Sometimes the doctor delivers a diagnosis and says we must make changes now, or else.
And other times, we simply know we need to do some things differently to improve our health.
But maybe it’s hard to get moving in the right direction. Changing how we eat feels burdensome. And starting an exercise routine seems overwhelming. So we procrastinate. Because it all seems so big.
But guess what?
It’s OK to take small steps.
In fact, it’s best.
You don’t have to overhaul your entire diet at once. You don’t have to start going to the gym every single day. Small changes in these areas add up over time. And small steps made consistently turn into healthy habits.
How to Take Small Steps
So you have a big goal in mind? Break it down into smaller steps.
Then begin where you’re motivated. What seems like the easiest step to take? A quick success will give you encouragement and more motivation to repeat your step and turn it into a habit.
It actually takes more than 21 days to form a habit, unless you only want to do something simple like drink a glass of water after breakfast.
After taking the small step, reflect on what you learned, and keep going. Then you can take another small step toward forming another habit.
Small Steps for Healthier Eating and Exercise Habits
Here are a few small steps for creating healthier eating habits:
- Keep a bowl of fruit on the counter for snacking.
- Try a new vegetable each week. Grocery stores offer recipes, and others are available online.
- Pour snacks onto a plate or bowl instead of eating from the bag or box.
- Wash and cut up fresh, raw veggies as soon as you get home from the store, so they’re ready for quick snacks.
- Drink water at meals instead of colas, fruit juices and other flavored beverages.
And here are a few ideas for small steps toward improving your fitness:
- To avoid the afternoon slump, take a short walk right after lunch.
- While watching television, get up during commercials and walk around the house.
- Park further away from the door when you go shopping.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Schedule a play date with friends. Do something active – take a walk, go bowling, ride bikes.
Focus on small steps, starting with where you’re most motivated. Call on an accountability partner when you need to. And if you find yourself stuck and unable to make the needed changes, you may benefit from coaching. Contact me to schedule a complimentary phone consultation discuss how we might work together.
It’s your turn. What ideas do you have for small steps toward healthier habits? Comment below.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I’m Amy Hoogervorst, an integrative health coach, offering grace and space for a healthier you. Thanks for joining me for Step 30 in the “31 Steps to a Healthier You” series, part of #Write31Days 2017. You can read what the series is all about here and catch up on past posts. If you don’t want to miss a thing, subscribe to get each one in your inbox.