3 small steps that lead to big change

I speak with a lot of people that are ready and eager to “get healthy.”  They have BIG GOALS about the changes they want to see in themselves and they often have BIG CHALLENGES too!  And by challenges I mean – young kids, crazy busy job, no cooking skills, a spouse who cooks yummy but unhealthy food, no time to exercise, etc.

Ironically, these seem to be the people who are least willing to start small and work their way up!  They want to tackle everything all at once and while they should be commended for their enthusiasm, as a coach, my job is sometimes to help them step back and start small.

Starting small usually means more compliance to the plan we create together, less anxiety and feelings of overwhelm and more enjoyment and pleasure in the process!

Here are 3 of my favorite “start small” tools and techniques:

    1. Write it down – Writing down what you ate and how you feel afterward is one of the best tools you have at your disposal.  Connecting how you feel with what you have eaten is the first step in retaking control of you life.  Knowing that you can impact how good or bad you feel by making different choices at the grocery store, restaurant, coffee shop and in your own kitchen is such an EMPOWERING feeling.
    2. Add in – Sometimes removing certain comfort foods is too much when first getting started.  Instead, add-in!  Look for opportunities to add in more fresh vegetables/seeds/nuts (fiber), healthy fats and lean protein while already doing the things you’re doing.  For instance, you can add more fiber to your diet by including a tablespoon or more of seeds (chia, hemp or flax) and nuts into your smoothie or adding in a tablespoon of collagen protein to your oatmeal for a protein boost.
    3. Make time for peace – It may seem odd that one of my top 3 tips for getting healthy would be to find time each day to sit in silence but it is!  Chronic stress is the ENEMY of  all health goals. Starting with just a few minutes each day to quiet the mind opens up so many opportunities for you above and beyond “getting healthier.”  This does not need to be a complete yoga or meditation practice.  Simply closing your eyes and breathing deeply (from your diaphragm) for 3-4 minutes is so refreshing and restorative for your nervous system; you will be surprised by the cumulative effects after regular practice.  Try THIS breathing technique and let me know how you feel after a few weeks of daily practice.

Are you trying to “boil the ocean” all at once?  Consider making small changes each and every day (consistency is KEY!), it just could be your missing step!

Photo credit: istockphoto

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