Small Steps Equals Big Changes
Mindset starts with creating a goal and making the commitment to accomplish it.
One of my favorite books is The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson. It’s one of those books you can re-read every couple of years because each time pick it up, you’re at a different place in your life. With each re-read, you get something new out of it.
The basic principle of the book is that our habits, even those small, seemingly insignificant ones, shape how successful we become. Similar to the examples about the small decisions we make each day, The Slight Edge goes into more detail about how living in the fast-paced world that we do means we want and expect quick results.
We are conditioned to want everything NOW! The reality is that it doesn’t work that way. Rather it’s the small steps you take that create new habits that change your life. It just takes consistency and patience.
I’ll share an example that I like to use with my clients.
We all make at least 5 choices a day about what to eat. Let’s say there are 3 meals plus a couple of snacks. Five choices in one day may not seem like such a big deal, but what about 5 choices a day for a year – that comes to 1,825 choices of what we choose to put into our bodies -much more if you add beverages.
Does that mean all 1,825 have to be the best choices – probably not. But each meal, each snack, each day, we have choices, and over time, those choices matter. Over the course of 3 years, you have approximately 5,475 food choices you’ve made.
You’re not likely to notice the difference right away – not with the first meal, not even on the first day – so it’s easy to give up or just not pay attention. You may not even notice at the end of the first week. Over time, if you are making healthy food choices, you'll notice you have more energy, you will begin sleeping better, you will begin losing inches and likely have less health challenges.
If you change your mindset to “I am feeling and looking great because I’m making healthier choices,” instead of feeling deprived, you can change your habits to match your mindset.
Every decision we make, every habit we form, matters.
Start With Something Simple
Enjoy an occasional treat – no guilt, no shame - just enjoy.
Once these habits become part of your life, and they’re on autopilot, amazing things start to happen. BUT it doesn’t happen after one day or one week, and not really even after one month, although by then you’ll start seeing some change. Habits are simply daily decisions, routines we choose that either move us closer to or further from our goals and what we want out of life.
It doesn't have to be overwhelming. My Simple Swaps Program is about implementing small changes. My clients love how nutritious and filling the meals they eat on my program are. The goal of my program is to re-frame how you look at the food you fuel your body with, and do some simple swaps of ingredients to increase nutritional value, get your metabolism moving again, and eliminate cravings.
You don’t have to overhaul everything at once.
Look at the habits that no longer serve who or what you want to be. Which ones can you start changing?
Start with one new habit this month. It’s said it takes 30 days to create a new habit. Once you have that one in place, begin another. If you have a habit (like I did) of drinking soda or coffee every day, what can you replace it with? For me, it was replacing my soda habit with a glass of sparkling water infused with fruit. Amazingly enough, not only was I making a healthier choice, I also lost four pounds that first month – just with that one daily decision – that one change of habit. It seemed quite effortless to lose the weight that way.
TIP: As you decide which poor habit to eliminate, find a healthy replacement. Another choice I made years ago was to replace my almost daily Starbucks habit (a sugar and calorie-filled, nutrient-lacking choice) with a nutrient-packed green smoothie or protein drink. I started feeling better and lost more weight. Again, it felt effortless – nothing drastic – just a simple change in my daily habits.
Real change takes time, patience and persistence. These are key to successful change.
Take a step back, think about what you really want (review your goals) and then pick one habit you can change today. Begin with something simple like choosing a new healthier food or beverage choice, taking a walk 3-5 days each week, moving more, not skipping meals so your body is fueled and you have more energy throughout the day.
Keep it simple - Pick just ONE thing to create your new practice. It may not seem like much now, but by picking one habit to improve upon each month, over the course of one year, you’ll have created 12 new healthy habits.
Do you think that will make a difference? Most definitely!
“If you believe you can change – if you make it a habit – the change becomes real. This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be. Once that choice occurs – and becomes automatic – it’s not only real, it starts to seem inevitable. The way we habitually think of our surroundings and ourselves create the world that each of us inhabit.”
- – Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit
Start One Step at a Time
There is no time like the present to start to make changes. If you are ready to make some changes regarding your health and don't know where to start, I am here to help!
Click the button below to find out more about the Simple Swaps program.
This program is all about helping you every step of the way, from creating positive habits, a positive mindset, one little simple swap at a time. This Simple Swaps program will keep you accountable, motivated and fired up to make changes!