‘Tweaking’ November 2009

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Inspired by the “Tweak the Treat” post-Halloween event – TV coverage, I chose to focus on the power of TWEAKING this month. I was thrilled with the success and impact my vision had in altering the path of the Halloween candy by 1) decreasing the sugar and empty calories for those donating 2) sharing the holiday along with well wishes on notecards and care-packages for our US Troops in Afghanistan 3) allowing the soldiersto reach out to the Afghan children and finally 4) getting kids and the adults moving with gift cards and certificates for healthy activities.

I have no doubt that hundreds if not thousands of lives will be touched by this simple event that will now become an annual event extending in to multiple states next year. Did I mention almost 500 pounds of candy was donated? If we can do that the first year, imagine how big this will become. Just like “Black Friday” follows Thanksgiving, I’m hoping to have created an event to follow Halloween…all for the Health of it!

By creating “Tweak the Treat,” I knew the goal of wellness could be met if there was a value attached to the exchange of candy along with the good deed of acknowledging and providing a care-package for the troops. Connecting the two needed to be fun and meaningful.

In the book “The Slight Edge”, Jeff Olson discusses how simple disciplines or errors in judgements will over time impact us either positively or negatively. Things that are easy to do are just as easy not to do. Having bags of Halloween candy lying around the house would definitely make it harder for people to resist; thus, an opportunity by connecting wellness to sharing and supporting our troops with the added benefit of offering ACTIVE activities for the exhange…”tweaking” the excess and paying it forward to hundreds if not thousands.

Here’s another amazing fact about “tweaking”. With all the advance space shuttle technology, the Apollo rocket is actually on on curse for ONLY two or three percent of the time! That’s right, over 97% of the time it is off course. For every thirty minutes of flight, it is off course twenty-nine minutes…it is constantly being “tweaked” to stay on course.

Over the past few months, I’ve been assisting my teenage daughter as she has her drivers permit. She is learning the ebb and flow of turning and smooth driving by constantly making adaptions, “tweaking” and not driving rigid. As an experienced driver you learn to stay on the road by making adaptions and use the steering wheel because roads are not straight, they curve constantly. The same is true in pursuing health and wellness, life is a journey of twists and turns. We need to understand “tweaking” is part of success and when we make subtle adjustments, with less extremes, one’s Quality of Life will greatly improve physically as well as emotionally. When you go off course, don’t beat yourself over it…simply recalculate afterwards and get back on track. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Continuous excess and abuse will definitely have negative consequences as healthy issues arise over time.

The key is not to aim for perfection, but moderation and create a wellness mindset. New Years Resolutions fail because typically the goals are too extreme and uncomfortable to do over the long term, thus without a lifestyle change, the original behavior will return. However, if approached in small steps, such as “tweaking”, this is doable and you will stay on track reaping the benefits for life.

Change is difficult. We all have comfort zones and habits that are hard to change so be aware that just like driving down the street, you will be needing to constantly steer to stay on the road as daily choices come before you. Constantly deprive yourself of too much too soon will send a negative thought process of self talk leaving you to question your pursuit of a wellness goal. Hang in there…baby steps my friend! Immediate gratification and comfort are two hurdles you need to be very aware and mindful of. Our world is full of marketing that lures us in to buy their products (for their benefit, not yours). Over the past twenty years, we’ve become a minute rice society, wanting everything in 10 seconds, priced cheap and brought to us. Sadly, the cost of convenience has been our health, which has greatly declined.

I want to give you just a VERY simple physical act that you can begin to do today as part of my “tweaking club” on creating a wellness mindset. First, set your wake-up clock 4-minutes early, to music if possible (notice I didn’t say ‘alarm’ clock…that’s a negative word and who wants to start your day “alarmed” anyway?). One song is typically around 3-minutes in length. Get up and STRETCH for one entire song. No one is watching. Simply start moving those arms, doing some boxing punches, toe touches, side to side bends, etc. Not only will this be invigorating, this small act will prove to be a huge benefit over time by keeping you flexible and providing a positive approach to starting the day. Everyone can do this…easy to do, easy not to do. What will you choose? You’re the driver…tweak, tweak!

Be Strong & Be Well

Until next month . . . TCOY!


You return again and again take the proper course – guided by what? By the picture in mind of the place you are headed for…John McDonald

Change is not easy. But it is simple. Things will always change. We dont have a choice about that, but we do have a choice on how we react to change. The choice really boils down to this: Either we manage change, or it will manage us.

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