Monday, December 19, 2011

52 Small Changes by Brett Blumenthal


Title: 52 Small Changes One Year to a Happier, Healthier You
Author: Brett Blumenthal
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: AmazonEncore
Source: ARC from publisher for review

52 Small Changes One Year to a Happier, Healthier You is the perfect book to start off a new year. So many of us make New Year's resolutions only to have them fall by the wayside after a few weeks or even just days. We have lofty goals and try to accomplish them all at once rather than attacking them one at a time and breaking them down into manageable portions. We try to turn our lives at 90 or 180 degree angles instead of working on more realistic 2 degree changes. We forget that many little changes add up to some big lifestyle changes over time.

Brett Blumenthal helps to avoid these typical New Year scenarios by providing a concrete road map of 52 changes, one per week, that you can implement over the course of a year. She focuses on the areas of Diet and Nutrition, Fitness and Prevention, Mental Well-Being, and Green Living. Making small changes in each of these areas can have a big impact on the quality of a person's life overall. Blumenthal gives background on why each of these changes are important, examples of how to make each change a part of your routine, and gives you the tools necessary to do so.

One change a week both sounds like a reasonable goal and like too much, too quickly as one of the first things the author admits is how long it can take a change, even a small one, to truly become a habit. One way the author avoids overwhelming the reader is by changing the area of focus from week to week. Another is by letting the changes build upon each other so you have one change established before adding another component. A weekly checklist is included at the end of each week to remind the reader of each change that has already been worked on so past changes continue to be a focus as one moves through the program.

The book is laid out in a very easy to read fashion. It is divided into three parts - an Introduction, the 52 Week Program, and Tools and Resources. The book makes great use of white space by breaking up the text with text boxes, lists (both numbered and bullet points), and charts. Headers of different types are distinguished by bold text and the text size. Icons are used throughout the book for a quick, visual identification of which area a specific change addresses.

I think 52 Small Changes is a program that can be tailored to each individual's specific focus. If you have already implemented the assigned change for the week, Blumenthal provides extra ideas to take that change a step or two further. If a change is something you are truly not interested in pursuing or you don't agree with it, just skip that week and continue focusing on the changes you have already made up to that point. The overall program seems to be fairly well-rounded with changes that will work in harmony to improve one's health and well-being over the long term.

I received an advance reader's copy (uncorrected proof) from AmazonEncore in exchange for an honest review. I also received a second copy because we thought the first had been lost in the transit process. This is great for my readers as it means I get to give away a copy! The 52 Small Changes One Year to a Happier, Healthier You giveaway is now up and running so if this is a book that interests you, please go enter. It is open to US residents and ends January 2, 2012.

What changes do you want to focus on in 2012? I definitely want to get exercise back into my routine and continue to work on making my family homemade meals so I can influence healthy eating.


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