Baby Steps to Greater Vitality
It has been a few years now since I started my wellness journey and each year just gets better but it wasn’t always that way. When I first decided to embark on my wellness journey I tried to make all the changes at once and as you can imagine I failed at making any progress. Determined to reach a better level of vitality and wellbeing so my failure didn’t derail my efforts but it was a disappointment. At this point I had to take a step back and reevaluate how I could achieve wellness with more success.
What I found out, as I researched creating better habits, was that small changes have a better chance of sticking than jumping in feet first and making large changes. I started by making a list of all the lifestyle changes I wanted to make to achieve greater vitality and wellbeing.
At first it was hard for my type A mind to break the habits into separate pieces. For work projects that all or nothing approach works for me but making lifestyle changes it didn’t work. Once I realized that this was a journey and not a race I was able to start with one small change at a time. I’d begin one small routine like eat a piece of fruit a day and once it became a routine (meaning I missed it if it didn’t happen) I’d move on by adding the next small change.
It is now about three years later and I have a whole new set of routines that I do daily or weekly that have brought me closer to the level of vitality and wellbeing I seek to achieve. The best part is that these activities are not fleeting they are now ingrained in my daily routine because I took the time to let each one soak in.
If I had kept on trying to change my entire daily routine all at once I’d still be struggling with my level of wellness and would be nowhere near where I am today.
If your goal is to exercise daily for 30 minutes – break it down into small steps and dedicate to doing that small change every day and add to it as it becomes engrained. Start with a walk around your office building or a 3-minute stretch and then add more time or more complexity to your routine until you have reached your 30-minute a day goal.
Other ways to help make your small changes aka baby steps stick:
- Set reminders. I had a small goal to stand up every hour and half at work but once I got involved in work a couple of hours would pass before I realized I needed to stand so setting an alarm on my phone reminded me to stand.
- Tell a friend who can act as your accountability coach. Having someone to help keep you on track can create more success.
- Make the change with a group. Doing things with a group makes it more fun and easier to stick with.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do your small change one day. Just redirect yourself back to doing your new routine tomorrow.
- Attach the new routine to something you already do such as every time I go to the restroom I get a glass of water, take the stairs, stretch, or whatever your baby step is.
- Pat yourself on the back or congratulate yourself in whatever way makes sense for each successful new routine……Celebrate yourself!
It is amazing how each baby step you make accumulates into a giant snowball of change that brings you closer and closer to greater vitality and wellbeing. Vitality and wellbeing is our birthright and you deserve it now go get it!
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