How to Stop Childhood Sex Abuse

Although it’s too late for me to benefit from the Child Victims Act, I’m adding my voice to the chorus calling for the reform of state laws that shield criminals who sexually assault children from legal action by their victims.

I was in grade school when my father first crawled into my bed. 4th grade classIn this fourth grade class picture taken during the time that my father was sexually abusing me, I’m second in from the left in the first row of chairs. Like many trauma survivors with PTSD, I initially repressed the memories, and only began to recover them at the age of 23. By then it was already two years too late for me to take any legal action against my father, despite the fact that he had admitted – on tape and in front of two therapists – that my debilitating flashbacks were of actual incidents that he remembered too.

Childhood sexual abuse survivors deserve their day in court. The statistics are staggering: 1 in 10 children will be sexually assaulted by the time they are 18, and the vast majority of those will be victimized by people they know and trust. Most people don’t realize that sexual abuse of children is far more prevalent than adult rape. In fact, nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) happen to children under 18. Their are 19 of us in this photo, so chances are good that one of my classmates seen here would also  endure childhood sexual assault, if they hadn’t already.

It is time for all of us to face up to this scourge that has remained hidden for too long. New York has one of the shortest windows in the country for pursuing sexual-abuse complaints through the courts. Our laws should protect children, not their abusers.

Today I reject the idea that because this subject is repulsive and makes people uncomfortable, I shouldn’t talk about it. That belief, like the current New York state law, only enables child molesters to lurk safely in the shadows, to intimidate their child victims into secrecy and silence, until it is too late for justice. In 1991, my lawsuit against my father was dismissed because of the statute now in question. The laws have changed minimally since then, but they are still woefully in favor of protecting criminals.

After briefly agreeing in 1990 to attend joint therapy and contribute to my psychotherapy bills, my father abruptly changed his mind, withdrew his admission, and shunned me. That’s when I decided to sue him, and I soon learned that the laws were stacked against me and protected him. This is not a new issue. In 1992, I submitted testimony to the Senate and Assembly Codes Committee Regarding the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Offenses Committed against Children:

“The process of repression and recovery of memories for child sexual abuse victims like myself is extremely painful and debilitating. To say that it turns your world upside-down is an understatement. As you start to realize the truth about yourself and your family, you also realize that part of your childhood was stolen from you; that you never learned fundamental things about being a human being, such as what it means to love someone, to trust someone, to be nurtured or to nurture. You realize that you have been horribly confused about the meaning of sex and love for your entire life. And you wonder if you will ever be whole again…”

Once I knew the truth about my childhood, I came to understand that my silence as a child had protected my abuser and not me, and that the secret had festered and grown inside me like a cancer. Finally, I was ready to put the blame and the shame where it belonged, but the statute of limitations blocked my chances of ever even having my day in court, much less seeing justice done. If children are to be protected from the horror of sexual abuse, we must be willing to face and talk about the difficult truth and we must pass the Child Victims Act, sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) and State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), which would eliminate the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits in cases of childhood sexual abuse and open a one-year window for suits to be brought in old cases.

One month from today the current legislative session ends. According to the Daily News, which has been heroically and relentlessly covering this important issue since March, as of last week, the issue was not even on the legislative agenda. Time is running out to bring attention and support to the proposed law. Please help by adding your voice. Tell Governor Coumo, Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan that our laws should support child victims, not the criminals who sexually assault them. Support the Child Victims Act now.


Write to Heal Your PTSD from Sexual Abuse

Sat down at my computer over an hour ago, just to quickly check email, and fell into a digital wormhole that spun me around and spit me back out, more inspired than ever to share my story of healing from sexual abuse. Here are just a few of the amazing, writers, sites, workshops and campaigns that are fueling my resolve to blend my writing and healing work:

Heal Write Now

Say it, Survivor


Laura Davis

Arwen Faulkner

And this seems to be just the tip of the iceberg. So grateful to learn that I have such a beautiful chorus of strong voices to add mine too!

Mash-Ups that Heal


It thrillssubatomic-collision- me when things I love collide like atomic particles smashing into each other to create new sub-atomic particles. Science and spirituality. Fitness training and energy medicine. Writing and health. Today I stumbled onto this quote from Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, who graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and trained in family medicine, psychiatry, and clinical psychology. He’s a presenter at the Narrative Medicine (another mash-up that intrigues me) workshop that I’m thinking about attending this summer.

