One Small Change

It's Tuesday. Monday has come and gone and with it, your goal of "start my diet" or "start new exercise routine" still sits on the shelf.  

It's Tuesday. All is not lost. Brush off that goal and ask yourself, what is one small change I can make today? What can I realistically fit into my day that will help me develop new habits and get back on track?  

That one simple question can lead to a healthy habit and within a few days, you will start to notice positive changes.  By simply replacing your Diet Soda with a glass of water, you've made a change -- a change that took no time at all out of your day.  What if you stash a pair of sneakers and socks under your desk? You may just take that lunch time walk you've been meaning to add to your schedule. 

Making healthy changes doesn't need to include a complete diet overhaul and visiting the gym 5 times a week for hours at a time. It can start with one simple change, a change that you can easily fit into your busy day. Before you know it, that extra glass of water a day will lead to eating more vegetables and fruit. Taking that lunch time walk will lead to hikes or longer walks on the weekends and maybe an interest in a new class at the gym.  Healthy habits snowball into more healthy habits and the positive changes begin to happen before you even realize what is happening. 

In a world of before and after photos and fad diets, we often forget that making small changes have a lasting effect.  They are sustainable changes.  Why do we often fall off of that new diet or  new training schedule? Because it can overwhelm or leave us feeling guilty for "cheating" or not being able to make it to that training run.  Those feelings cause us to spiral -- "this diet will never work, I will never run that half marathon in the time I want because I didn't run this week". Instead of spiraling, ask yourself why am I having trouble following this diet? Why am I having trouble meeting my mileage goals? The answer may be that the diet or the training plan doesn't fit your lifestyle, maybe the diet is too restrictive or the plan includes more workout days than you can physically complete. Maybe things needed to change too quickly. 

So take a step back, figure out that one small change you can make today and take it one day at a time. Once you latch onto one new habit, the rest will follow. It may be a little slower than you like but it will be sustainable and help you stay healthy for life!