“People often say that motivation doesn’t last.
Well, neither does bathing,
that’s why we recommend it daily.”
~ Zig Ziglar
As tends to be the custom, January is a time to start anew. Largely a time of dieting and exercising, people strive to eat well and get in shape. Big goals and big expectations.
Well-intentioned goals are often too big to realistically achieve. If they are not achieved, the goal-setter ends up feeling like a failure and gives up altogether.
I think very small or even tiny changes made on a daily basis create the biggest changes and successes. It’s these little habits that build up over time that lead us to be fit or unfit, healthy or unhealthy.
A perfect example is bypass heart surgery. A lifetime of eating a bit of bacon here, a few fish and chips there (one thinks no harm done), but by the time you get to your third act your coronary arteries are blocked and need to be surgically replaced.
Here are some small changes that would make a big difference in the long term:
– Order one size smaller than you normally do. A short instead of a tall, a tall instead of a grande, a medium instead of a large, etc. Work your way down and eventually settle on a small.
– Drink 2% milk instead of homogenized, skim milk instead of 2%, milk in your coffee instead of cream. No whip on your frappuccino.
– No-fat yogurt instead of regular.
– Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
– Dijonnaise or vegennaise (2% fat) instead of mayonnaise (30% fat).
– Eat turkey bacon (2% fat) instead of regular bacon (48% fat).
– Take the skin off the chicken.
– Replace creamy fatty salad dressings with vinaigrette’s.
– Make daily treats weekly treats.
– Replace the sugar packed drink with water.
– Replace your daily muffin/croissant/toast with an apple, a banana, an orange or all three!
– Walk or bike somewhere instead of driving.
– Replace rice/potatoes/fries with a delicious salad or vegetables.
– Share the dessert instead of ordering your own.
– Delete deep fried food from your life.
– Make a very specific and realistic exercise plan and commit to it. Make it a habit, just like brushing your teeth. Don’t say, “I’m going to get in shape!” or “I’m going to exercise 3 times a week”. Say, “I’m going for a run on Mondays at X time, I’m going to X class on Wednesdays at X time, I’m going to X class on Saturday at X time”. And then do it. Be realistic with your time and your willpower. If you think you would really only do one class a week then only plan for one class. Once you have that down then try adding another. Or maybe you need to start smaller than that? If so, you could plan for instance, “On Mondays I’m going to walk up one flight of stairs when I go to work”, when you’ve achieved that add another flight of stairs. If you have trouble sticking to your plan, enlist a friend and support each other. Make sure this friend is not a partner in crime but a support that is also serious about staying on target.
Set yourself up for success not failure!
– Sitting all day is one of the unhealthiest things for you. If you spend all day sitting at a desk, take a “non-smoking” break: go for a walk around the block or take the elevator down and walk back up. Not only will it get some movement in your body it will also clear your mind and make you more productive.
Good luck and let me know how it goes!