Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Baby Steps

How many times have you decided you are going to change your life? Get organized, start exercising, drop the treats and add the fiber, etc. etc. I get on one of these rampages every few months (usually after we've been on vacation!). But I've found that it never works for me to tackle everything at once.

It’s smart to begin with one change at a time. Small differences can add up to big results. Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to rule or completely change your lifestyle. Baby steps are the key to making lifelong changes. Instead of losing weight with a crash diet – which always comes back on – or starting an ambitious exercise program and getting injured or burned out, take it slow and change one thing at a time.

One change a month is a great goal. In a month you can make something into a long-term habit and if you concentrate on one goal you won't be so overwhelmed.

For example:
January - make a goal to eat five servings of fruits/veggies a day.
February - outline a plan to lift weights twice a week.
March – decide to use only child-sized plates and bowls to force yourself into eating smaller portions.
April - convince your family to go for an after dinner bike ride or walk. We have a jar of healthy activities. We draw one every night (or that's the goal at least).
May - trade white bread for high fiber bread.

Our main goal should be healthy and fit for life not just a desire to lose weight because we have a trip or class reunion coming. So go write on your calendar what your next month’s goal is going to be. I write my monthly goals on my desk calendar then I’m reminded of them many times a day. This month the goal is running. I've got a half-marathon on the 29th so I'm logging at least twenty-five miles a week. My poor legs are tired!

What's your latest fitness/health goal?

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