Simplify for the New Year

Happy 2016! I hope everyone has had a great start to the New Year.

If you're like most people I know, you may be trying to live up to a list of resolutions in order to fine-tune aspects of your life. For the record, when I say "most people I know," I am including myself in that group! However, this year I may have more success thanks to some sensible advice from my son Randy, who - lucky for me - is a life coach.

I spent some quality time with Randy when he visited me in New York last month. I was my usual self, worrying about holiday gifts for family and friends, running to last minute meetings for "The Color Purple" opening, making To-Do lists to organize my To-Do lists, and all the while, nursing a cold that just kept getting worse. I was stressing myself out over things that I could not control.

Randy finally said, "Mom, you have to slow down and focus on one thing at a time." He suggested that when I am feeling overwhelmed and have too many items on my plate that I need to focus on the most important task first. Then, reorder the list by priority and move down one item at a time. Breaking it down into individual steps allows me to make more headway and keeps me from looking at the entire list with a rapid heartbeat and pit in my stomach.

You know what? He was right! The "one thing at a time" approach is more realistic for planning, executing and successfully completing tasks. Go back to your list only after you've completed your last item.

My advice now to all of you is to redirect your energy and chip away at your list one thing at a time and stop struggling to do it all. Whether we like it or not, we live in a fast-paced, multi-tasking world. It is essential to find a way to prioritize what is most important for your lifestyle, your health and your happiness.

Don't forget -- tomorrow is another day! Give yourself a break and follow this simple idea. I guarantee your stress level will go down in no time!