The secret to YOUR 2013 success.

It’s 2013 ya’ll! Let’s do this thing!

Welcome to January.

The month where the universe attempts to exploit our insecurities by promising it holds the (expensive) key to a healthier, happier and thinner us.

Most proffer a quick-fix solution to goal achievement which, while not entirely ethical, actually makes some sense.

Who wouldn’t, if given the choice between fast and easy or arduous and sweaty, pick the former? (thats not rhetorical. if you wouldnt I need to know who you are!)

Intellectually we know there’s no magic fitness pill, but we’ve all succumbed to the dangling carrot at least once.

I, too, am here to join the ranks of the aforementioned solution profferers.

I promise, however, that my way is easy (to learn) fast (to do daily) and works (if you commit)!

The key to fitness success can be broken down into five basic areas:  breathing, balance, aerobics, stretching & strength training,

B.B.A.S.S for short.

Admittedly it’s a clunky acronym but it will aid you in recalling the components of your new routine.

Our goal?

Setting ourselves up for a HEALTHIER 2013.

Do the 5 in whatever order fits your lifestyle and for however long works for you.

What’s crucial is completing all five areas CONSISTENTLY. We’ll save the fine-tuning for a month not burdened by holiday hangover.

  • Breathing.

Stop. Plop. And BREATHE!


Most of us breathe shallowly/mainly in our chest region. Our mini-breaths DONT fully inflate our lungs which contributes to feelings of frazzle/anxiety.

Deep breath patterns reduce stress/lower blood pressure as they encourage oxygen to flow more efficiently through the body.


The deeper you breathe the less you’ll feel like throttling your boss/coworker or loved one.

STOP. Notice how you’re currently breathing. Are you in a shortened breath state?

Force all of the air out of your lungs, inhale & count to 4 & expand your lungs as much as possible. Hold your breath for a count of 4. Exhale for a c0unt of four.

Repeat. After three or four deep breaths you should feel noticeably more relaxed.


  • Balance.


balance pose

Here’s to a less WOBBLY 2013!

FACT: We lose our sense of balance as we age or if youre me you never really had it.

FACT:  A few minutes a day can markedly improve equilibrium. Yoga is fantastic for correcting a flagging sense of balance. If you have no time for a class, improving your stability can still be simple.

Stand on one foot for a few moments. Now switch sides.

How long you could you hold the position? Not long? Try holding lightly onto a counter-top as you work to increase your stamina.

Too easy?  Check out some balance poses to integrate into your routine.

Curious where you fall (pun intended) on the balance spectrum? Here are some norms.  Remember, though, our goal is simply to be a better YOU than you were in 2012.


  • Aerobic activity.

There’s no need for fancy machines!

We’ve gotten the notion cardiovascular activity must be exhausting/last for at least 30 minutes or we shouldn’t bother.

I beg to differ. We’re setting ourselves up for success and any aerobic activity is precisely that: success.

Not doing any aerobics? Begin today. Step outside, walk, and do it for as long as you have the time and energy.

Yes, optimally you’d do cardio for 30 minutes a day, five or six days a week, but let’s establish a routine first.

Move. Today. Perhaps more than you did yesterday.  Success!


  • Stretching and core.
core work

by age 44 I’ll rock the planks!


We lose flexibility with age.

While most likely our chance to run off to Vegas & join Cirque du Soleil hath passed (sad face), we can regain flexibility.

Yoga and Pilates will help even the least flexible to become limber.  2012 was the year I found my LOVE of the OM.  2013 is my year to seek my smitten with PILATES.

Join me?

(Feeling overwhelmed? Simply stand up. Reach for your toes. Stretch as far as you can without bouncing/straining. Hold. Repeat daily & pay attention to how, over time, your feet aren’t as far away as they used to be.)

resistance training at home

grab a friend & use your body!

Remember, we’re striving for overall health not preparing for competition.

The “weights” you choose can either be metal, resistance bands, or your own flesh and blood.

Push-ups for your chest, one arm rows for your back, and dips for your triceps for example can be done at home with good results (YOUTUBE is a wealth of free workout videos).

Our goal working our muscles consistently more than they’re currently being exerted. That alone is SUCCESS.


  • Are you ready to join me & achieve a stress-free, flexible, healthy, & strong bod in 2013?
  • Do you have any EXTRA tips for us to nail our best healthy living year yet?  


