Bethenny Frankel's Guide to a Great New Year
The Skinnygirl life
Bethenny Frankel may be down-to-earth, but her story has—dare we say it—fairy-tale-like qualities. For many years, the one-time natural foods chef struggled to pay her bills; then, almost overnight, her hard work paid off. She became a one-woman cottage industry, thanks to her light Skinnygirl cocktails (perhaps you've heard of them?), which she sold in 2011 for a hefty sum. Her latest project? A daytime talk show airing in 2013.
Despite an insane schedule (and bustling home life with her husband, Jason, and their 2-year-old daughter, Bryn), the 42-year-old makes it look easy. Try her life strategies to make 2013 your best year yet.
Ditch the mom guilt
"I have this guilt if I'm not with my daughter every second, so I try to do one quality thing with her every day, like go to a certain park. That way it's not scattered, it's really solid time—and that makes me feel better."
Turn your negatives into positives
"I went on Ellen [DeGeneres's] show recently, and all these guests like Kate Walsh come on and they look great, and I'm the one who goes on and my hair looks like I just went Rollerblading. But then I said, 'You know what? It's relatable!'"
Work out where you are
"No one will believe it, but I don't belong to a gym. Who wants to go to a gym? I work out in my house in my pajamas and do yoga DVDs or the elliptical. You should do what you can where you are."
Don't hate on yourself
"If you're beating yourself up, change the scenery. Do yoga, take a walk, take a nap, take a bath. Switch it up so you focus on other things."
Blow past your detractors
"Even with the talk show, there are a lot of people who want me to fail, but I don't deal with them. Stay in your own lane and keep moving forward. When Michael Phelps swam, he didn't look to the left or to the right."
Break out the good stuff
"I used to go everywhere in sweats. Now I put on a cute outfit, because I have all this stuff in my closet that I never wear—what am I holding it for? A cute outfit makes me feel better—you never know who you'll run into."
Slip in 'me' time...
"I have one of those neck pillows with beads in it that you stick in the microwave and put around your neck. There are probably rats in there because I've had it for a decade. But it's amazing and smells like chamomile and calms me down."
...But don't forget the girls
"When you have downtime, in a cab or an airport, call everybody, email everybody. And do a girls' night where you can bang out a bunch of different friends at once!"
Never assume anyone is smarter than you are
"Even if they're wealthier or have a better degree or a better job. Because more often than not, they're not. I've really proven that tenfold."
Don't try to outlast your cravings
"If you're dying for McDonald's, decide, 'I'm either having the french fries or the small burger, or half of each.' If you really want it, you should have it. Otherwise you want it, you want it, you want it."
Build a better to-do list
"I have three: one is for food, one is for the house, and one is lifestyle, like I have to tailor a dress or go to the podiatrist. It helps to do by category."
Swear off bad-mouthing others
"You know what's a happiness zapper? Talking badly about other people. There's something gross about it, and on some level, you know it. Because it says something about you, too."
Rev up the romance
"On date night, drink something you wouldn't normally to make it feel like a special occasion. You can even whip up your own. During the holidays, I like to make a Candy Cane Martini. Just combine 1.5 oz vodka, 1.5 oz peppermint Schnapps, and 0.5 oz fat-free sweetened condensed milk in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake, strain into a martini glass, and garnish with a mini candy cane."
Have a go-to gift
"If I'm at a sample sale or a store and I see something great, I'll buy 10 of it. Last year for Christmas, I bought Coach black leather gloves for a lot of people. No one buys leather gloves for themselves because they're not cheap."
Find your true mentor
"I've never watched a talk show in my life. I've never seen Oprah. Now, seeing how Ellen does it so well inspires me not just because I want to be able to do it, but because she's done it for so long."
Get your zzz's every night
"My lifelong goal is getting a good night's sleep. I really think it's the key to health."
If you go out to eat, then eat
"I used to be that person who wouldn't eat bread or have dessert. But here's the thing: People who are depriving themselves and always on a diet are bingeing at other times. If you just slightly indulge all the time, you're fine."
Hit the mat
"My secret to staying stress-free? Yoga, because it's a massage and an exercise. I need it for sanity."