DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my former employees got married a month ago. I was unable to attend because I had to work. Another is getting married in the fall, and once again I am not available for the bridal shower. The day conflicts with a previously scheduled trip for my daughter’s school. I feel bad that I cannot be there for these young women who thought enough of me to invite me to participate in this important moment in their lives. How can I make it up to them? I want them to know how much I care about them and how happy I am for this next step in their lives. -- Missing the Celebration, Denver
DEAR MISSING THE CELEBRATION: Congratulations to your former employees, who are about to take that next great step in life. And congratulations to you for being such a role model that they thought to include you in their ceremonies.
Start by offering your love to your former employees, and let them know how sorry you are that you will not be able to join them. Immediately offer to celebrate with each couple after the wedding. Invite them to dinner or another private gathering where you get to interact personally. At this event, you can present them with a wedding present, or you may want to buy something through their registry and send that ahead.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been going to the gym fairly consistently for about a year now. In the past month, I have slacked off. It wasn’t intentional. One week I had a cold. Then I got busy with work and getting my kids back into the groove of school. The next thing you know, I haven’t gone for a while. When I get on the scale, I can see that the pounds are coming back fast. I feel so bad about lapsing. Part of me feels like it’s too hard to keep up the pace, but my doctor says I have to work out and lose weight or I will get sick. How can I get motivated again? -- Workout Blues, Cincinnati
DEAR WORKOUT BLUES: Even when you have been good at exercising, it can be so easy to lose your momentum. Once you stop working out entirely, it can be difficult to rev up again. That said, you can do it! Your doctor’s wake-up call is your motivation. Of course you want to be healthy and avoid getting sick. If working out and changing your eating habits are the keys to good health, set them as a priority and get up and move.
Create incentives for yourself. If you work out three days in a week, what gift can you give yourself? If you get to five or more, what bonus can you set? Make sure these are healthy options. You may win the chance to go to the movies or to a museum. You may get to sleep in one morning after working out six days in a row. Psych yourself into doing right by your body. You will not regret it.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)