Please to hit us all up in the comments below & GET OUT THERE AND KICK SOME B.B.A.S.S.


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  1. Tuuli says

    Thanks for the inspiration – I definitely needed some. To make the plan (for want of a better word) my own, i.e. easy for Me to remember, I thought I’d go for for Breathing & Balance, Cardio & Core, and Stretching & Strength. B&B, C&C, S&S. And I already did my Bs for today. :) Happy new year!

  2. says

    This is awesome! I’m in! Sounds so simple, definitely the implementation and commitment are the challenging parts, but every little bit counts!

    • Vonnie says

      I needed this too. I know it will be more challenging to do than to read, but it feels doable.
      Happy New Year Miz.

  3. says

    I’m focusing on balance and core for the near future as both of mine are a teensy bit pitiful right now. But see me again in March, and it will be a different story. :)

  4. says

    Many do not understand the power of a few deep breaths! Love all of these, but particularly that one and the pilates. I’ve been a pilates fanatic for years now. It helps tighten me up in ways nothing else has and it has given me incredible balance for all of my other workouts (and daily life!)

  5. says

    My biggest fitness lesson from 2012 was the importance of core strength and that I didn’t have it even though I was doing tons of crunches. Apparently my core needs planks! I need the work/life balance – or maybe boundaries?

    • Miz says

      Turning 40 was easy. Turning FORTY TWO was a harsh reminder how I’d neglected my poor core. No more :-)

  6. says

    I did some deep breathing while reading this post and already feel better! Or maybe it’s your post that made me feel better. Either way, my Wednesday is off to a good start!

  7. says

    You’re right, I’m not breathing deeply. Will focus on that today.

    So far, other than that, I only rock the flexibility right now. I beat the super fit husband by 8 inches on the sit n’ reach test.

    Focusing on strength first and hopeful balance will come. I tip over way too easy.

    • Miz says

      For me the shallow breathing happens almost imperceptibly….until suddenly I’m practically panting :-)

  8. says

    The reason I’m so happy to get back to yoga is that it covers most of this. A little running makes it complete. I think fuel needs to be in there somewhere.

  9. says

    I have been thinking of you a lot in the last few months when life got crazy and for the first time in many years I struggled with keeping with daily exercise (which certainly didn’t make the rest of my life any better…). You make being consistent look natural and (almost) effortless.

    The five areas are definitely what I am working on. Especially the breathing part is so important when things get stressful…

    • Miz says

      I wonder, as Ive read and reread your comment, if it is SO EASY for me but hard on those around me? even in the crappinessment of this move Ive made time for me. TWENTY MINUTES but NON-NEGOTIABLE :-) I wonder if the husband loves my consistency as much as I do?

  10. says

    I’m such a big believer in balance training–something I do daily and I’ve seen such big improvements. I am striving to get back on the yoga train this year and also improve my strength training–too much same old, same old has me not making any gains. Thanks for the encouraging post to get after ALL areas!

  11. Mollie says

    Thank you for breaking this down.
    I resolved to be fit in 2013 and had no idea where to start.
    You might make it look too easy but I will try.

  12. says

    I’ve tried fast and easy and I’ve found them to just lead to despair and disappointment. Now I’ll take arduous and sweaty coz’ I know it works & I know how satisfying the results of that hard work feel :)

    Love your 5 tips! They’re definitely all included in my fitness regime.

  13. Joy says

    To answer your (non-rhetorical) question… I’m the person who would pick radius and sweaty. But that’s because when I’m working out so hard I can hardly breathe or I’m at the limit of my strength training that I am most proud of my body.

  14. Miz says

    hmmm and I think when it comes to WEIGHT TRAINING Id probably join you Joy.

  15. says

    I mean honestly, what more is there to say! :) I do it all & it works with patience & consistency!!!! :)

    That balance thing is the hardest for me.. not only with age BUT I have bad feet & a MAJOR overpronator so it is hard just to stand right on two feet. I try to do it but I will say the overpronating is a prob & more often have to do with shoes with inserts in them! :)


  16. says

    Breathing is definitely the key for me. It’s kind of funny because I have no problem with moving, stretching or balancing, but I am constantly in need of taking a fuller breath! I’m seriously working on that this year!