“In the view of conventional medicine, disease is found within organs. Autopsies with microscopic confirmation are the ultimate form of diagnosis. When we look for disease, we look for structural and enzymatic changes within individual organs. Aboriginal elders tell me that what we are seeking is only the footprint of the disease. Looking as we do, we only find the tracks and traces of disease, which, they say, is long gone by the time a person dies. Look for the disease within the relationships, they say. That is where it is found. The rest is consequences and effects of the disease. This leads us to a consideration of the logic behind spiritual healing, for it addresses what lies between people, or between people and spirits, or people and earth energies.”

While studying Eden Energy Medicine I learned that first the energy systems of the body become disorganized, then physical symptoms show up. Mehl-Madrona’s words give me a deeper perspective of that concept. Healing relationships — with our self, others, and the world ­— heals our bodies too.

Conquering the Fear of Success

flying trapeze picFor me, and maybe for you too, setting and working toward goals is the easy part. Actually achieving them is the scary, hard part. Manifesting our dreams brings Change with a capital C. And Change, even good Change, can be terrifying. I know, because as I write this, I’m in a wrestling match with anxiety, over finally accomplishing a dream I’ve had since early childhood. I’ve written a book.

For almost four years now, I’ve been working on a memoir. At this very moment, as I type the words, “it’s done”, my insides quake. Yes, there is obvious joy and pride in accomplishing my goal, of course. But now I must also face a host of unknowns: Will I be judged for the truths I reveal? How will these revelations affect my relationships with family, friends and clients? Will anyone even notice or care enough to read this thing that I’ve poured countless hours of heart-wrenching work into? Will I find a publisher? And that’s just for starters. But my wiser self knows the simple answer to all these questions:

It’s none of my business.

When I’m still and quiet enough to listen to my inner teacher, I know that my only job in this life is to pursue my deepest passions and thereby to become the most authentic version of myself possible. The effort is my responsibility. The outcome is not. And so, I hand it all over to the Universe, or whatever you want to call that entity that is a greater power than ourselves. In the language of 12-step programs, I Let Go. Let God.

Here’s what that looks like for me today: Breath work, affirmations, energy work, prayer, yoga, and journaling. These are the primary methods of self-care that help me face, accept, deal with and finally release, all my negative thoughts and inner resistance about reaching my goals, a.k.a, my Fear of Success.

How about you? Could you be harboring some hidden angst about achieving what you think you want? How would your life change if you did succeed? Are you truly ready, willing and able to handle that change? How do you root out and clear those surreptitious, negative beliefs that disrupt your energies and keep your dreams from becoming reality? Share your answers in the comments below, so we can support each other.

If you’d like to learn more about how I incorporate some of these self-care techniques into my work with my private fitness and energy work clients, click here. And if you’d like to read an excerpt and learn more about my recently completed memoir, Wasteland Reclaimed, click here.

The Universe Listens


True, funny, amazing story: All last week I worked on applications for summer writing programs. Sent the last one out Friday, feeling pretty optimistic, but Saturday I started to get a bit antsy. All kinds of fear- and lack- based thoughts were running through my mind: “Oh, no. What if I get into one of these programs? They’re all so expensive! [They are all $3000-$4000]. Where will I get the money from? What will I have to give up in order to make this happen?”

Then Sunday, I got sick of myself. I know negative thoughts and worries like this can sabotage our dreams, so I took a deep breath and sent up a little prayer to the Universe. “If this is meant to be for me, please send me a sign – help me know that I don’t need to worry about the money.” Then I cleared this statement from Louise Hay: “I now receive my good from expected and unexpected sources.” (Clearing statements is a technique I use regularly on myself and with many of my clients. It combines energy work with positive belief statements.)

Monday, my husband Steven and I got a letter from Chase. They have some unclaimed funds that belong to us, left over from our mortgage pay-off when we sold our house three years ago. Over $4000 is due to us and we will be receiving a check shortly! And then, as if to top off this flashy show of the law of attraction in action, that same day I also received a lovely, thoughtful, unexpected gift from my sister and a surprise came in the mail from my dear friend, the artist, Elizabeth CassidyThe Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction, by Chellie Campbell.You simply can’t make this stuff up!

You think maybe the big U heard my little request? Did I shift my energy and remove unconscious blocks to abundance by clearing that statement? For me, the answer is clear. Change your thoughts, change your life. Keep your energetic channels flowing and free of old, negative thought patterns and wonderful miracles, big and small, happen all around you. I’m bursting with gratitude today for the elegance and grandeur of this amazing life. I hope you feel it too.

