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52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You Paperback – Jan 3 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing; 1 edition (Jan. 3 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612181392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612181394
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 2.4 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #253,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Brett Blumenthal is co-founder and CEO of Be Healthy, Inc., a wellness promotion company whose mission is to create a healthier America, one city at a time, by holding unique events that educate, inspire, and empower members of local communities to live and maintain healthy lifestyles. She is also founder of Sheer Balance and the Healthy Road Warrior, which provide information, classes, and seminars, along with wellness coaching to educate and motivate individuals interested in living a healthy lifestyle. She earned her bachelor’s degree and M.B.A. from Cornell University and is certified by WELCOA (Wellness Counsel of America). She writes for several online media companies, winning multiple awards for her influential blogging; has appeared on NBC and is a regular contributor on CBS; and is the author of Get Real and STOP Dieting!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 115 reviews
134 of 140 people found the following review helpful
Create a Balanced Life with 52 Weekly Small Changes Oct. 27 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
For over a decade, every New Year's Eve I make a pact with myself to change my eating and exercise habits in exchange for a trip to Paris in the fall. I usually break my pact by January 4th.

Three days is usually my limit and I am back to treating myself poorly - short sleeping hours, fast food instead of cooking healthy meals for myself, and no exercise except walking from my mail box to my front door.

With Brett Blumenthal's new book, I have got a good shot at Paris in 2012.

Brett's 52 week plan follows three basic rules:

1. One Big Change Takes Many Small Changes

2. Extreme's Don't Work

3. Small Changes Feed Our Need to Succeed

Each week is setup with tips and tricks to help you make one small change that balances your life.

Let's take a look at January:

Week 1 - Hydrate (provides tips and tricks for getting adequate H20 in your life)

Week 2 - Get 7-8 hours sleep (shows you how to create your own sleepy time nightly routine and setup a sleep inducing environment)

Week 3 - Keep off the couch (gently encourages you to create a routine of activities that get you moving)

Week 4- Keep a food journal (teaches you how to keep a food journal and identifies false hunger triggers, etc.)

If you are ready to make a commitment to living a balanced life this book can certainly help you take baby steps to get there.

I also recommend Brett's previous bestseller Get Real and Stop Dieting!
104 of 110 people found the following review helpful
Great ideas to effect change Dec 30 2011
By Luanne Ollivier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Yes, it's almost the end of the year, Christmas is over, the New Year is fast approaching and for many people, resolutions are being planned. We can make changes anytime in our lives, but for some reason, we see the new year as a clean page to start.

"Many of us yearn for instant gratification, and when something takes too long, we give up or move on. Unfortunately, the instant gratification we crave is the exact thing that hinders us from achieving success in our quest for change. The secret to making change that lasts is to acknowledge and accept that change takes time and that patience during the process is essential."

I agree with Blumenthal that 'small changes feed our need to succeed." To that end Brett Blumenthal's book 52 Small Changes actually spans the entire year. She has come up with one change per week that we can incorporate on our way to becoming a "happier, healthier you." The book has four target areas: Diet and Nutrition, Fitness and Prevention, Mental Well - Being and Green Living.

Week One's topic is water - drinking more of it. A basic tenet that we're all aware of and recognize the importance of, but really don't carry out. By just having the one goal for an entire week and following through, one could achieve a feeling of success and the desire to continue on with other small but beneficial changes.

Blumenthal targets a lot of other 'known' issues such as adequate sleep, food choices, additives, vitamins etc. Some of the suggestions such as breathing right, taking at least a half hour a day for yourself, cleaning products and identifying additives provided lots of food for thought. Each topic is explored and the benefits explained. If you're already following that week's suggestions there are ideas for taking it up a notch.

I think the idea of one small change a week is great. However I think some of the ideas would require greater introspection and thought, such as Participate in Your Life (mindful thinking), Find Your Own Spirituality and Living with Purpose. However, that being said, 52 Small Changes does introduce the ideas for consideration.

The book is cleanly laid out, easy to read and includes pictures, graphs and blurb boxes. I think a reader could pick and choose ideas from the book that are pertinent to the changes they would like to see in their lives. I don't think every idea would work for everyone. Do I think I could make 52 changes this year? No, but I will be making some and 52 Small Changes has given me some ideas.
105 of 116 people found the following review helpful
Some good suggestions, but not completely practical Dec 22 2011
By Kurt G. Schumacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This book has a lot of good suggestions for making changes to your life. Small changes, one per week, that can add up to some significant improvements in your health and quality of life. Each chapter discusses one thing you can do differentely. At the end of each chapter is a summary of all the provious topics, so you can keep track of how you're doing.

At the end of the book there are some useful charts that you can use to log your progress, and a listing of web sites and books if you want to do more research. Overall, this is an interesting approach to making some improvements in your life.

