I kept my commitment to myself: 20 miles!
Tunes for Tuesday: Happy, by Pharrell Williams

Giveaway: Get in Balance for the new year

Has school started again for you yet? It did here today and I was glad to wrest the office computer back from the teenager -- now to see if it can do anything besides run World of Warcraft ...

While it was fun to have the husband and the teenager around the house, it was good to get back to my regular routine today. Part of my "new normal" is to get up and head out the door to exercise. That way I'm exercised, showered and ready to roll well before noon. Makes me feel way more in control of the day.

Notice I didn't mention anything about New Year's resolutions -- that's because I didn't make any. Instead, I'm pledging to simply be the best possible version of myself.

And so far, so GREAT. I have a tendency to give everything a headline, and I decided to dub this year 52-52-52.

There's 52 weeks in a year, I turn 52 this year and I fully intend to remove 52 pounds of excess this year. That's only a pound a week so it seems completely doable.

We're only six days into 2014 and I've dropped 3 pounds so I'm ahead of the game!

One of my strategies is to save my indulgences for snack time. That way I know I can have whatever I want as long as it's under 200 calories, and I have two or three opportunities for snack time.

Balance pledgeTo celebrate the new year, I have a great little giveaway, courtesy of Balance Bars, which is also into the "anti-revolution" movement with its Balance Bar Pledge.

Instead of making a laundry list of resolutions (which only 8 percent of people actually achieve), make a pledge to make one small step each month. You can read the entire pledge HERE. (And I swear I came up with the "best version of myself" totally before I saw that phrase on the Balance site!)

Here's what you'll win:

I first tried the Chocolate Mint Cookie Crunch Balance Bars at this summer's Zumba Convention in Orlando (they were one of the expo booths). Do you love Thin Mint cookies? You'll LOVE these, plus you'll get 14 grams of protein, which can't be said of that sleeve of cookies.

And I've been using the Yurbuds headphones, which are fantastic. They're super comfortable and secure. I used them on last week's 20-mile exercise tally.

To find out more about the Pledge, there's a hourlong Balance Bar Twitter Chat on Thursday, Jan. 9 at 2 p.m. ET. @BalanceBar and Laurel House (@QuickieChick) will be hosting the chat.

How to enter: In the comments, tell me one small step you're planning on making this year. You can also get extra entries by:

Giveaway deadline is Friday, January 17, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET. The is open to U.S. residents only.

In addition, you also can enter the Balance Bar pledge and giveaway at http://www.balance.com/pledge/ where you'll be entered for a chance to win a wellness vacation at New Life Hiking Spa in Killington, Vermont. And five fans will also win the same prize pack that I'm giving away. So enter both!

Disclosure: Balance Bar provided bars and Yurbuds for this giveaway. I was not compensated in any other way, and all opinions are my own.