52 Small Changes for the Mind by Brett Blumenthal

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In her 1995 book about writing, Bird by Bird, writer Anne Lamott advised writers to set small, daily writing goals for themselves rather than to try to write several chapters all at once. Approaching writing in manageable increments, Lamott explained, helps writers stay motivated and productive. In her new book, 52 Small Changes for the Mind: Improve Memory, Minimize Stress, Increase Productivity, Boost Happiness, wellness expert Brett Blumenthal adapts Lamott’s “bite-sized pieces” method for greater physical and mental health by introducing one lifestyle change each week over the course of a year. As Blumenthal explains, “[T]aking an all-or-nothing or extreme approach doesn’t work . . . small changes that we can manage and master feed our desire to succeed.” Readers already familiar with this subject will find oft-repeated advice, such as getting more sleep and exercise, practicing meditation, eating healthier, and taking breaks from technology. Some unique suggestions are also included, however, such as experiencing aromatherapy, utilizing houseplants to clean indoor air, and practicing mono-tasking (the opposite of multitasking). Each brief chapter consists of an inspirational quote, a fun fact about that chapter’s subject (the sources for which are thoroughly cited in the index for additional reading, if desired), and informative headings for virtually every paragraph. Worksheets, lifestyle assessments, and journaling prompts are also included in a separate section called “Tools and Resources.” Whether you’re looking for new ideas to help you live a more enriching life or you just want a different perspective on tips you may have read before, 52 Small Changes for the Mind is an informative and easy-to-use resource.