by Caroline von Fluegge-Chen
It’s easy to make a mountain out of a mole hill, so to speak. This is true especially in the area of deciding to become a healthier person. So many choices, such a big “to do” list, rigid rules of what you should and shouldn’t do. Does this sound familiar? Heck yeah. Just think about the mental shenanigans that happen after the holidays when the New Year’s resolutions are forced into action. You are “good” for a few days, and then what happens? Everything happens. All at once, it seems. Sick kids, crazy boss, unrealistic deadlines, snow day, flat tire, the cable guy doesn’t show up, another birthday party your little one forgot to tell you about. As you are blind sided by the unexpected, all of your healthy intentions go bye-bye. The distractions of daily life take over and that mocha latte with whip is looking darn good at 3 in the afternoon on a cold and rainy blech-y day.
OK, so how do I get out of this annual rut? Thanks for asking. Let me tell you all about it.
Step One: Stop “should-ing” all over yourself. Should is action that comes from guilt, not desire. If you want to do something or change something, let the new habits come from a place of enthusiasm and optimism, rather shame and stress.
Step Two: Be realistic. You didn’t get a certain way overnight and you are not going to change overnight either. Or in three nights. Change takes time. Look at the bigger picture and ask yourself how you want to be in 3 months, 6 months, a year or 10 years instead of hopping on the scale every day and being ticked off that in spite of your good efforts, you’re gaining weight instead of losing weight. Slow down, take your time, set goals, don’t make yourself (and others) nuts.
Step Three: Have a plan. How is this for an example: Week one – take a vitamin every day. Week two – drink an extra glass of water every day. Week three – take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk 20 minutes around your neighborhood, park the car further away from the office building. Week four – cut up veggies and fruit and take them with you to work for a snack. Week five – floss your teeth every day. (And you think I am kidding..) Week six – go to bed an hour early. Week seven – watch and hour less TV and read a book instead. Week eight – throw out the junk food in your kitchen. Week nine – do something different – go to a comedy club, go to a museum, go to a wine tasting, go to a festival, go hear live music…whatever makes you happy. Week ten – get up an hour earlier.
You get the picture? Taking tiny steps leads to long term change. Rather than trying to reinvent yourself in one fell swoop, be consistent with smaller, more manageable habits and watch your life transform step by step!