When we make changes in our lives, the instinct is to seek a complete overhaul. It’s the ‘all or nothing’, ‘go big or go home’ idea. While this may motivate us initially, the problem is that the effect doesn’t last. We burn out before we even get started. But taking a ‘little and often’ approach to good health is more manageable, and easier to maintain.
We’ve all been there. We’ve gained a few pounds or more and decide that we want to get back on track and shed the extra pounds. So we go through our cupboards and fridges like a crazy person and toss out anything that contains too much fat, sugar, carbs, calories, etc. We decide there and then to eradicate it all from our diet. We then go out and buy only healthy food. And that’s before we set up our exercise plan. And the result? We begin with all guns blazing and, if we’re lucky, we continue for a week or two. By that time we’re feeling pretty low. We’re bored by the food choices and feel hungry. Plus we’re dashing to the loo due to all the water we’re filling up on. Eventually, our resolve dwindles, and we go out and have a big blowout. And we’re back to square one.
A different approach would be to focus on small changes that are easy to make. This could be to cut the sugar in your coffee by half a teaspoon. It could involve skipping your daily cappuccino and replacing it with something a little healthier. Or, you could decide to have a cappuccino every other day, or just on Fridays. If you’re aware that you snack a lot when you’re in the house, you could prepare healthier alternatives, rather than eradicating them altogether.
Making small changes will accumulate over time. Even the tiniest positive change is better than doing nothing.
#2 Health Checks
Many people dislike going to the doctor or any medical practitioner. It makes them feel uneasy and out of their comfort zone. When problems present themselves, they ignore them for as long as possible until the issues limit their lives in some way. The reality is that speaking to doctors or dentists, etc. in the early stages is likely to clear up the problem and put your mind at rest. Plus, if there is anything more sinister going on, you will have caught it early, and the likelihood is that it can be dealt with.
Again, going for regular checkups every once in awhile will help avoid more lengthy visits.
#3 Taking Time Out
One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to work on our mind. After all, this is our inner voice. It is the part of us that keeps us company 24 hours a day. And it has the power to keep us up at night and to plague us with unwanted thoughts and feelings. Therefore, working on our mind can help us live a happy and healthy life. Adopting simple strategies is all it takes.
- Rather than working for months on end to enjoy a two-week break, take regular short breaks and ensure you have the time to relax and recuperate
- Establish healthy barriers in your life and learn how to say no
- Take up regular activity for your mind and body; even ten minutes per day will have a positive impact
- Make time for the things you love
- Switch off your screens once in a while
What’re Your Thoughts?
Forget ‘all or nothing’. You did it all and achieved nothing. Instead, adopt a ‘little and often’ approach to make positive adjustments to your life.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.