Small Steps Lead to Big Progress

The New Year always feels like a time to start fresh and think about what you want the new year to bring. Even if you don’t like making New Year’s Resolutions, I feel a new year still brings feelings of change and reflection. I know many people like to at least think about what new things they want to change or do in order to have a great year.

I met my friends Tuesday for our monthly professional get-together and to discuss our goals for 2019. We were trying bullet journaling for the first time, which is great for goal setting. As I was thinking about my 2019 goals and how to set up for success, I realized that I have been implementing a process that I used to suggest to my personal training clients. I would always tell clients to break things down into super small steps and start slowly so they can create a long lasting habit. If you’re trying to eat healthier, start with one meal, get that meal healthy and into your routine, then move on to the next. So for example, start by changing your breakfast and trying to consistently eat a healthy breakfast and once you have that down, move on to another meal.

I realized that I have been slowly doing this over the past 6 months. I have a protein shake almost every morning. It’s quick, simple and healthy. It’s something that easily fits into my routine and I am consistent. I’ve also recently figured out a healthy snack. I am someone who needs something mid morning around 10am until lunch, which is usually around 12/12:30pm. I played around with this a lot, trying different options until recently. I found a bar that I love which is also healthy. This bar is super simple and quick, making it a no-brainer.

So now instead of saying “I’m going to eat clean and healthy!”, I’m breaking it down and I’m going to focus on my dinners. I need to start finding ways to be more consistent and intentional about keeping my dinners clean and healthy. Of course there will be times it’s not on “plan” but I really want to try to eat clean more consistently. I just feel better and I like feeling good! Lunch will be last to nail down but that should be easy because it could just be leftovers from dinner.

It dawned on me that it has really taken me months to build these habits. Which on the one hand seems crazy but on the other makes total sense since it takes time to build a long lasting habit. My breakfast and snack have become routine because I’ve been consistent and I found what works for me. You can’t just change everything all at once and say you’ll eat only salads and veggies, never cheat etc. You’ll never have success because you’re working against years of habits that you’ve built and you can’t just change everything overnight all at once.

This concept can be used for any goal you want to accomplish. Break down your goal into small, actionable steps. Then all you have to do is string a bunch of these super small steps together and you will achieve your big goal!