Healing is a Spiral Staircase

spiral staircase

Recently, I had a long, heart to heart talk with a dear friend I’ve known since college. As close friends always do, we have many similarities and we know each other well. My friend and I were talking about a certain set of life challenges she’s been facing lately, and suddenly I saw with clarity, a pattern among them. Since I’m always pulling for her personal growth as much as I know she’s always pulling for mine, I decided to share my insight with her as gently and honestly as possible.

“It seems to me like the common denominator here, the root of all these problems, is that you’re allowing everyone else’s needs to take priority over your own,” I said. These are the kinds of wisdom nuggets I believe we need our true besties to shine a light on for us, to nudge us along our healing paths.

“I know!” she exclaimed. I was relieved that she had made the same connection, and didn’t seem to find my unsolicited opinion out of line. “And, I’m so frustrated,” she continued. “This has been my big issue my whole life and I thought I dealt with it years ago. But here it is again.”

I knew she was right. This had been a familiar theme not only for her, but also for me and many of the loving, nurturing, compassionate women I count as my friends. Some of us were raised in families whose particular brand of dysfunctions led us to adapt by being overly “good”, helpful and accommodating to others. Yes, it is possible to be too kind to others, when it ends up meaning you’re unkind to yourself.

Some of us grew up with the mistaken belief that we needed to “earn” love and approval. Somehow we missed the memo that we all inherently deserve love because we exist, that just being ourselves is enough. So we became over-compassionate caretakers for everyone around us while sublimating our own needs and desires in a misguided attempt to guarantee ourselves the love, security and approval we all crave. While this imbalanced approach to relationships helped us survive and cope as children, as adults it leads to exhaustion, resentment, confusion and unhealthy relatonships.

“I’ve worked so hard and gotten so much better at acknowledging and expressing my own needs, and at finding ways to meet them,” my friend continued. “So why is this coming up again now?” Her frustration and despair was palpable and I could relate.

Sometimes all our attempts at self-transformation can feel like an unending loop, coming back around to the same issues over and over. Just when we’re starting to feel like we’re making progress, that same old self-destructive pattern shows up again. So I decided to share with my friend an analogy that my therapist gave me many years ago, which gave me clarity and eased my frustration.

Personal growth doesn’t happen in a linear progression. It’s more like climbing a spiral staircase. You start at the bottom where you see a certain view of the space around you. Think of this view as your perspective on your world. With work, you take some steps up and notice that you’ve achieved a higher level of functioning. The view from here is different. You see the world from a new angle, and your new success motivates you to take some more steps, moving you toward more growth and another new perspective. This pattern repeats until, before long, you find yourself seemingly at the place where you began. “Damn, I’ve been here before! How did I get back here?,” you wonder. At first glance it seems you are seeing the world from the same exact angle as where you started. You don’t realize that although it’s a very similar view, you ‘re actually seeing that view from a slightly higher level now. Your view from this new height is wider and you can see a bit farther. You’ve made it once around that spiral staircase. The same issue is back, but now it’s time to deal with it on a more comprehensive level. It’s not exactly the same after all.

I love this metaphor because it teaches us that we can make a choice to leave the endless loop of surviving and step up instead on to the spiral staircase of healing. As we climb, we may encounter those same old issues, but at each new turn we see them with a fresh, new, better perspective. And the more we examine the view and our place in it, the more we come to a place called thriving.



I do work hard. Yes I do. Really. But in the middle of an important meeting, I found myself considering what we really mean when we talk about a taboo. It is broadly defined as a “system of prohibitions connected with things considered holy or unclean”. I’m no social anthropologist or sociologist, but it seems clear to me that even when we collectively uphold something as a taboo, it’s not actually a prohibition; it simply stops us talking about it.

Child sex abuse is a taboo; within the confines of trusted structures – such as family or school or religion – even more so. This is quite right. Yet although we operate this “system of prohibitions” it doesn’t translate into action from us, as a society, to prevent it in the first place. This is because where abuse is concerned the actual taboo is talking about it, acknowledging and confronting…

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Blog Tour: My Writing Process

I was invited to join this blog tour by Wendy Karasin, a writer, life coach and blogger (Wendy Karasin – Musings of a Boomer). I am to answer four questions about my writing process and introduce you to three new bloggers, who will do the same next week and on it goes.

1) What am I working on?