That being said, I found that a lot of the suggestions aren't very practical, at least for me. For example, in the chapter on keeping dust under control, it says that if you have window drapes you should wash them once a week in hot water. I could probably manage the washing, but not taking the drapes down and putting them back up once a week. But I might consider doing it every three months.

Also if you want to follow this book to the letter, prepare to be "greened". A lot of the chapters have to do with things like eliminating processed food, eating only organic food, reducing dairy and salt, etc. Okay, some of that may be good, if you accept all of the current theories about what you should and shouldn't eat. But like many other books, this one falls prey to the fallacy of "everyone is the same, so the same diet will work for everyone".

I'm sorry, but that flies in the face of biological fact. We are NOT all the same. We come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and have heritages from different parts of the world where people have lived on diffeent diets based on available resources, and adapted to them over thousands of years. A diet that one person may thrive on, might actually damage another person's health. I have a friend who tried to live on a vegetarian diet and became very ill until she started to eat meat again. Diet can not always be completely a moral or philosophical choice.

I'm 6' 4" tall and weigh 245 pounds. Although current government guidelines would probably classify me as "obese", I am in very good health (aside from some of the side effects of being over 60 years old). This book says that my portion of meat should be the size of a deck of cards, and a serving of vegetables is the size of half a baseball. I can have a slice of bread (whole wheat) and half a cup of grains or starch. I know from experience that I would not do well on a diet like that. But the book only talks about "appropriate portions", with no consideration that one size does not fit all.

So take some of the recommendations in this book with a grain of salt. (No, it won't kill you!) If the organic, whole food, low-fat diet works for you, great! If not, adapt it so that it does work for you while still improving your life.

I've harped on the diet issue a lot because I think it detracts from the rest of the book. Most of the chapters have good suggestions in other areas, such as reducing clutter, exercising, and improving relationships. I recommend this book. Just don't be disappointed if you can't master all 52 changes. If you can tackle even half of them, you should be able to feel a lot better about your life.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Happiness isn't as hard as you think ! Jan. 13 2015
By talalny91 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
As a 44 year-old divorcee, I was far from a happy person. My husband and high school sweetheart decided to leave me for greener pastures, and I had to live alone in an otherwise empty house for the first time in my life. I fell into a deep depression that I thought I would never get out of. Then, I came across 52 Small Changes by Brett Blumenthal. This book has helped me achieve happiness, which is, again, something I didn’t think was possible. It also doesn’t take a lot. The book is essentially a 52-week program that asks you to make minute changes to your daily life. Everything that contributes to wellness is included in this book. Nutrition, exercise, mental health, and everything in between is discussed in 52 Small Changes.

I also used the insights in 27 Quick Life Transformation Tips to change my life for the better. This book is just as extensive and informative as Blumenthal’s. Written by Alvin Huang and Greg Frost, it goes over 27 different ways that we can all improve our lives. Do you have trouble with procrastination, saving money, or achieving your career goals? This books talks about it in length. Huang and Frost also offer valuable actionable plans for achieving your goals. If you’re in the same kind of rut I was in, then I would say that this book is invaluable for you. It has certainly helped me become a more motivated and goal-oriented person. I have successfully moved on from my divorce and I’m focusing on self-care and improving my career.

In total, these books offer 79 ways to improve your life. Together, they can help you make 2015 the best year of your life. I know that I am looking forward to 2015 with open arms. This is the first time I’ve really been excited about a new year, and I can’t wait to make the most of it. I owe my newfound energy for life to both of these books. I am now happier, healthier, and more fulfilled than I’ve been in at least a decade.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A great way to implement positive changes Jan. 14 2012
By Sheila A. Dechantal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
New Year's resolutions, a healthy goal, commitments to do better.... almost everyone at one time or another has made a vow to make positive changes in their habits. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially in today's hectic world of too many time commitments, jobs, meetings, kids events...

What wellness coach Brett Blumenthal presents in this book is a way to motivate readers in the right direction by making one small change a week. The changes are realistic from healthy eating habits, to stress relief, mental wellness, and even your home environment. 52 Small Changes is a step by step road map to a happier, healthier you.

What I really like about 52 Small Changes is that each week is that not only is the change a small tweak in the way you do life already... but the chapter goes on to tell you the benefits of this change, how to do it, options and keeping it real....

For instance chapter one is called Drink Up! Water is one we are all suppose to be doing, but few of us get the amount of water we really need daily. It goes on to give you a road map to success, assessing your needs, how to remind yourself, and keeping it real. While you might think this is a no brainer, actually reading the chapter gave me tips to getting my water intake in each day as well as back up substitutes (like tea) or adding things to make it taste better - like fruit or cucumber slices.

Moving on, chapter 2 is about getting enough sleep, chapter 3 is about getting off the couch, and chapter 4 is about keeping a food journal, etc... etc...

I like that each chapter is doable, you stay on it for a week, then add a second one and so on.