Baby Steps Form Big Habits
When we think about establishing healthy habits, it seems overwhelming and unattainable. We plan for a huge weight loss too quickly, or we think too far ahead that it’s intimidating. We think that these changes will never happen; it’s unimaginable. Instead of thinking too big, why not think small for success sake! Finishing one goal, no matter the size, is the foundation for establishing healthy habits.
Quality v Quantity
The first step in changing your habits is changing your thoughts. Our first though is usually: Go big; meaning “I want to lose 60 pounds”, or “I want to wear a size 6”. We know the bigger goal, but we skipped the biggest part – the attainable goal! These are the small victories and successes we have along the way to our bigger goal. What are your small successes? Did you take the stairs at work instead of using an elevator? Maybe you finally tried that Zumba class for just that one week, or you parked a little further away from the store so you had to walk further. Whatever your success was, it was necessary and imperative for you to have that; and many more! Only wrap your head around what you can in that moment. The habit will follow close behind.
Changing your self talk is another small step that will not only change your habits, but how you view yourself. Telling ourselves “we will start eating better tomorrow” or “I’m just too bust to start” is just a sure way to never begin. What would you tell a friend that is trying something new? Would you tell him/her that there is no way they can do it? Or “Oh just start later..” If it is hard for you to image how to speak to yourself in a more positive way, just think about what you would say to someone you really care about. Shouldn’t we care about yourselves, too? A small shift for a big change.
Habit is a 4 letter word
Many of us feel that breaking an old habit to start a new one is a chore and an unpleasant experience. Who says it has to be? YOU are in charge of it all. You pick the foods and recipes. You get to plan it all: from the exercise to the people who can support you through it all. How awesome is that?! Why do we start something that is so good for us in such a negative way? This journey does take hard work and it will be different; begin only with new thoughts to replace the negative ones, and you will never think of establishing a new habit negatively again!
Like riding a bike or anything you’re new at, a slip will mostly likely occur. Knowing what we know, let’s make a plan of how to get up and get going again, instead of assuming a slip won’t happen, have a few tricks up your sleeve. Will you relapse back into your unhealthy eating habits or get back into the store and stock up on veggies and healthy meals? Will you miss a workout class then not sign up for another class or plan time aside to get back into it? Write down solutions and your plan of attack before you have to use it!
Spending just a couple minutes on each of these a day will fuel the fire to begin your new journey. Just a few small steps to build a foundation for big, lifelong, and healthier habits!