  17. Sarah MomRunningonEmpty says

    I love this! It’s seriously 5 things everyone can do every day! It’s exactly the kinds of changes that can easily be incorporated for a successful year rather than a huge pitfall of instant gratification :). Thanks for the inspiration!!

  18. says

    I love this. Breathing, balance, aerobics, stretching and strength training. I have to repeat things in order to remember them. This past year I have learned the importance of balance in all parts of life – this year I’m starting some new endeavors and need to remember that.

    Happy Happy New Year!

  19. says

    Yes to all and an added `S`for Smile!

    I be doing lots of that as I recover from our first impromptu dance out of 2013. Love toddler dancing.

  20. says

    LOVE IT. I need to get back into pilates and yoga. My Mom is an instructor, so I really don’t have an excuse. 😉 Love your BBASS approach! Or as I’ll call it, badass. #notsorry #bamf

  21. says

    This is awesome! thank you. I went to a yoga class as a guest the other day and loved it. I am thinking about adding it to my home routine.

  22. says

    I always love your attitude!! The only other thing I am really promoting this year is remembering we don’t have to change everything all at once. It may not be as exciting but one little change at a time ads up to such a HUGE change and it’s more lasting

  23. says

    I’m with you, Miz! I’d just like to be more prepared food-wise. I’d also like to begin running this year but am a bit fearful of hurting my knee again. I’ll start slowly.

  24. says

    Oh how CUTE the two of you are!! I believe that BALANCE is definitely the key to life – cheers to 2013! 😉

  25. says

    Love this post! The pics are great. I love me some pilates. So refreshing and good for my body and mind! Happy New Year!

  26. says

    I decided to delurk from just reading to commenting on your blog in 2013 – seems about time, right?

    It all seems so simple when you lay it out like this! I really need to breathe and stretch more. Thanks for the reminder :) Happy 2013!

  27. says

    Great acronym! It’s that last S that kills me. I have got to start doing the strength exercises or gravity is going to start winning the battle…

  28. says

    Just reading this makes me want to get up and start running out of my office (don’t get a big head… EVERYTHING makes me want to get up and start running out of my office).

  29. says

    Amen. It all begins with breath. When we come back to our breath, we come back tour bodies. I have to work on this daily! Meditation and yoga and srength training makes me feel alive and well. So, that’s my plan. :-) Meditation all day, too…re-calibrating my energy when I need it…is probably the best lesson I’ve learned! Love you, wise one.

  30. says

    Nice list! And it starts with my nemisis: breathing. I’ve realized that I often just seem to forget to breath! Then suddenly grasp for it with a noisy gasp!

    And the cardio. I will get back into the cardio this year. With a young puppy, I’m not sure I’ll have a choice.

  31. says

    What an awesome post and I love the BBASS!! The breathing is the one that I never do – sad because it seems like it should be the easiest!!! Thank you for the reminder of how truly important it is to just stop and breath!!

  32. says

    Once again, Carla, you have managed to inspire me. 2012 was a good year for me, but there were moments that were trying – those moments are when I loved how valuable it is to just “Breathe”. I think I’ve gotten that skill down pat (but always trying to be better). The others are still lacking. One of my resoultions for this year is to have the healthiest life that I can – and each month I am going to set goals to work towards that end. Assuming, you don’t mind, I am going to tie the B.B.A.S.S. into those goals.

    For example, in January my goal would be to devote 5 minutes a day to working on improving my balance!

    Thanks again for my daily dose of inspiration!

  33. says

    I have been trying to figure out what to do first in my new commitment to better health all morning, seriously I am not kidding! Thank you for sharing some easy to follow tips. I will try them :) Love the pictures so sweet!

  34. says

    haha i love BBASS, clunky though it may be. in my head i’m saying it like B-BASS.
    i like the first B, breathe, because to me it equates to being centered and allowing myself rest. i know it’s not typically the hardest letter of that acronym for folks to have trouble staying consistent with, but damn that first B, it is for me. maybe that’s why my mind is pronouncing this B-BASS, to highlight that first B’s importance to me.
    or maybe i’m just a silly one. 😛 happy 2013!

  35. says

    My resolution for this year is “Make my body a priority (inside and out)”. This whole post fits so well into this, I can hardly stand it. I’ve started meditating in the morning, I’m committing myself to consistency with cardio and strength, and even just the word “breathe” makes me stop and slooooowwww doooowwwwnnnn. LOVE!!

