Happy 2018.  The temperature was just a degree above zero as I walked outside this morning with our dear rescue pup Dixie, my hands clutching a cup of coffee so hot they should have been burning but, instead were instantly numb.

Unlike most people I know, I absolutely LOVE cold weather.  I couldn’t think of a better way to start this new day, new week, new month, new year!  I am so ready to get back on track . . .

Little did I know this time last January that the entire second half of 2017 would find me orchestrating a major move for my family – from a home in the New Jersey suburbs to an almost 11 acre property in Pennsylvania.

Soon, we will have company.  With luck (and barring a blizzard) a barn will be constructed between now and February.  And, when it’s finished, our six horses which have been living a few miles away will move home.  Fortunately, our youngest son is coordinating that entire project.

I can think of many adjectives to describe the last several months (most I can’t publish here)!  Exciting and exhausting would probably top the list.  More exhausting than I ever could have imagined.

I learned more about real estate, mortgages, septic tanks, chimneys, oil tanks, termites, moving companies, how to pack (and how not to pack) than I ever really wanted to know.  On Christmas Eve, 8 chairs were finally delivered for my dining room table so we could sit down to dinner.

It’s finally beginning to feel like home.

One thing I have desperately missed during all of the upheaval of moving is posting here.  Not that I haven’t wanted to.  I enjoy sharing my story and experiences with losing weight and information about healthy eating and nutritious food.

My hope is to encourage and motivate people to make healthier choices and stay on track as they work toward their weight loss goals.

But, I admit with all I’ve had going on, I’ve had a hard time staying on track myself.

This isn’t a willpower thing.  Like having the willpower to avoid those leftover Xmas cookies still hanging around and get back to better eating.  I honestly don’t believe in relying on willpower.

Just like with committing to eating healthier food and exercising a little more, it’s about forming new habits and being consistent.  The more often you make the better choice the easier it is to do without even thinking.

Sometimes though, it’s just getting started that is the hardest part.  I was trying to get caught up on some reading yesterday and I came across something that really hit home.

It’s an article written about Jerry Seinfeld’s secret to being healthier and more productive.  It all comes down to 4 simple words:  “Don’t break the chain“.

I think it helped me finally turn the corner.  Here’s how it works:

Get yourself a big wall calendar (in my case I’ll be using one in a notebook).  With a red marker, make an X over every day you meet your goal (for you:  eating healthier; for me:  writing).  As the days go by, the chain becomes longer and becomes an “in your face” visual that you will not want to break.

As the X’s connect and you mark off the days, you create momentum.  No chance for procrastination which could lead to stress, anxiety and probably depression.  Because you can’t break the chain.

You have to keep it going.  

Whatever your goal for this new year, being successful doesn’t require a magic formula.  It just requires a deliberate practice, small steps, day in an day out, until the practice becomes habit.

Get that calendar and marker ready.  Make a promise to yourself to not break the chain.  I started today!