Whenever we think about our major health goals – be it losing 10+ pounds, toning our abs into a six pack, getting in shape to run a marathon, or something else – we’re always working to get to some sort of end result. Now, I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s tempting to focus on that big outcome and feel discouraged when I don’t get there ASAP.
The thing about being healthy, though, is it’s all about the journey. It’s a lifestyle. It’s never a quick fix because those don’t tend to last.
I feel like I’m always seeing people who are super inspired and committed to improving their habits to be healthier, but because they made such drastic changes cold turkey, they fall off the wagon really fast. If you are the outlier who can keep it up, then kudos to you. But for most of us, it’s just not realistic, nor is it fun. It’s all about consistency – day in and day out. What are you willing to do to reach your goals?
No matter your goal(s), I know it can be quite intimidating at times, which is why I’m here to share a little secret that I’ve found to make a huge difference in my life: little goals turn into big results.
This has been especially true in my life recently: I’ve resumed my workout schedule, which has made me automatically want to eat healthier. I think I subconsciously want to keep bettering myself and not completely negate all my hard work by eating junk. While my love for chocolate chips has not faded one bit, my desire to choose more nutritious options has taken the spotlight. That’s why I know that even if I have a few off weeks, it’s not the end of the world. By simply doing one thing, and doing it consistently, I slowly get back on track with most everything else.
Since all of our health goals will vary, I decided to come up with a list of general small goals that I think can be really helpful for anyone as they work on leading a healthier life. By gradually taking on one of these at a time (and/or other small goals), I bet you might see a domino effect like I have.
Drink more water. This is one of my favorite pieces of advice for people struggling with eating healthy or working out. Simply drink more water. You’ll feel more full; you’ll flush out the toxins; your skin will look better; your body will function better; and the list goes on.
Go for a 10-minute walk every day. This is something I’ve been trying to do during work lately. It’s such a small thing, but it really helps refresh the mind and get the blood flowing again! Not to mention it’s a little touch of exercise when I’d normally be sitting at a desk.
Only drink alcohol on the weekends. Okay, this won’t apply to everyone, but I live in craft beer land so it’s hard for me. Instead of random bevy’s during the week, I’ve been trying to limit mine to only weekend nights. Saves on calories, helps me avoid excess sugar, and prevents me from feeling blah the next day.
Only go out to eat once a week. We actually don’t even go out this often, which feels like a big win for me. But I know a lot of people who get carryout a lot. Everyone gets through the week differently, but at least lowering the number of times you go out to eat every week can save money and help force you to eat healthier, home-cooked meals.
Stop drinking your calories. I try not to drink too many fun drinks beyond water, milk, tea, and my heavenly cold brew coffee. If you can’t live without your fatty Starbucks drink, though, I don’t blame you. But drinks can be such a deceiving source of dense calories, fat, and sugar. Simply focusing on water, instead, can be a great way to cut out a lot of the crap.
Do a mini workout before you shower every morning. I’ve seen little routines on Pinterest like this and love the idea. It’s not a huge undertaking. Just do something like: 10 pushups, 50 crunches, 50 jumping jacks, and a 1-minute plank – or even just one of those things – before you hop in the shower and start your day. Doesn’t take long at all.
Replace a couple meals a week with a fruit- and veggie- packed smoothie. When I’m feeling AF, I like to replace lunch with a smoothie, mostly because it’s an easy way to jam a bunch of spinach into mealtime without actually tasting it.
Don’t snack after 8 p.m. Late night snacking is a big problem for a lot of people (like meee), so setting a cut-off time might be the boost you need to kick the habit. Obviously, this time might not be right for everyone, but a couple hours before bed seems ideal.
Don’t be deceived by these “small” goals, though. They can prove surprisingly difficult depending on your lifestyle. So, if it helps you, log the amount of water you’ve drank today; put a check mark on the calendar for every day you’ve successfully stopped eating at 8 p.m.; write down your goals and put a tally for each day you’ve completed each one.
Maybe it’s because I’m a lover of lists and notes, but writing these things down makes a huge difference when it comes to me reaching my goals.
What small acts do you do to be healthy?
Do you have any major health goals you’re working towards right now?