Updated: Aug 10, 2022
Want to build a new healthy habit? Start small and see remarkable results
When you’re ready to start a new healthy habit, it’s tempting to go big… you’re feeling motivated to cut meat out of your diet, start exercising for an hour every day, or sink into meditation to destress. It’s exciting to imagine the new version of yourself who eats better, exercises more, or takes more time for self care. You can’t wait to dive right in and make it happen! But often, when we go big with a new lifestyle change, we end up feeling burnt out very quickly. After a few days, you may feel frustrated and struggling to keep up with your new healthy way of life. Especially if you aren’t seeing big results to go along with your BIG changes. You don’t have to go all-in on the first day. In fact, I recommend that you don’t! Think smaller to start, and build from there. A new habit doesn’t form overnight. Changes that seem unimportant or small can compound with consistency and build into incredible results in the long run! This week, I challenge you to try going tiny. What’s one small change you can make, or small action you can start doing, that relates to your bigger health goal? Here are 3 ideas to inspire you: Instead of Going Vegetarian — Try Meatless Mondays Reducing the amount of meat in your diet can be a great choice for your long term health. But going “cold turkey” (or “no turkey” in this case) overnight can be challenging to stick with. When your body & mind are used to having meat as an option, you’ll need to change not only what you are eating but also how you plan your meals, build your plate, go grocery shopping and cook. I encourage you to start by committing to Meatless Mondays. It’s easier to stick to eating entirely vegetarian meals for just one day a week. This can help you plan your food choices and adjust mentally and physically to a new dietary style. Want a little inspiration for your first Meatless Monday?
Instead of Exercising for 1 Hour — Try 20 Minutes or Less It’s challenging to dedicate a full hour in your daily schedule to exercising, if you haven’t been doing so already. I encourage you to start by working out for 20 minutes or less each day, and put it in your calendar. A 20-minute block is far easier to fit into a busy schedule. You’re more likely to stick to it daily, which is what matters most when building a habit. To get you started, here’s one of my favorite 20-minute workouts. Instead of Sinking Into a Long Meditation — Try a 2 Minute Timer Meditation is a learned skill, meaning it won’t feel “easy” the first few times. It takes repeated practice to get comfortable with sitting still, relaxing your body, and observing your thoughts rather than letting them run away with you. I encourage you to start with 2-minute meditations (yes, even 2 minutes can have an impact on your stress!). Set a 2-minute timer on your phone, close your eyes, and simply use your sense of hearing to notice the sounds around you. When the timer goes off, stop your meditation. Focusing on one of your five senses (like hearing) is a great way to get your body and mind familiar with the activity of meditating. Want a guide to help you start? Try my guided Mindfulness 5 Senses Meditation.
How will you “go tiny” with your health goal this week?
About the Author
Alexa Hanshaw is a health and stress management coach who helps women be the CEO of their stress. She empowers her clients to push past the confusion of the health and wellness industry to create lifestyle habits that bring them energy and work with their bodies instead of against it.
Join her free Facebook group, Be the CEO of Your Stress and follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube for quick, easy & healthy tips on stress, health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and how to stay mindful!