Thursday, January 24

Small Steps for Big Gains

by the JCC Association and Club One

We are heading into the last week of January. Have you already given up on your New Year’s resolution?

Less than a month into 2013, you still have time to right the ship and recommit to those important personal goals.

If you’ve floundered, it’s likely because we tend to set goals that are too lofty. This is not to say we shouldn’t aim high, but we do need to be realistic.

Otherwise, we’re doomed for failure.

Challenging goals are healthy, but they need to be broken down into chunks to ensure success. As age-old wisdom states, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step.”

Make that first single step a small one, and soon your small steps will become strides and your strides will become achievements.

Here are common goals and ideas for some small steps you could take to achieve them:

I want to start exercising: Select an activity you enjoy and can easily fit into your schedule. Do five minutes of it four days a week. Do this for a week. If successful, then either add more days or more time (e.g., 10 minutes four days a week). Repeat this until you’re exercising at least five days a week for 30 minutes each day.

I want to eat more fruits and veggies: Add a fruit or veggie to one meal or snack five days a week. Do this for a week. If successful, then either add more days or another fruit or veggie the following week. Repeat this until you’re eating at least five a day.

I want to lose weight: See above!

I want to be less stressed: Choose a short relaxation activity you can do each day for a week (e.g., breathing exercises for one minute, a short walk, or simply smile). Do this for a week. If successful, then either repeat the same activity the following week, extend the time or pick a new activity. Do this until you’ve built a daily relaxation habit.

Small Step Tip: Get a calendar and display it. Check off each day you do your small step. This sense of accomplishment will help keep you motivated.

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