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52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You Paperback – January 3, 2012
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Question: 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.
Q: 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
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
"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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This bougie book is pretty much all common sense. It's really all things like eat more vegetables and sleep more. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Caro
Makes change workable as I take one week at a time. Great background information as well.Published 1 month ago by Arvilla C. Mastromarino
Great ! I think this is going to help me get my life back on track after an illness that left me with such changes that I lost my way.Published 1 month ago by norma j griffith
I love the format of this book. Gives good tips for small changes with the science behind the suggestions. Easy to read and take away the tips for everyday life.Published 4 months ago by J Bauer
Great suggestions. Make these habits and change your life in small, but significant ways in one year.Published 4 months ago by Jude