First steps can be tough.
My boy starts Kindergarten in a few days, my baby boy has his first steps completely behind him and I am learning how to balance a completely different life than the one I thought I would have. First steps can be scary, will test your limits, but can be completely exciting because change is happening and change = growth.
When we tackle resolutions or changes aimed at making ourselves better, many times it can be extremely overwhelming. Have you ever tried to start a meditation practice, exercise regiment, clean eating schedule, etc., just to find out that you can't stick with it?
I want to give you a simple strategy that will increase your success. It's called "Shrinking the Change".
We now know that about 85% of chronic diseases don't stem from genetics or environmental impacts but from behavior. And behavior, like willpower, works like the rest of your body. You wake up feeling rested and refreshed (hopefully) and over the course of the day, you get tired and need more rest at night to keep going. Willpower is the same way. It can diminish and be harder to use the more you have to use it. It's a limited resource. Building habits instead of relying solely on willpower will help you become more successful in behavioral change. And the best way to do this is by shrinking the change. It's like climbing a mountain. If you want to get to the top, you don't stare at the peak the entire time, you focus on the next step in front of you and over time, the compounded effect allows you to reach your goal.
So when you want to make a change, start out so ridiculously small that willpower isn't even an issue.
The action also has to be measurable and doable for it to be attainable. Here are some options using the example we used earlier:
If you want to start a meditation practice, download the Headspace app and try it out at least twice over the next week.
If you want to exercise more, make it a point to take a 30-minute walk with a friend at least one time over the next three days.
If you want to improve your eating habits, try just one new recipe per week. Use Pinterest boards (or a folder for printed recipes) to keep your favorites organized.
So what is the behavior you'd like to change?
What is the first small, doable step that you can do to shrink the change and make this goal very attainable?
Comment below and share your plan with me and I can help you brainstorm additional steps moving forward.
Cheers to first steps!