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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Q&A with Brett Blumenthal

Why did you decide to write 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Healthier, Happier You?

Brett Blumenthal:
I wanted to write a book that covers more than just diet and exercise and give readers a more manageable process to creating a healthy lifestyle.

What makes 52 Small Changes different from other wellness books?

BB: 52 Small Changes provides a holistic approach to wellness, and shows that by making small changes over a period of time you can achieve big results. By incorporating small changes every week you give yourself a better chance of sticking to these changes, and 52 Small Changes gives you the tools and tips to make that happen.

Q: Do you have a favorite chapter or section of 52 Small Changes?

BB: My favorite sections focus on components of life that we take for granted e.g. Laugh Out Loud (chapter 16), and Live with Purpose (chapter 20). I also like the unexpected chapters that evolved as I was writing the book such as Find Your Own Spirituality (chapter 52).

Q: Are the chapters of the book written in a specific order, or can you make each change in any order?

BB: The chapters are organized so that you don’t have to tackle one area of wellbeing, such as nutrition, all at once. Also, those changes that seem easier to most are at the beginning of the book, like drinking more water. My advice is to take the approach that works best for you and challenge yourself using the extra credit sections in selected chapters.

Q: 52 small changes seem like a lot! Do you have suggestions in the book for people who might lose motivation to help them get back on course?

BB: A great way to stay focused is by journaling--both food and exercise journaling. The book also provides a number of additional resources, such as an assessment tool that can be taken monthly or every few months, and checklists that you can use throughout your journey. By taking the time to make the 52 small changes, you have the ability to gain years of your life back. We all fall off the wagon at times, but if you think about why and be forgiving, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding the next time you try to make a change.

Q: Who is this book written for?

BB: This book is relevant to both men and woman of all ages. It’s also great for kids as you can make many of these changes at any age and still see results. This book would make a great family tool, or even a tool for friends--you can use the book and the changes to keep each other accountable.

From Library Journal

"Positing that it’s more effective to make small changes than to try to overhaul a lifetime of bad habits at once, Blumenthal (Get Real & Stop Dieting) offers readers small yet productive changes they can implement over 52 weeks to live healthier, happier lives. Chapter on topics such as “Taking Time To Stretch” and “Spending Time in Nature” include an introduction, a road map for change, and a weekly checklist. Blumenthal’s book jumps ahead in the wellness genre as it breaks up necessary tasks into doable packages. Highly motivating." -Library Journal, starred review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612181392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612181394
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brett Blumenthal is bestselling author on A Whole New You: Six Steps to Ignite Change for Your Best Life (December 2012), 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You (January 2012) and Get Real and STOP Dieting! (December 2010). Brett writes frequently on her site - Sheer Balance (www.sheerbalance.com), regularly speaks at conferences, spas and wellness centers on topics of wellness, change and personal development, and is regularly featured on popular sites including: Huffington Post, Yahoo!, Shine from Yahoo!, Divine Caroline, Intent and Gather. She has also been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Spa Magazine, Stuff Boston, American Fitness, The METRO and Organic Spa Magazine. Brett has appeared on NBC, FOX and CBS, as well as on Martha Stewart's Whole Living Radio Show - on Sirius Radio, and Magic 106.7, Talk 96.9, and WBZ 1030 in Boston. She is a regular guest on Better Connecticut (WFSB - CBS, Hartford, CT) and MyFox - 25 in Boston.

She has over 20 years of experience in wellness promotion and almost 10 years experience in management consulting; including branding, change management, and training strategy and development for Fortune 100 companies. Brett has received numerous awards including: Shine from Yahoo! "Woman of the Year;" Divine Caroline's Love this Site! award; Intent's Best Healthy Living Site Award; and Healthy Heart from Nature Made.

Brett received her MBA from Johnson at Cornell University, where she graduated as a Park Fellow; she also earned her bachelors degree from Cornell University. She is certified by WELCOA (Wellness Council of America) and AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America).

Customer Reviews

The book is laid out in a very easy to read fashion.
Library Girl Reads
I think 52 Small Changes by Brett Blumenthal is a great book for anyone looking to make a positive and healthy change in their life!
Darlene @ Peeking Between the Pages
My wife and I had made a few major New Years resolutions and found this book helpful to read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on October 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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!
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104 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 30, 2011
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.
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106 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Kurt G. Schumacher VINE VOICE on December 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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.
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