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By Karen Amster-Young

Karen Amster-Young and Pam Godwin are the co-authors of The 52 Weeks: Two Women and Their Quest to Get Unstuck, with Stories and Ideas to Jumpstart Your Year of Discovery (Skyhorse Publishing, November 2013). The book is available online and in stores everywhere.


It’s so easy to fall into a routine with the kids, family obligations, responsibilities, and work. One day you just wake up and feel bored and restless, despite being “busy” and running around. You have very little “me” time, let alone have time to try new things. You feel “stuck.”

Try these simple ideas to break out of your “mom” comfort zone.

Give Back. Volunteer. It’s good for you!  The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research,” (2007) describes the significant connection between volunteering and good health. People who volunteer have better longevity, higher functional ability, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease! Pressed for time? It takes only 10 minutes to help an elderly neighbor with an errand or send a card to someone who is blue.

Nuture Your Relationships. Have lunch with your favorite Uncle that you haven’t seen in a while, plan a romantic evening with your significant other or make plans for lunch with the friend you lost touch with for no reason. Relationships are important to your well-being.

Make a Call, Move Forward. Trying to quit something? Do you need an expert opinion on your relationship, your outdated wardrobe or your daily diet? Call someone for help when you need it.

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Build Your Brand. Update your resume, network and start making moves toward your dream job.  If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, take just one step toward (re) building your brand: write an article, be a part of a professional panel, mentor a junior colleague.

Tell a Friend. Already giving up on your resolutions? According to a 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol, women are 10% more successful in sticking to their goals when they share them with someone.

Listen, Learn & Laugh. Stop talking and listen more. Learn something new, it’s good for you and don’t forget to laugh! Just the simple act of doing something new or different brightens your mood, changes your perspective and takes you beyond your comfort zone!

Music & Masterpieces. Listen to new music – or any music! Visit a museum and gaze at art. Awaken your senses again. You’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel.

Make a “52” List! Embrace the 52 “mindset” rather than setting large goals for the New Year. Most people don’t achieve their resolutions. In fact, only 8% of people are successful! Carve out time for yourself, have some fun, and take some baby steps. You really can’t fail. It’s about simply checking things off as you do them. That’s the 52 Week approach.  •

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