I am working on finishing a memoir about healing and forgiveness in the wake of childhood sexual abuse. I am also a regular contributor to an online fitness and wellness column called Fitness Insider for DNAinfo. In addition to covering assorted topics in that column, I am also in the midst of an ongoing year-long series for DNAinfo called 12 Healthy Habits for 2014.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My memoir is different from other sexual abuse survivor stories in two distinct ways. First, within the context of the larger story of healing, there is also a love story: how I  found, then lost, then rediscovered my soul mate and future husband – the man who would be the source of fervent hopes, debilitating disappointment, and who would ultimately become a key part of my healing process. Secondly, my memories of being sexually abused by my father were completely repressed until my early twenties, when I started having flashbacks. Disassociative amnesia, the psychiatric term for this kind of memory repression, is a controversial concept because there have been cases of patients claiming to have recovered memories of abuse which were later proven to be false. This has led to questions about whether such “memories” can be “implanted” by a therapist or erroneously fabricated in some other way. In my case, however, the previously repressed memories were proven to be true when my father admitted, years later to having sexually abused me. His admission, the confrontations that elicited it, as well as the aftermath – played out not only in my own life but also in court, in the media and in my family – are all part of this story.

My fitness writing is unique in that it is tinged with the lessons I’ve learned along my own healing journey, and therefore leans heavily toward mind-body, holistic health topics.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write what I do because it is what I know, what I love, and what has made me who I am. As I emerge from my fitness cocoon and begin to spread my wings as a writer, I know at the soul level that telling the story of my healing from sexual abuse and re-connecting with the love of my life must precede the telling of any other stories that may be inside me waiting to come out. My hope is that everything I choose to write, whether memoir, fitness related or other, will inspire and help readers to move forward along their own healing paths.

4) How does your writing process work?

I write almost every day, in the same way that I perform other self-care rituals like exercising or  flossing my teeth. I have come to a point in my life where writing feels to me like something I really don’t have a choice about. If I want to be healthy, happy and whole, I must write. Having thus been freed from the burden of the question of whether to write, I am now happily exploring how I do my best writing. What I’ve found so far, is that energy work plays an important role in my writing process. Before I sit down to write, it’s helpful if I first balance my energies through a combination of energy exercises, physical exercise, meditation and journaling. Conversely, I also find that the process of writing is often what I need to balance my energy systems. After a good writing session it’s necessary for me to move, breathe and somehow celebrate the burst of self-expression that has helped free my soul.

Next stops on the blog tour are:

Sarah Klein

Although I haven’t met Sarah in person, I enjoy her writing and was thrilled to learn that we share dual passions for writing and fitness. Sarah Klein is a Manhattan-based writer and editor, currently at The Huffington Post and previously of She is a graduate of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Her work has been published on and in CNN, The Brooklyn Downtown Star, Sports Illustrated Kids, The Villager and more. She loves vegetables, running, feminism, corny jokes, and serial commas. Sarah is currently studying to become a certified personal trainer.

Elizabeth Cassidy elizabeth cassidy Art  – Where art and words collide and yet no one gets hurt!

Elizabeth and I met several years ago after we both attended an Omega NYC conference and reached out online to find like-minded attendees of that event. We met in person at a diner on Long Island shortly thereafter and have been cohorts, colleagues and co-conspirators ever since.

Elizabeth says: I rediscovered my artistic side over three years ago. I am here to say that when you start to get back to your art, it doesn’t come right back. It is a little annoyed with you for shutting it out for so long. But then a remarkable thing happened. I just told myself to create whatever I wanted to create – no restrictions. And little by little my inner artist decided to make another appearance and we have been living happily in the same body since that day.

Elizabeth is an award winning blogger for Skirt! (2007-2014), and her writings have been published in Here Women Talk, More, Huffington Post and Gal Time. She is a humorist and a certified Creativity Coach for Artists and Writers. She is also one-half of The Film Fatales – a movie reviewing duo that always has something to say about today’s movies. Says Elizabeth: “We seemed to be loved by the British people since we are featured in Loves a Happy Ending  and Smitten by Britain.”  She is currently showing her work in art shows and galleries around Long Island.

