2008 was the year of the celebrity comeback. Hollywood has-beens like Britney Spears, Mickey Rourke, and Robert Downey Jr. made major career rebounds last year. A good comeback, says People magazine senior editor Galina Espinoza, is like a Hollywood movie: "You need a lot of drama, you need a lot of ups and downs. You need a sense of perseverance, but also a personal struggle."
But can these stars' return to success help point the way for a comeback any one of us might make? Health magazine contributing editor Samantha Heller reveals simple solutions for getting out of a rut.
Heller believes the root of a rut is people being fearful of change and reacting by tuning out of their own lives. Since many people don't know how to make lifestyle changes, they're intimidated by the thought of the unknown. Altering one's life doesn't have to be scary and complicated, Heller assures. There are easy ways to make small changes that add up to big difference.
Balancing a family/work life can be tricky, warns Heller. But an easy way to make a comeback at home is to schedule a family dinner once a week. Heller found that establishing family dinner nights are proven to improve relationships and prevent unhealthy eating habits. Heller also found that teens who take part in regular family meals are less likely to smoke, drink alcohol, or use marijuana and other drugs.
Loosing weight is the most popular New Year's Resolution. One easy way to get an old body back is cutting out sugary drinks like soda, tea, and fruit drinks, says Heller. A 2006 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found consuming one can of soda a day can lead to a weight gain of 15 pounds in one year. For example, one can of soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar in it. If one can is consumed every day for a month, that works out to over six cups of sugar and 3,000 calories.
The secret to making the ultimate career comeback is setting a specific time to leave the office every day, Heller said. Working around the clock makes an employee feel like he or she is always at the office, and leaves no time for recharging -- which results in less productivity. Instead, establishing an "out time" at work can actually make employees more productive, since it helps to keep them organized and on-task. Setting an out time also sets co-workers expectations on when to count on results.
With the economy in rough shape, many families are saying no to vacations and splurges for the first time. Heller says there's a way to save money and keep a New Year's resolution at the same time. Whether it's going to the gym or shopping less, stash $5 in a jar every time a resolution is accomplished. Pick one item as a goal and work the whole month or year for that big-ticket item.