We humans tend to complicate things. It seems to be part of our makeup to feel if it isn’t difficult then it isn’t worthwhile. That’s true for health as well but, it doesn’t have to be nearly as difficult or complicated as we sometimes make it. I believe it can all be reduced to addition and subtraction.
I find simply by gradually adding in healthier choices and habits, the not-so-healthy ones will automatically be subtracted! You can fill your meals and routine with so many healthy, positive choices that the unhealthy ones are crowded out and are just naturally subtracted from your life. That may sound simplistic, but honestly, it is exactly what happens. Math has never been a good subject for me, but even I find this math easy to understand and implement in my own life. Here are 5 easy ways to add in the good so that the bad is effortlessly subtracted:
1. Gradually begin adding in 8 oz. of water per day. Just 8 oz! Then the second or third day (if you choose to make this change every other day rather than each day) add in another 8 oz. Just keep adding in water and you will very quickly not have room for that extra-large latte, bottle of soda or sugary juice! I have had clients tell me they couldn’t possibly drink one-half their body weight in ounces of water daily, but once they gradually began working up to it, they automatically eliminated the empty calorie drinks and it was easier than they thought it would be.
2. Once you have mastered one manageable step, then and only then, move on to the next. (See some suggestions for next steps in #5.) Research shows if you work on changing one habit for two weeks (either adding something good or removing something bad), the success rate is about 85%. Trying to make two changes at a time reduces the success rate to 30%! So take your time – it’s not a race!
3. Allow yourself to settle into the change gradually. That is important because even though it is a small step, it feels “doable”. As you make a series of these small changes, each one builds on the other creating success. You are much more apt to continue when you experience small successes along the way. What I call “baby steps” are very powerful because they add up and create a tipping point – a critical point that results in a new and irreversible development. It is the turning point at which a series of small changes build up until they become significant enough to cause a larger, more important change. Small changes may have little effect in and of themselves until they build up to critical mass, then the next small change may suddenly change everything. Picture the final drop of liquid that overflows the glass.
4. Just because it is a small change or baby step, doesn’t mean it will not have long-term, positive effects on your health. It will! As each step is accomplished, repeated and built upon, it then becomes habit. That is powerful. When you do something repeatedly, you create new neural pathways in your brain. That makes it easier for you to continue in the new habit. Each succeeding step simply becomes the logical outcome of the one before.
5. If you are wondering exactly how you begin taking baby steps when it deals with your health, here are a few more examples:
Something as small as cutting 100 calories a day can translate into losing 10 lbs. over the course of a year.
Eating just 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day can add up to 14 years to your life.
As little as 15 minutes of exercise daily – moving your body in some way – reduced the risk of death from all causes by 14% and increased life expectancy by 3 years!
Starting the day right by eating a protein meal sets you up for fat loss! If you eat something sugary 1st thing you tell your body to burn sugar, not fat! Set yourself up for a successful day.
Break it down: If you can’t exercise for at least 30 minutes at a time 3-5 days a week, you can still get the benefits of a 30 minute workout by breaking it into three 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
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Ann Musico is a holistic health coach and wholeness advocate who works with women of all ages to empower them to exemplify lives of vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body – in a way that is simple and effective, in order to be a positive influence in their world. Her focus is on nutrition, detox and healthy, long term weight loss because she believes those areas are most often the root cause of so many other problems. And she addresses them not only from the physical but also the spirit and soul as well, which are often overlooked. Learn more at http://www.threedimensionalvitality.com