Lara Licharowicz

Lara and I met about five years ago through our mutual Eden Energy Medicine teacher, Margie Fein, who knew Lara and I would become fast friends based on our shared interests in melding fitness with energy work.  Lara is an expert in physical fitness and emotional freedom techniques. Over the past 15 years, she has created The Lara Touch, by fusing her study of physiology, kinesiology, strength training, and eastern energy healing, Lara’s systematic approach yields immediate, measurable and guaranteed results. In The Lara Touch classes, videos and private sessions, Lara has helped clients lose weight, reduce pain and stress, and improve energy levels. She has also helped athletes perform better and insomniacs sleep better. Prior to opening The Lara Touch studio in Manhattan, Lara was a Master Trainer for Sports Club L.A..  She holds certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, American Council of Exercise, Muscle Activation Techniques, and Mat Pilates, and she is an Advanced Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner. She has been featured in the Daily News, Elle, and Women’s Day Magazines as well as an appearance in CW11’s Morning show.

Why I Meditate

Meditation at Pigeon Key, FL

Meditation, like all altered states of awareness –  dreaming, hypnosis and deep prayer, for example – has fascinated me since childhood. I remember my father doing a Psych 101-inspired hypnosis demonstration on me when I was in grade school. I don’t remember how he put me in the trance, but I remember well my complete inability to lift my hand from our Formica kitchen table upon his simple suggestion that it was glued there, followed by my utter amazement when at the snap of his fingers my hand was magically released from the table. Some people are more “suggestible” than others my father explained, and I was clearly at that end of the spectrum. The eerie power of that experience opened me to the vast mysterious potential of altered mind states and the simple but profound question of where we go when not in our normal, waking, conscious state.

I first tried meditating in college, in search of solace in the face of mounting anxiety about making my way in the world as an adult. I was leaning toward atheism at the time and had abandoned the nightly habit of bedtime prayer that had helped anchor me throughout my stormy childhood. The evolution of my beliefs had brought me to the idea that the mysterious, inner life of the human mind, far beyond scientific explanation, was much more worthy of worship and capable of answers than some institutionally ordained deity outside myself. I was faithful that answers and peace could somehow be found in the deep, uncharted waters of my own mind. But those first attempts to sit still and focus on my breath were dismal failures, as general anxiety exacerbated by a several-cups-a-day coffee habit, made it impossible for me to be still for more than a few brief moments. Instead, I decided to try yoga, which I had heard and read was a kind of moving meditation. This exploration also proved short-lived though, since having been a high school gymnast, I arrogantly fancied myself an expert on stretching. After just the second attempt to practice yoga, I quickly dismissed it as just stretching and breathing. Nothing enlightening for me to be found there, I decided. It wasn’t until several years later, after I had embarked on a serious journey of emotional healing, that I eventually gained the maturity and patience to benefit from the spiritual side of physical practices like yoga and meditation.

During the last 25 years I have gone through several periods of daily formal seated meditation which have lasted from a few days to a few months. Invariably those periods have corresponded with times of increased insight, clarity and contentment. Over the years I’ve experimented with meditating on my breath, on a mantra, on a flame, on a geometric shape in my mind’s eye, on my chakras, on the sounds around me and on the silent spaces between the sounds around me. The conclusion I’ve reached is that it really doesn’t matter what I choose as the object of my meditation. All can be rewarding or useless. What matters most is my willingness, my intention, to let my mind settle, to open to a place of deep quiet within myself, and to be non-judgmental of whatever I find there. Believe me, this is easier said than done. It is deceptively simple and exquisitely challenging. It is also a key element in the patchwork of practices I’ve adopted that have gone from helping to keep me sane, to helping me survive, to ultimately helping me thrive.

For a time I was frustrated by my inability to maintain the habit of daily formal seated meditation for more than brief periods. I knew it was good for me, so why couldn’t I commit to it for longer than a few months at a time? Then I began to notice meditative moments hidden in pockets of my life where I hadn’t thought to look before. This first happened in the late 90’s  when I was practicing  my balance beam routine for an upcoming adult gymnastics meet. How did it take me all these years, I wondered, to realize that the intense concentration and focus required to leave that 4-inch plank, dynamically spin or flip in the air, and then safely return gracefully poised on that narrow perch, was only possible when I continually redirected my wandering mind back to the task at hand. Irrelevant, unhelpful thoughts still incessantly invaded: This trick is too hard for me. I hope I don’t get hurt. What are my friends over there talking about? But just as the sun rising over the horizon brings a new hue of light to the entire landscape, the obvious fact was suddenly and unavoidably clear to me:  any mental energy squandered on those extraneous thoughts, dramatically reduces the chance that I will stick the trick. Once I started thinking of my balance beam practice as a moving meditation, my war with that apparatus ended.

