Better Off Well


Reboot Your Life; Rebuild Your Tribe

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Monthly column written for the Gazette in my little town.

Just when I think I’ve conquered all temptation and there is no cookie that shall hath power over my Almighty Will, I hit a party. Ya know, the one where the spread includes cheesy pastas, wings, dips, and an entire table dedicated solely to the Sugar Gods. And really, who am I not to worship a demi-god when clearly so much has gone into celebrating its existence.

So I indulge. Mindfully, of course. And usually these days that means I can stop with one or two, without the need to stealthily stuff more into empty pockets when no one is looking.

In the past, that indulgence may have led to post-gluttony guilt. That guilt, in turn, would have drawn me back to those cookies- which by then would’ve been crumbs- stuffed into my pockets. There is nothing more comforting than comfort food, and with just the right combination of sugar and fat stirring those happy hormones in my brain, what could be more comforting?

Here’s where my tribe has made a difference for me. I am lucky enough to be part of an amazing group of people who inspire me daily with their Facebook posts, newsletters, texts, and emails. Just when I think I may not have enough strength to swim my salmon upstream any longer, I read something like, The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new, words of wisdom from Socrates. Or I might see a recipe for homemade raspberry vinaigrette or a non-toxic cleaner.

Whatever it might be, I am reminded that I am not alone. There are thousands of people around the world trying to be the best people they can be, traveling their own journeys and reminding me of the importance of my own. There is much to enjoy in this lifetime and so little time to worry about a cookie.

When I speak to groups, the one thing I emphasize more than anything else is building a tribe. In a culture steeped in stress, rush, and processed, it’s easy to fall back on old habits and to forget about the goals we’ve set for personal growth. Surrounding ourselves with people who have similar goals makes it easier to stay on the track we’ve chosen and jump the hurdles we encounter along the way.

Ladies Night, Max 009

There are lots of ways to build a tribe. Social media makes it easy, today, but I am a big fan of having local support, too. Find a buddy by reaching out to your friends. Join a cycling or running group. Start a book club and choose books that focus on mind-body health. Make it a potluck where each member brings something nutritious to share. Share a notice in your local newspaper and start a wellness group that meets at the library. Check out for others who share your passion.

Whatever you choose to do, just start by finding somebody.

When you do, you’ll take comfort in knowing you are no longer the only salmon.

Donna Morin, M.Ed, is a certified health coach and founder of Better Off Well. Join her this month at Tranquil Souls Yoga in Franklin for Reboot Your Resolutions, a workshop that includes yoga, meditation, and information to help you move beyond your resolutions and into your desired lifestyle. Save your spot at . For more wellness tips, visit