy to clean.
      My link is to Bloomingdales but I bought mine at Sur la Table – they take back anything if you are in their system (even after years) so if you decide you don’t like it after using it, just take it back!

  10. January 3, 2014 / 5:46 pm

    Great entry and I love the 20 minute rule, great idea! In fact, I like all your ideas! Thanks for sharing and happy new year to you!

    • January 4, 2014 / 7:49 am

      Thank you, Lea! And Happy New Year to you as well!

  11. January 3, 2014 / 7:36 pm

    You are lucky to have a group to share and discuss issues. Such a positive exercise!! Love your pinterest board too 🙂

    • January 4, 2014 / 7:51 am

      I really am so fortunate to have this group. I can’t tell you how much it has helped me to focus and be motivated. And I feel good about myself for helping my other group members! I recommend creating a group of your own…even if it’s just to talk and be listened to.

  12. January 3, 2014 / 9:29 pm

    I love that tip of using 20 minutes… that’s so helpful! I find that if I just start it’s always more manageable than I thought… Thanks for sharing!

    • January 4, 2014 / 7:53 am

      The 20 Minute Rule is awesome. I used it twice yesterday – once to do my recumbent bike and once to prep for dinner. Taking small steps toward getting things done works best for me.
      Happy New Year, Hope!

  13. January 3, 2014 / 11:09 pm

    That post just comes in time, Adrienne. I finally need to get going as I have been spending far too much time inside, usually in front of my laptop and physically feel I am in the need to change that.
    Thank you for the motivation. It is all about getting started, isn’t it??

    Annette | Lady of Style
    100$ adea Everyday Luxury Giveaway

    • January 4, 2014 / 7:55 am

      I am right there with you, Annette. Way too much time is spent on this thing. It’s hard when you want to work more to grow your blog but you also want to be fit and healthy. It’s all about balance, I am finding. And with fitness, you are right: just get started!

  14. January 4, 2014 / 6:39 am

    Loved this post and especially the 20 minute rule. I think that will work for me! Thanks for sharing that tip. I really enjoy your blog and I too am trying to grow my, very new, blog this year.


    • January 4, 2014 / 7:56 am

      Hi Lisa! Welcome!
      The 20 Minute Rule is very effective for me. If 20 minutes is too much or not enough, you could tailor it to meet your needs.

  15. January 4, 2014 / 7:11 am

    Very inspiring, Adrienne! All these point to better health and more peace, and your new journal inspires me to get one too! xo

    • January 4, 2014 / 8:02 am

      I adore that journal, Patti. I have been diligent about using it, though it’s not hard when it’s so cute and useful! xo

  16. January 4, 2014 / 7:22 am

    I definitely am the queen of procrastination, so the 20 min. rule is something I should give a try.

    The Salad Shooter looks like a helpful tool, I make Asian salads or Mexican food quite often that call for cabbage and I can never seem to get it sliced thin enough. Finding room in my kitchen to store another device would be the biggest challenge! 🙂

    Happy New Year!


    • January 4, 2014 / 8:47 am

      It works…I get more done in 20 minutes than I thought I could. Great for exercise, too. 20 minutes of working out is better than nothing. Of course I know you’re very good about staying on top of your fitness.
      I found a basket in my pantry that fits all the pieces of the shooter and even the shooter itself. The basket is now on a shelf in the pantry. I was actually concerned about space, too. I am always careful about bringing more stuff into my kitchen.
      Happy New Year to you, too!
      xo, A

    • January 4, 2014 / 9:58 am

      Good idea, great way to double your storage space. I use a few of those wire shelves in the kitchen, which also give me extra storage.

      One thing I forgot to mention is that I purchased a headset to use on my cordless phone, it has been a real time saver! I was getting tired of all the time I was spending on the phone this summer with family members or health care providers after my MIL’s hospitalization. This way I can get some mindless chores done at the same time.. (ironing for example) Don’t know why I didn’t think of it before!

    • January 5, 2014 / 5:48 am

      Very smart! I need to call my parents soon. Might try this method. Talk to Mom while folding laundry – two birds at once! Thanks for the great idea, Linda!

    • January 5, 2014 / 6:45 am

      Ha! Wish I could take all the credit, it was actually Nick’s idea! 🙂

  17. January 4, 2014 / 12:11 pm

    I love the 20 minute rule. Great ideas. I need to be more active, too. And I’m trying to exercise more.

    • January 5, 2014 / 5:47 am

      Being a writer/blogger makes it very easy to sit on your rear. I have to very conscience of my movement – probably more than you because you have small children. If I can do something – walking, running, the bike – everyday I feel better about spending long hours on the laptop.
      Hope that 20 Minute Rule works for you! Happy New Year!

  18. January 5, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    Great motivating post, Adrienne. I, too, love your 20 minute rule and will definitely be putting this to use. I’ve decided to try something new this year, I’m focusing on one word #onelittleword and setting goals around this. My word is LOOK, so my goals will be to look for good in others, look for ways to improve my self, etc. Absolutely love this post, thanks for the motivation.

  19. January 6, 2014 / 10:23 pm

    Great ideas Adrienne. Love that journal too. I am also trying to get a weekly schedule down so I get more done. When my day is chunked up it seems that I hardly accomplish much. The 2o minute thing is a great idea too.
    Starting yoga tomorrow. Yikes. xx Kim

  20. January 7, 2014 / 2:26 pm

    35 spf isn’t enough to do much. Worse yet, most sunscreens don’t have the active ingredients that you need to protect from UVA, the rays that age your skin. You need Avobenzone. I use spf 50 or higher myself, and my skin feels great. Usually I stick to Nuetrogena high SPF face shield. The “nasty chemicals are what makes it work, imo. I do use them everyday. Rain, shine, snow…whatever. Its cured my adult acne, and looks a lot better then a tan anyhow. I have dark red hair, dark eyebrows and eyelashes and blue eyes, and the ivory complexion makes make up unnecessary.

  21. January 7, 2014 / 2:30 pm

    OOPs…I seem to have somehow posted in the wrong place. Apologies….

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