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4 weeks to a new you

Abbi Perets lives in Houston, TX, with her husband and five children.






new & improved

Serious about making a change? Here's our 4-week plan for getting fabulous. Make these small changes, and see big results!

Week 1: Take care of yourself

Switch from soap to a gentle face cleanser and use it daily. Follow with a light facial moisturizer with a sun protection factor to seal in moisture and protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, says Deborah Hernan, beauty guru and creator of Ottilie & Lulu, a line of skin, body and hair care products for tweens.

Brush and floss your teeth right after dinner instead of waiting until bedtime. You'll take more care with your routine when you're not exhausted -- and you'll be less likely to snack during the evening and undo your work.

Go to bed at a decent hour. You deserve to start each day rested and refreshed, and that can only happen if you get enough sleep. Aim for 8 solid hours of shut-eye every night.

 

Week 2: Organize your house

Use your kitchen timer to get your home cleaned fast. "Set the timer for 5, or 10 or 15 minutes and spend that time straightening, cleaning or getting rid of clutter," says life coach Karyn Beach. "You'll be surprised how much you can accomplish in a short burst of time, especially if you focus on that one task instead of multitasking."

Keep laundry from piling out of control with another tip from Beach: "Get undressed in front of the hamper." Toss your dirty clothes directly in the basket. She also suggests keeping hangers there so you can immediately hang up clean clothes and put them away.

Instead of marathon cleaning sessions, focus on tiny tasks. "As you move from one room to another see what you can take with you," says Beach. When you leave the living room for the kitchen, return any cups, plates, or glasses. Headed back to the office area? Grab any mail, magazines, or other items that you can put away.

 

Week 3: Update your style

Get yourself a new 'do, even if it means you have to ditch your stylist and move on. Need help? Read Jodyne Speyer's Dump 'Em: How to Break Up with Anyone from Your Best Friend to Your Hairdresser for practical advice you can use right away.

Fix your face. You've probably been using the same makeup routine since college. Now's the time to update your product line. Stop by the makeup counter midweek -- not on a Sunday when everyone else is at the mall. Spend some time trying out different products, and only buy what you'll truly use.

Buy a great outfit -- or a signature piece. You don't have to change your whole wardrobe. But a fantastic blazer -- or a vintage brooch -- can make everything in your closet seem new again.


Week 4: Treat yourself right

Make time for exercise. If you can't fit in a full workout, aim for just 15 minutes. As with cleaning, you'll be surprised how much you can accomplish.

Feed yourself a proper breakfast daily. Spend some time on the weekend preparing foods you can grab on your way out the door in the morning. You'll feel better all day!

 

"Prepare for emergency meals," suggests Beach. "Keep the key ingredients on hand for a quick and easy family meal. I always have a jar of pasta sauce and some pasta on hand. When push comes to shove, it's spaghetti night!"

 

FOR MORE NEW YOU TIPS:

5 DIY weekend projects

50 Ways to get organized this year

Quiz- How organized are you?

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