Last updated: Mar 01, 2010
better-faster-stronger-woman
Laura Doss

Do it better
“Optimism, like gratitude, is really about shining the flashlight of your attention on whats good instead of whats not.”


—M.J. Ryan, life coach and author of AdaptAbility

Be a dating optimist.
“It takes time to find The One, but dont turn it into a chore. Dragging yourself on dates makes it all negative from the start. Go only if you feel like your best self—the strong, sexy version—and dating will be way more fun.”

—Amy Spencer, author of Meeting Your Half-Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match

Be a body optimist.
“Loving your body actually starts with your head. Appreciate yourself more by devoting time to doing what you love. And focus on the positive things youre doing: ‘Im walking an hour three days a week. ‘I drink plenty of water. Itll motivate you to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

—Emme, plus-size supermodel, body-image advocate, and founder of EmmeStyle.com

Be a money optimist.
“Stop obsessively watching the news. Constant reminders of how bad it is out there will only make you feel worse. Just focus on your own situation, and save now for retirement. Then you can stress less because you know youve got your future covered.”

—Marcia Brixey, author of The Money Therapist: A Womans Guide to Creating a Healthy Financial Life



By Jacquelyne Froeber

Love Mondays (For Real!)
Bummed that the weekends over? Heres how to start the workweek on the right foot, from Dan Miller, author of No More Dreaded Mondays.

Fun up Sunday nights.
You wont hate Monday mornings if you spend Sunday nights having a good time. So go see a movie with friends, Miller advises.

Up the challenge.
One reason people dont like going to work is that theyre just plain bored. Talk to your boss about adding a new responsibility youll enjoy tackling. Or start a project you feel good about, like a recycling program at your office.

Make your own happy hour.
Scheduling something inspiring for Monday after work gives you something to look forward to, Miller says, so youll stay motivated during the day. Reserve Monday nights for yoga or your book club.



better-faster-stronger-woman



Do it easier

Decode his words.
Jennifer Love Hewitt—whose book, The Day I Shot Cupid, is out this month—shares how to tell if a man is a keeper: “The number-one mistake women make is not listening to what a guy tells you when youre getting to know him. We implant fairy-tale Hugh Grant words into their mouths, when what theyre actually telling you is who theyre going to be in six months.

If you had a recorder and could go back in time, youd realize that instead of saying, ‘I just want to be with you all day and watch you sleep and hang out with your mom, he was saying, ‘I may have a slight alcohol problem, I only want to be friends, and strippers have been my exes. Youve got to listen to what theyre saying to you!”

Do it faster

Perk up your home.
To brighten any room for spring, get a few cherry blossoms, cut them to about twice the height of your vase, fill the vase halfway with water, and arrange the branches inside. It also helps if your vase is vibrant, which is why we like the macBeth Collection by Margaret Josephs Petite Vase (shown here in Paradise, $35 each). Made of aluminum, this cheery vase is perfect for holding flowers or even dried lavender. (And it can double as a wine bucket in a pinch!)

Instant Joy Trick!

Play with scruffy.
Hanging with your pup or kitty increases oxytocin and dopamine (happy hormones) in your brain. It also lowers stress levels, says Bill Benda, MD, member of the board of directors of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.