This awakening was reinforced only days later as I slid into the pool for my swim workout. I now saw that methodically shifting my focus with each lap – from my breath, to the reach and pull of my arms, to my core, to my kick, and back to my breath –  held inherent similarities to my chakra meditation in which I gradually shifted my focus from the root chakra at my tailbone, to each of the other six energy centers along my spine and back to my root chakra. This is how I first discovered the simple practice of mindfulness, the idea that ultimately, your whole life can become a moving meditation. The next day, with elegant serendipity, I received a card in the mail announcing a weekend workshop on MBSR – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, which I knew I must attend.

And so, I stopped berating myself for the lack of discipline and motivation I had imagined kept me from maintaining my daily formal seated meditation habit. And I started to simply and frequently remind myself to Pay Attention. Be Here Now. This very moment is truly all there is. The real point of meditation for me now is carrying that knowledge into everything I do, not just working out but every interaction with a client, friend or loved one. Treating each moment as precious and deserving of my fullest awareness – this is my true purpose in meditation, whether seated or moving.

Deceptively simple. Exquisitely challenging. Deeply rewarding.

You can find more about meditation and how to start your own practice in my three DNAinfo Fitness Insider columns on the subject:

How to Make Meditation a Healthy Habit for 2014

Hot on Yoga’s Heels, Meditation Makes the Mainstream

Yoga Inspired Forms of Meditation Help you Center and Relax

And for more on other simple, healthy habits to help you make 2014 your best year yet, go to 12 Healthy Habits for 2014.

Recommitting to “Quick! Exercise!”

          January’s almost over. As all the talk of healthy resolutions fades, are you letting your best intentions quietly slip into oblivion? I must confess, that even I, who gets paid to help other people make healthy changes in their lives, found this first month of my simple, manageable plan to get healthier in 2014 much more challenging than expected.

          This month’s goal was to add one short bout of exercise – less than five minutes each day – to my own routine. Here’s why I’m not giving up on that goal,  the obstacles that challenged me and what I’m doing to overcome them. I hope this information will encourage you to join me in adding this, or some other simple, healthy habit to your own life before the first month of 2014 is gone.

          As explained,  in the original 12 Healthy Habits column earlier this month, a growing body of research shows that small amounts of high-intensity exercise can be just as effective as longer workouts of moderate intensity at improving key health and fitness markers like blood pressure, blood sugar levels and VO2max. And, it’s been proven true for a wide range of populations. Whether you are sedentary and overweight, active and young or have a health challenge such as Type II diabetes, you can improve your health and fitness with just several short sprints of full-on physical effort each day. The bottom line: for best results, work hard not long.

          It seems simple enough.  A few vigorous sun salutations here. A set of Burpees or squats there. Run up the stairs instead of riding the elevator. Yet, I achieved this goal only about half the days this month. True, I was sick for a week, but what happened on the other days? Sometimes, I was running late, other days I just forgot.  Chances are, whatever your resolution, you met some unexpected hurdles too.  I guess that’s the problem with new habits. If you have to think about it and remind yourself to do it, then it’s not a habit yet.

          To increase my success in making short bouts of exercise a daily habit  I installed Post-it note reminders in strategic places around my apartment and office. Now, before showering, I see the message on the mirror : “Quick! Exercise!” This has motivated me on a few occasions to roll my yoga mat out on the living room floor and do one of the mini-workouts I created just for this purpose.

          While I’m waiting for my coffee to brew, I see a similar note stuck to the top of the machine. It turns out, I can get a set of 25 squats done in the time it takes the Keurig machine to pour me my morning Joe. As I sit at my desk writing, tension growing in my neck and shoulders, a note on my keyboard spurs me to do a quick set of shoulder and chest openers. (Watch this video and do them along with me here.) And, thanks to one word that now lives on my calendar next to my regular appointment with a client who lives on the 5th floor, “Stairs!”,  I have climbed 15 more flights this month than I otherwise would have.

          So while it wasn’t as easy as I’d initially imagined, I have made some measurable progress toward my healthy habit goal for January. And I’m going to keep working at it even as I shift my focus next week to February’s healthy habit of daily meditation. Will you join me?

I’d love to know how your healthy habit resolutions for 2014 are going?  Leave a comment below or mention @dnainfo on twitter and use the hashtag #2014healthyhabits to join the conversation.  Or post a picture on Instagram to @dnainfonyc #2014healthyhabits.

          I’ll be writing in early February about the second of our 12 Healthy Habits, daily meditation.  Meanwhile, “Quick! Exercise!”