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What does it take to make the New Year awesome? Some local celebs (yes, Martha Stewart is a Jersey girl!) offer some quick tips for living your best life in the year ahead.

Martha Stewart

Organize, Organize, Organize

There’s no one more organized than Martha Stewart. The author, television personality, publisher and radio host has become an expert on perfecting the everyday pieces of life. Who better, then, to get us all straightened out for the upcoming year?

Photo by Scott Duncan“People often ask me for organizing tips and suggestions, but I hear it most often at the beginning of a new year when many of us resolve to get our busy lives in order,” says Stewart. “The truth is that there is no magic trick, no single solution to the eternal challenge of getting and staying organized. But there are steps that you can take to manage everything from an overstuffed closet or a messy desk to a hectic schedule.”

Stewart offers four must-dos to keep your home (and life) in tip-top shape:

Cut the clutter. “The more things you have, the harder it is to organize.,” says Stewart. “Take a good look at what you have and pare down your possessions. If you can’t remember the last time you used something, you probably don’t need it.

Everything should have a home, and that home shouldn’t be a pile in the corner. “A corollary to this principle is to store it where you use it. If you are an avid cook like me, keep those saucepans, spoons and whisks within arm’s reach of the stove.”

Think in multiples. “When creating a home for sundry items, use matching containers, which are a great way to organize a space and to make it more beautiful. My Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery line at Staples includes magazine holders in a beautiful shade of blue and stackable storage boxes,” she says. “They look great on their own and even better as a group.

Plan ahead! Lists and day planners are valuable tools for managing your time, which is essential to getting – and staying – organized. Stewart suggests using a dry erase weekly planner for jotting down grocery lists, and journals and notebooks can help you organize all kinds of projects.

 

Jonathan Adler

Spruce It Up

Celebrity designer Jonathan Adler is best known for his love of chic styles and his simple designs that he says everyone can incorporate into their home. His posh New York City apartment – and life – is a far cry from his SJ hometown of Bridgeton, but his number-one piece of design advice comes from his simple upbringing: “Fill your home with the people and things you love,” he says.

Adler also insists that every room in your house should be livable, so “the dog should be allowed on every piece of furniture,” he says. Many of his simple finds for his home come from eBay.

JAD_Whitaker_D“And add color – my favorite is orange,” he quips. “It’s the color of happiness. Life is too short to look back and see an endless haze of beige. Color is the most effective antidepressant in the world. I say to overdose on orange, not on Prozac. I appreciate the optimism that strong colors communicate.”

Adler says not to worry about taking the jump from traditional colors to something new and different. “I think gray is hugely important now and it looks great in all its iterations,” Adler says. “It’s a somber anchor for bright pops of color.”

He also says to muster up your strength to be bold and mix patterns. And if you have a windowsill, line it with a row of something you are collecting, like glass vases.

Don’t be afraid to take chances with your home design. “If you love it,” he says, “it will work.”

 

Pat Croce

Have Healthy Habits

Athletic trainer and physical therapist Pat Croce – best known as the former owner of the Philadelphia ’76ers – says eating right and exercising really isn’t that difficult. He’s been able to incorporate healthy habits into his daily life, and he says you can too.

Pat Croce“This year, 2013, you want to commit to a new vision of your personal physical health. I strength train three days a week, run two days a week and do a cardio circuit another two days. I mix it up, because I need variety in my schedule. It depends on what works best for each person. You can do different types of exercises – treadmill, jump rope, elliptical machine. Do five or ten minutes on each one. The heart isn’t prejudiced; it doesn’t know what you’re doing. But you should incorporate strength training as well as aerobic conditioning three times a week.

“Set goals with a time. For example: you want to lose five or ten pounds in the next two months. Weigh yourself every day. It may not change every day, but it keeps you focused. Start the day right, and the day continues on the right track. But if you start your day with coffee and a donut and say you’ll work out later, you’re not going to get to it, because you don’t have the energy that’s going to last ’til later. Stoke the engine by putting the proper fuel into it, whether it’s with peanut butter and jelly on whole-grain toast or eggs with bacon or yogurt with fruit.

