Sorry Nike, as catchy as your tagline is, in the real world when it’s time to accomplish a goal, the idea of “just doing it” can be overwhelming. Whether it’s adding in a strength training routine or committing to a weekly meal preparation session, we tend to think in all-or-nothing terms. These unreasonable expectations (sure, I’ll just add in three 45 minute strength training sessions each week to my calendar, easy-peasy…) can lead us to procrastinate on health goals that are very attainable, we just need to take small steps to get there.
Forget “the first step is the hardest”, instead I encourage you to make the first step the easiest. Choose a current health goal/wish/dream and determine the first few small, simple steps. Pick a specific date and time when you will complete that first step and mark it in your calendar. It’ll be up to you how much or little you do of that first step, the aim is to commit to the day/time you chose and “just start it”. If you find yourself moving through to the second step, cool, go with the flow and see where you end up. Below are suggestions to start towards two common health goals, exercising and eating healthier:
Start a running/walking program: (1) Go to store and buy some fun sneaks! [be sure to have the sales person help you with a proper fit] (2) Put on your new sneakers every weekend and walk around the house. Continue with this step until you are ready to move onto the next set of simple steps towards a running/walking program.
Start prepping meals/snacks for the week: (1) Monday, print out Nourish to Flourish (N2F) “What’s in my green bag” email, highlight one item to prepare as a healthy snack for the week and put on the fridge (2) On Tuesday, take that item out of the bag first and put on counter, put away the remaining items. Prep item for easy grab-n-go for the rest of the week. Continue prepping one chosen item from you N2F per week until ready to move onto the next set of simple steps towards a meal/snack preparation routine.
For some goals, the first few simple steps will be as far as you get, and you’ll realize it’s just enough. For others, you’ll find yourself moving towards the next level as the first few simple steps become routine and you’re ready to take it up a notch. Either way, the only way you’ll find out is if you “just start it”!