Setting Health Goals - Starting Small May be the Ticket to Success

One Writer

Getting started is simpler than you think.

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Isn’t it time you make a few goals concerning your health?

I know that you think about it — maybe cruise through a few online articles and end up looking at crazy cat videos. I get it. Getting started is really hard.

Personally, I overthink the heck out of it. I make lists and big plans and envision my beautiful toned body — and it lasts for about a day. Then it’s chips (at least they're baked, right?), the couch, and my thoughts wandering in safer directions.

Starting Small Is Key

Getting overwhelmed or feeling like you are about to climb Mt. Lose-Weight instead of “I’m just making a few changes” is the first step to failure. Perhaps you are one of those people who rise to a huge challenge — but I am guessing that if you are struggling to get started, you are most likely stuck in Camp Comfortable, like me.

Here are a few things to help you get started

(Don’t worry — I am working towards this as well, so you are not alone!)

  • Start small! Make a hit list of the most important areas of focus and then break it down into the most basic moves that will push you to make a change.

Examples:

Lose 30 pounds — How about start with “loose the first five pounds.” And don’t set a difficult time limit. Give yourself a few months. If you overachieve your goal then win win!

Work out every day — How about “lets get moving.” Try walking for a few minutes every day. 10 or 15 minutes is a good start — a few songs on Pandora are sufficient and you are done. The trick here is getting started! Once you get out there and start — it is so much easier to tack on a few more minutes.

Stop smoking — If you are not the “cold turkey” type you may need to adjust this to cutting back. Getting started in this way gives you room to adjust to the lesser amount of nicotine and you can cut back even more in a few weeks. The trick here is that every step iin the right direction of your end goal is a good step and one to be proud of! Celebrate the smallest of victories!

Tips to Help You Keep it Up

  • Find a friend! There are so many people out there searching for accountability partners for their health goals — find one! You don’t have to be best buds but it does help to have someone to talk to through this. Share your experiences and push each other!
  • Be gentle with your spirit. It is ok to fall short some days. Tomorrow is a new day — a new opportunity!
  • Small decisions add up, both in your favor and to your detriment. Replacing even ONE soda a day with a glass of water — this adds up while those soda calories you’d normally be consuming instead are no longer going into your body!
  • Know when to push yourself. I say this because I live with chronic pain — I injure easily. But I have also gotten a bit fearful of injury and pain because it takes me so long to heal from it. So for me to start walking every day, I have to understand that there will be pain. I have to pay attention to my body and know when pain is simply a little soreness I can push through.

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Do You Like Visuals?

Make a vision board or hang a white board with colorful pens and check your list off on there — or give yourself a sticker in your planner — get yourself encouraged in any way the works for you! These visual reminders work great as a reward system.

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Make your list. Your health goals list. Then edit.

Just like you would any other thing you write — edit the heck out of that list until you whittle it down to something that seems easy.

If this seems “stupid simple” — it is! That is the point. Keep it simple, stress-free, and focus on what you are able to accomplish — even the baby steps. Getting started and keeping it going will require these initial baby steps in the right direction. Be proud of them. All of them.

Start on your “easy list” and with each accomplishment remember to thank yourself for making a good choice and investing in your health. Gratitude does wonders for your attitude. And, guess what happens when you feel in control? When you accomplish these smaller goals? You feel empowered. Guess what empowerment does for you?

You accomplish more. Feel more gratitude. Feel more empowered.

This cycle escalates and will amplify your results! Be patient with the tangible results (instead, reflect more on how it all makes you feel) and focus more on making small changes that stick. Over time these add up to a healthier you!

So, what are the health goals you've been putting off? Because, you know, it's such a big change! How can you break it down into smaller steps that you KNOW you can manage? I'd love to hear about YOUR journeys and your goals.

Just get started. Today. Right now is good.

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Are you trying to live your best life? Imperfect, but trying? Yeah, me too. I believe creativity, authenticity, and growth, a little each day, can help. Click on a few of my articles and see if you’d like to follow my work, then hit the “follow” button. Come along with me. We're all in this together.

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