I have a nasty habit of over-researching things. Getting caught up in the plethora of information, the act of DOING is lost in the prefacing. How about we skip all that pre-stuff? How about we don’t get caught up in semantics. Want to change yourself in a positive direction? Pick something, and just do that one thing for a week. Don’t worry about anything else except that thing. Maybe we’ll slowly add as we go, or stick with our one thing for a few weeks more. Why the race? Moving forward gradually is a valid plan, and may ensure we won’t get overwhelmed.
Need ideas of where to start? Here are some easy things to get your days started off on a more positive note:
- Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. Read that as: do it first thing! Not after a shower. Not after you get the kids dressed. FIRST. Such a simple thing I still struggle with at times, it creates such a huge jump in metabolism, most people will lose some pounds just by adding this to their morning routine, without changing anything else. Make it super high protein (20-30g), and it’ll advance your success even more! Going to try it? I’d love to hear your results!
- Add a salad to lunch and dinner. Don’t change anything else. Even if you’re a fast food junkie, do this anyway. Eat your burgers and fries, just add a side salad (or bigger). The added fiber will do almost anyone good, not to mention the nutrient value of leafy greens! Be careful with the dressing though! Use as little as possible so you’re not negating the benefits of this trick. Try dipping instead of pouring.
- It’s almost cliché at this point but: WATER!! I just read that drinking 4 glasses of water as soon as you wake, then waiting 45 minutes to eat, can have incredible health benefits including helping with: Diabetes, Constipation, Arthritis, Cancer, and others. (check out the article here, and here). Yes, this negates the eating within 30 minutes, but since you’re picking ONE thing to do, this doesn’t matter. Pushing eating to within 60 minutes is fine, but we don’t need to worry about that just yet, since you’re either drinking water first thing, or eating first thing. One thing at a time!
Body Image Issues?
- Stop staring at those problem areas! Look in the mirror and focus on the things you like about yourself. Eyes, nose, shoulders, hair color, whatever it is, anchor positivity in those things so you stop sabotaging the positive, and diminishing the confidence your successful results bring! Focusing on the negative just keeps us negative, slowing down our progress. Did your cynical nature make you laugh at this? Prove me wrong by trying it out for a few weeks…
- Adding just a small amount of muscle does wonders for your metabolism. These three exercises, three times a week can increase your lean mass, and crazy boost your metabolism. Did I mention less than an hour a week? (thank Tim Ferris and his 4-hour Body for this workout)!
- Put on some jewelry! I’m a little biased, now, but I do remember not owning any accessories of any kind. I remember not knowing how satisfying putting on a great necklace could be, and how much it could spruce up an entire wardrobe! It’s amazing what adding a cool statement necklace to your outfit can do. Don’t believe me? Try it!
- Stand up straight! No seriously- press the arches of your feet into the floor, roll your shoulders back, tuck your tailbone in, and press the top of your head to the sky. Now open up your arms in a V! Empowered yet? Add a huge, goofy smile and your day’s already turned around! Want more proof? Read this article on body language.
- No matter what you do all day, or plan to do, even if it’s stay at home all day, get ready! Shower, do your hair, make-up, and add some accessories. You’ll pick yourself up to face your crazy day with renewed energy! Don’t believe me that this can actually help. Watch the Ambush Makeover segment of the Today show. Check out what those makeovers do to those woman. You don’t have to change your entire style, or start wearing glam make-up, but you do need to try to be the best you can be, and this includes how you face the world!
Can such little steps really matter?
Of course they can! Breaking up any task into smaller pieces always makes the task less daunting, especially when it comes to tasks that work towards re-forming habits our sub-conscious loves to keep us in. Incorporating these tiny changes into our life creates awareness in what we’re doing. Gradually switching things up helps maintain a slow rebalancing that doesn’t throw us off-balance. This way, we won’t freak out, and sabotage every good thing we’ve tried to do. Slowly taking away the bad, while maintaining the good changes, will happen over time so you’ll barely notice the mass changes that’ve recreated your person. The motivation of compounded successes will continue your forward momentum!
No More Guilt!
Most importantly, and one of the first things I say to everyone I work with, is drop the guilt! There’s no reason for it except in a world where we’re supposed to fit a mold not created for us. When we see a mold we want to emulate, it doesn’t make sense to expect to jump right in it. Hence the gradual incorporation of new habits that will change the things in us to bring us to that new place, no matter what it is. Body image, financial image, parenting image. No matter what it is we want to improve in ourselves, feeling guilty that we can’t change it overnight, or even in two weeks, isn’t fair to anyone. Relax, we’re going to screw up, but let’s let these setbacks teach us how to better continue forward.
- What’s your best success strategy when you’re focusing on making a change in yourself?
- What do you think of my short list of step ones?