Adjusting to the New Normal
One thing we all can do during this time is take some time and think about parts of our “normal” daily routines. Unfortunately, we all have regular habits that don’t help us achieve our fitness goals. The problem is changing habits and routines are hard. But there is a way of making habit changes a bit easier…
MAKE THE CHANGE SMALL!
Why Making Small Changes Works
When we think of changing daily habits it can be daunting, and we commit to getting everything very fast. Think of a time that you may have gone on a diet. You are committed, determined, and excited to do it, but you fail. Sadly most diets fail. Often it is our approach that is to blame. We decide, for instance, that sugar is our problem, and we vow to cut ALL sugar out of our days. Often we set a date, and drop the sweet stuff totally. We find however, that our cravings for it become tough to overcome, and we break! We decide it’s just too hard, and give up.
Take the sugar challenge. Dropping it all at once is tough! Sugar tastes good and sugary comfort foods make us feel good! The small change approach helps resolve the problem in a different way. Say you eat a bag, (hopefully a small one) of M&M’s every day. The new goal would not be to start be eliminating the bag immediately. The new goal is to take maybe 4 or 5 piece out of the bag before you eat them, toss them, then finish the bag.
While reducing them by 4 or 5 won’t make a huge difference, it gets you on the right course, and is easy to do. You still get your treat, but just slightly less. Now the change is small and very manageable, not intimidating and is one that, because it’s so small, you are way more likely to stick with. Over time, you can then eliminate a few more. Soon, you are down to maybe a half a bag. Now this is something that does have a substantial impact! The key is to make the change small and not intimidating or a huge chore.
The Effects of Small Changes
Once you make this small change something great happens, you have made a clear step in the positive direction. The interesting thing is, once you have a victory, even though it’s small, you have a tendency to try other small changes that make your life better overall. Though it stinks why we have more time on our hands, we can use it to think about our daily habits, and start changing them one SMALL step at a time. We all have enough stress in our lives right now and don’t need any more. This approach is a very non-stressful way to make positive changes. I have had many of my clients use this type of approach for years when big change seemed impossible.
You can truly change your health habits in an easier, manageable way. Try it. You might just amaze yourself. If you are interested in learning more about this approach I urge you to read “One Small Step” by Richard Mauer, a PhD and therapist. There is also another book “Tiny Habits” by BJ Fogg, PhD that uses a similar approach.
Wishing you all the the best until we get to see you back at Lifebridge Health and Fitness.
Steve Adamski, Wellness Manager