Croce says adding healthy habits to your routine will quickly make a difference. “You’ll start feeling more energetic and realize you can do a little more. Maybe you’re not taking a deep breath when you run up a flight of stairs or you’re not as tired at the end of a workday or school day,” he says. “The goal is to maintain it. Success begets success.”

 

Gottlieb 5Dan Gottlieb

Focus on Family

Cherry Hill psychologist Dan Gottlieb emphasizes the importance of personal relationships in his weekly WHYY radio show, “Voices in the Family.” Strengthening the connection with your family is vital to each member’s well-being and, he says, one way to make that bond unbreakable is at the dinner table.

“Family dinners are the single best way to improve family relationships,” he insists. “Family dinners are more important for children’s emotional growth and development than all after-school activities combined. A family that has dinner together at least three times a week has an overwhelming impact. Studies at the University of Minnesota and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University have shown that teenagers who regularly eat dinner with families are much less likely to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs, and are more likely to get better grades and have a healthy body image.

“One of the authors of the study said that ‘prioritizing structured family meals that take place in a positive environment can protect girls from destructive eating habits that can lead to anorexia and bulimia.’ Other studies have shown that young children speak earlier and have a better vocabulary when they’re at regular family dinners. Family dinners require an honest commitment to change your life a bit, to feed your family in ways that nourish their souls.

“But,” he adds, “the other thing that is terribly important for child development is a little more difficult. What we can do for our children is role model self-compassion rather than self-deprivation. We can live a life of kindness toward ourselves and others. We can teach our children how to love and be loved by the way we love and are loved.”

 

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Your Life: Own It

When it comes to living well, Dr. Oz wants you to know it’s possible, but it’s up to you to get the job done. The cardiologist-turned-television host has taken to the airwaves to try to make the world a healthier place. But when it comes right down to it, he says, getting healthy is all about personal responsibility.

“You are the biggest factor that affects your health,” says Oz. “How you eat, live and treat yourself is the single most determining factor in whether you are sick or well – not genetics, not circumstances. By the time we are 50, 80 percent of our health is determined by lifestyle. If people knew this and took ownership over it, there would be a lot less suffering and longer lives.

Oz suggests two changes that can make a big difference in your well-being. “Here is my advice,” he says, “First, get in at least 10,000 steps every day. Second, cut out white foods, like white bread, pasta and rice. Getting a pedometer and reaching for whole grains are two simple ways to jump start weight loss.”

 

Vince Papale

Make It Happen

His inspirational, seemingly impossible journey from a 30-year-old teacher and part-time bartender to a walk-on addition to the Philadelphia Eagles football team proves that The Cherry Hill resident knows more than a little about motivation. His views on life can help you reach your full potential this year.

Vince head shot“Whenever you have an obstacle, a goal or a dream, the best way to attack it is to go by the 3 As – analyze, adapt and achieve,” says Papale. “The first part, analyze, is to get as much information or data as you can for the challenge that lies ahead of you. Use whatever resources you have, such as the Internet, where there’s nothing you can’t find. Understand that sometimes the challenge is within yourself, and you’ve got to have yourself prepared in order to take on that challenge.

“For the second ‘A,’ adapt, you’ve got to come up with a game plan, to use a football metaphor. But realize that with a game plan things change all the time. It’s not just going in a straight line from A to B. There are a lot of zigs and zags. Have more than one game plan and within each plan you have to be flexible enough to call an audible. You have to be able to improvise.

“The third ‘A,’ achieve, is getting the ball into the end zone, making it happen. It’s the finality of the dream, goal or challenge. You have to be willing to pay the price to achieve the goal. My high school football coach, George Corner, was my mentor growing up. When I was trying out for the Eagles a lot of people were questioning my sanity and said I couldn’t do it, because it had never been done before. I hadn’t even played college football. My coach gave me this quote: ‘Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make the dreams come true.’ You can dream all you want, but those who aren’t willing to take the risks are the posers who always have excuses for not achieving anything. If you’re not willing to sacrifice, persevere and commit to something, it’s not going to happen.”

January 2013
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