With the next school year upon us and leaving summer behind, it can be a good time to begin to get some discipline and new habits into place to help us get back into the swing of things. Steps to making those important changes can seem daunting and overwhelming. We live in a “fast food” society, and we like everything to be quick and easy. Forming lasting habits and maintaining discipline, however, don’t work that way. In fact, the faster we try to make ourselves go, the more frustrated we can become with ourselves and our efforts which can lead to feelings of defeat and giving up.
I’ve found that one of the best ways to encounter success is to take it slow, to break up each area into its smaller parts, and just take it one bite at a time.
Let’s look at changing up food choices, for example, and create an intention around eating better. That’s a broad statement. Breaking this down into more manageable pieces, we have categories like breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks, and beverages. Now that you have these categories, you can choose one of them.
Breakfast is one of the easier meals to begin to make changes. Decide what you want to be different about this meal. What is one healthier option you could start making? Set yourself up for success! Choose something that is doable and that you can be consistent with over a period of time.
Once you have that change under your belt, you can move onto the next small bite.
In “The One Pushup Challenge“, Stephen Guise tells about setting up a goal to do one push up a day. The reason behind this was he knew every day he could fit in at least one push up. He set himself up for success. What he found was that after doing one pushup, he would usually find the time and energy to do one or two or ten more and then maybe a few sit ups and then maybe some pullups. Then the next day he’d do one push up and be done because that was all he had time for. But he had completed his goal and been successful.
Taking small measurable steps over a period of time is a great way to establish habits and changes that will stick with you over the long haul. Any area of life can be approached in this way: exercise, blogging, travel, business goals, creative endeavors, learning goals, relationship building, kindness practices…the sky is the limit!
What area do you want to begin working on today? Once you choose, break it up into smaller parts. What steps can you start making daily towards establishing that healthy habit or goal? Pick one and write it down and stick it on your bathroom mirror. Next, tell a friend or two. Just speaking your goal out loud to someone else can help you stay accountable to yourself and create important momentum. If you slip up and miss taking your step, recommit yourself to the next opportunity and then get back up and take your step when it comes.
I’d love to know what step you choose! Share yours in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!