I remember learning a new language when I was in school. I remember being completely overwhelmed on that first day of Spanish class. I couldn’t believe I was expected to listen to, comprehend, and respond in another language.
That seemed like a tall order considering I knew exactly one Spanish word at the time: hola.
But somehow that teacher was right. By the end of my freshman year I could order some food, talk about the weather, and have a basic conversation with my classmates.
When you start out on any new project, it can definitely feel overwhelming. If you focus only on the end result, it can seem like it’s really far away… like you’ll never get there.
This is how I felt that first day of class. Like a baby learning to walk. We all have to start somewhere.
The key to reaching any goal is to take one small step at a time, and celebrate when you accomplish it.
You probably don’t think about it this way – most people don’t – but you make thousands of little tiny decisions throughout your day. From whether or not to open your eyes in the morning or keep on lying there with them shut, to deciding it’s time to get out of bed, to how many bites of that chocolate bar you’re going to allow yourself, to whether or not you’re going to engage with your 10-year-old about homework.
Every day is made up of thousands of these little decisions.
So you could say that who you are today is a result of all the decisions you’ve made over the course of your life.
Now that can feel overwhelming!
So think about who you want to become, or a goal you want to achieve. What are the sorts of little decisions you need to make in order to get there?
Let’s say you want to lose 2 dress sizes.
The little decisions you make every day are the road to accomplishing this goal.
You get to consider everything from what you eat at each meal, including how many sugary foods you eat, to how often you get up from your seat to move during the day, to whether you bike or walk or drive to work, to how many alcoholic drinks you drink each week.
You also need to decide if you’ll go to bed an hour earlier (lack of sleep contributes to being overweight), and how much water you’ll drink during the day.
The cumulative effect of all these decisions adds up, until you can track the results over time. It’s a LOT easier to take one teeny, tiny step at a time, than it is to look way down the road, at the one big goal ahead.
And PS – taking these teeny, tiny steps is usually easier when you do it with others heading to the same place (goal) as you 😀
If you keep looking BEHIND you, at all you’ve accomplished, instead of looking at the mountain in the distance, you’re more likely to stay motivated and on track to achieve your goal.
It’s like looking back at learning a language. Eventually, you realize you’ve actually learned how to string a few words together that make sense!
So whatever your health and fitness goals might be, don’t get discouraged. Instead, identify the little things you need to focus on all day long, and keep looking back at how far you’ve come.