Which type are you?
Some people are drawn to jumping head first into a new workout routine or cutting sweets cold turkey. This all-or-nothing approach is appealing because it’s cut and dry. It’s black and white, there is no room for error. However, if one day of exercise is missed or a taste of something sweet touches your tongue, it can send you back to your old habits. You can fall off track. In the meantime, life can be fairly miserable when you’re so strict.
Discipline and will-power can only get you so far.
On the other hand, many people don’t make healthful changes because it seems too overwhelming. The obstacles seem high and thick. The goal seems unattainable. If this sounds like the dialogue going on in your mind then there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Whether you’re type one or type two, consider that small changes are what create significant differences down the road. It’s the small daily habits that add up to lasting results.
What can you identify in your current daily routine to change? Think small. Here are some ideas.
- Swapping out one food for another. Rather than over-haul your entire diet, find one food item to trade for another. This can be using avocado instead of cheese or mayonnaise on sandwiches. You still get the creamy texture and fatty flavor. You could trade quinoa or spaghetti squash for pasta. It could also be herbal tea for coffee or flavored water for soda. Pick just one, make it easy and do it until it sticks. If it doesn’t, try something else.
- Instead of checking email in the morning, find something else to do. What you do when you first wake up sets the tone for the day. For many of us that’s checking the news, Facebook or email while lying in bed. It’s easier than other tasks that could bring better health. If you want to keep your smart phone close by, find a blog or something to read that will leave you feeling healthy and motivated for the day. Avoid the news or other peoples demands in email. The problems of the day will be right there waiting when you’re done, but you’ll have a more clear mind to tackle them. Consider morning exercise, dancing to your favorite music or sitting quietly to set your mind for the day. It’ll help generate the energy you need for the emails that await you.
- Fill breaks at work with healthy habits. Stay away from the break room unless you plan to grab a colleague and go for a walk. It’s much easier to chat over coffee than head outside for a walk. But, the pay-off is higher for the walk. Clear your mind, get fresh air and return to work rejuvenated instead of beaten down by blabbing.
- Bedtime routines. Prepare food for the next day instead of or while watching television. Connect with your significant other, write in a journal or read an enjoyable book. Avoid anything that will cause stress before bed and replace it with something more soothing. Sleep is very important for health and setting the tone in the evening is a sure way to get more of it.
What trades can you make in your day? Share with us in the comments!