5 Small Steps To A Healthier Life Today
Even years into my own fitness journey, I still find that one of the hardest parts of the whole thing is getting started.
There’s no lack of desire for most of us. We want to get in shape. We want to live a healthier life and not get winded walking up a flight of steps… but… like, where do you even start?
One of the biggest faults we make when we get into fitness is trying to do too much, too fast. We go from 0 to 100 because we’re aching for results, sick of being lazy, and we think if we can just go all in and give it all we got, this time… it will work.
(Narrator: It did not work.)
It doesn’t work that way (not for most of us, anyway) because it’s not who we are. Most of us are not fiery, intense, balls-to-the-wall, unstoppable competitive forces about the things we really do care about. And so if fitness is merely something we're trying to care about, why are we expecting ourselves to be so intense with it?
Look, health and fitness are super important. I obviously believe and support that 100%. But if we want to actually make realistic and lasting changes with our health, we can’t keep approaching it with the 0 to 100 mindset.
There is such a thing as just getting started, putting one foot in front of the other, and that’s what we’re talking about today.
5 Things You Can Do Right Now To Get Started
1. Rearrange the pantry & fridge.
Instead of forcing yourself to choose the berries over the chocolate, the water over the coke, the veggie chips over the Doritos, remove the choice and rearrange your fridge and pantry to encourage better choices! Willpower is finite, y'all. Conserve that ish and make your choices easier to make. Put the bad stuff in hard to reach spots, stock up on the good stuff, and just throw away those grab bags of chips you don't even need.
2. Make water consumption easier.
I recently realized that, for whatever reason, I am 10x more likely to drink more water when I have a straw. So you know what I did? I did research until I found a straw that fits my obnoxious jug of water that I so adore.
Prioritize your water consumption. Fill up water bottles and put them where your sugary carbonated beverages used to be. Buy flavored water drops or Crystal Light packets if water is too boring. Figure out what makes drinking water easier for you, and then do it.
3. Become “habits-based,” not “restrictive.”
This means try not to operate under the "can't" "don't" "shouldn't" mentality. Try to build in new habits instead of kicking out old ones. Habits like: drink a glass of water immediately upon waking up; go for a walk before/after dinner; sit down when eating; etc.
This is helpful in so many ways. It not only gives you achievable things to work towards and feel accomplished about, but it takes your mind off of the things you "can't" do and makes you focus on actively pursuing new things.
4. Commit small first.
You can always commit more later, but committing too much too soon almost always leads to a feeling of defeat and disappointment. Commit small first.
Commit to 3 days of having a nutritious breakfast if you normally skip out on it. Commit to 1 week of post-dinner walks instead of a month's gym membership. Commit to 5 days of no dessert instead of swearing off sweets entirely.
Commit small... but really commit. Actually stick to it and give yourself that sense of accomplishment. And then go further.
5. Do more than yesterday.
Lastly, if you're just getting started and trying to build a new lifestyle, the best approach is to just do better than yesterday (in whatever aspect you choose!) If you walked around the block yesterday, walk around the block plus 5 minutes today. If you drank 5 big glasses of water yesterday, tack on just 1 more today. If you made 17 minutes on the elliptical, go for 18 today.
It doesn't have to be some stellar improvement, but you can always push just a little further today than you did yesterday.
If you've got good "getting started" tips that you think other people could benefit from, share them with me so I can share them with the world!