As much as I would love for my clients to overhaul their unhealthy habits and do everything perfectly, I know that that’s not realistic or reasonable. To begin with, I am not perfect. I eat pizza and ice cream and sometimes skip workouts out of laziness. I stay up too late and drink diet soda. I leave the gym without stretching and don’t drink enough water. :::: hides face :::: Eek! My success lies in balancing that with a lot of small, better choices the other 90% of the time.
Anytime I’ve ever wanted to make a change, I’ve started small. When I decided that I wanted to try out half-marathons, I didn’t immediately jump into a 10 mile long run. I started by gradually increasing my mileage each week, from running 3 miles to 4 miles to 5 miles and so on. As my mileage went up, I began incorporating other healthier habits — stretching and foam rolling more, doing gentle yoga once or twice a week, and eating more produce. As I demanded more from my body, it craved better fuel and care. It was actually easier to make those good choices.
If you can master the small things, you can use that momentum to move onto bigger changes. Contrary to popular belief, most people are more motivated by positive reinforcement, not negative. It's not just habits that make up a healthy lifestyle; it's our belief that we can do it. By doing the little things right, day after day, you build that self-belief little by little, until you are doing things you never thought you were capable of. Action creates motivation, which spurs even more action. This is how you get started, and it's how you keep it going.
1. Drink a big ol' glass of water.
2. Take a short nap.
3. Snack on some raw veggies.
4. Meditate for 5-10 minutes.
5. Read a light book.
6. Go for a leisure walk (bonus points if it's outside).
7. Play with your kids or pet.
8. Call a friend to catch up.
9. Do some gentle stretching or restorative yoga.
10. Write down 5 things that you're grateful for in a journal.
Doing something healthy doesn't have to be a herculean effort. Just a few minutes of your day can improve your mood, stress level, health, and overall sense of wellbeing. You deserve to feel good!
Head over to my Facebook page and let me know your favorite way to unwind and do something good for you.