  36. says

    Not too long ago, I wouldn’t have understood the point of the first “B”. But, boy have I learned! I’m thrilled you included Breathing in the 5 points, because I agree that it’s VERY important. Wish it were emphasized more, because it really makes a difference!

  37. says

    Yes! And especially the breathing. Actually, i try to breathe out much more slowly, it helps with the lung scarring i have.

  38. says

    Since I am recovering from foot surgery I will be doing this in tiny baby steps. The breathing is a good place to start and I just heard about an app for the iPad called Breath2relax that will come in handy. Sometimes I need a little guidance!

  39. says

    I definitely started breathing more slowly and deeper and felt more calm almost instantly. I always forget that little trick. I need to write that on my hand w/ a permanent marker. 😉

  40. says

    Love these tips. Thanks for sharing them. It keeps things in perspective and also is a good reminder that we don’t have to freak out thinking that if you don’t lose the weight or get fit by tomorrow we have failed and it will never happen. Consistency is my main goal at this point in my life. I don’t say “this year” intentionally. Cheers!

  41. says

    I LOVE this! I so so agree! With everything!

    The one part of BBASS that I haven’t really attended to is BREATHING. But I just did your little breathing exercise and completely understand. Felt fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing this.

  42. Adam says

    I really like the focus on breath. It is something that can make a large change in your life immediately.

  43. says

    I think balance is the best word to describe how to tackle the year. Balance with working, eating, social media. I tend to go all OCD with one thing and it throws my pendulum out of whack. =)

    Your post reminds me that I need to do more strength training. UGH!

    Happy New Year to you and your family!!

  44. Sara says

    I love your advocation of weight training for women, Miz. It’s crucial to prevent osteoporosis.

  45. says

    Love this!

    I’m really good at focusing on the strength training, aerobic activity & core… not so good at the breathing part. I’ll make that my 2013 goal :)

  46. Brenda says

    This is great! It is so simple and yet I still can’t seem to find balance I’m still so stuck in an all or nothing mentality/perfection that I keep sabotaging myself in all areas of my life….here’s to being kinder to myself in 2013!

  47. says

    I always love your approach to exercise and fitness Miz Carla! I’m less fit now than I was for most of last year, but hope to get back into exercise…. though I do need to work on the Bs x 2!


  48. says

    Love this post because it’s so true and yet so easy to incorporate in daily life. We don’t need expensive gym memberships as long as we have our legs to take us for a walk, run, bike ride and when we have some simple things like dumbbells or our own body for strength.

    I would add: lose the processed foods. Go to the market and buy fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s tasty and cheaper (as long as you buy seasonal) than processed foods.

  49. says

    Awesome post to let people know how manageable being healthy is. I definitely need to work more on breathing and stretching. I always stretch before and after running, but I want to work more on flexibility as well as core strength. Thanks for all the links in the post too.

  50. says

    I think I’ll focus on strength first. Balance might be a lost cause but core will resume after baby nuunie arrives.

    Great thoughts

  51. Leslie H. says

    I was so happy to come across this post! I am quite health conscious and always looking for new ways to drop some weight. I have quite often reached a point in which NOTHING seemed to work and I would struggle to lose those few extra pounds. Your post was inspiring to get back out there and get on track. I love Pilates too! Along with exercise I also needed help in the food department. I have quite a few friends who are gluten intolerant and have heard from a number of them that there are some amazing gluten free recipes out there that are delicious and extremely healthy (and assist with weight loss!). They have opened my eyes to the wonderful world of gluten *and even dairy free cooking* and I would highly recommend the website I recently purchased her book, Nina Cucina: Your Healthy Gourmet and I have become addicted to gluten free recipes! I am not a great cook but I found this book (and website) so informative and so easy to follow. For every single recipe the author, Nina Pucillo, gives the nutritional value of each dish and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the dish. All of the dishes featured in the book are totally gluten-free and Nina has included many recipes that are dairy-free too! Thanks for sharing! I hope my suggestion helps too :)

  52. Kali says

    Thanks for the inspiration the aerobic activity sounds good my goals in 2013 looking fit I want to lose fat because i’m not feel well so i like your e-fitness book :-).

  53. natasha322 says

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