Be Light and Healthy

A Little Each Day

Posted on: February 27, 2011

“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur.”  John Wooden

Small changes in any area of your life can lead to amazing things.  In this fast-paced society, we’ve become conditioned to expect immediate results. Whenever I dove into something expecting quick results, I got them – followed by an immediate backslide to my old behavior, which served to create more angst in my life.  Making big changes is scary though we often don’t realize or acknowledge that we are experiencing fear.  Just the thought of giving up a habit can cause anxiety.  Though our hearts may be beckoning us to change, our minds are resistant and prefer to stay in their comfort zones.  Our minds often dismiss even the smallest change in favor of the stagnant security of our lives.  Our thoughts convince us that being comfortable takes precedence over taking a risk that could move us forward and ultimately lead us to greater happiness.  The thought of changing some area of your life may be overwhelming, but a series of small steps will allow you to ease into a new lifestyle.  By accepting wherever you are on your path at the moment and dropping your resistance to change, you will lessen any apprehension you may be feeling.  Congratulate yourself for your awareness and desire to improve your life. 

We often don’t realize how powerful our minds are.  They are constantly trying to steer the ship that is our life by drowning out the yearnings of our heart and clinging to the well-worn complacency we’ve become accustomed to.  The voices in our heads are constantly talking to us.  Are the voices kind and forgiving or are they constantly chastising?  If they are compassionate and caring, we are more likely to move forward on the path of our desires.   Because our minds are so afraid of change, gently introducing an idea opens them up and allows an inkling of possibility to seep in.  Just gently thinking about change is a very small first step that can lead to big things.  Posing a potential change as a question helps to soften it.  “Wouldn’t it be nice if I lost 100 Pounds?” is more gentle and soothing than a declaration that I will lose 100 Pounds.  For affirmations to work you have to already believe they are possible whereas a question allows your brain to catch up with your heart’s desires and slowly absorb the idea and a new way of thinking.  If you wish to improve your current health habits, it’s beneficial to consider the different aspects of your life and how you can make small changes that can slowly be integrated into your current lifestyle.  

Big changes are born from simple, small acts.  Daydreaming for one minute each day about how you will feel and look in a great new outfit can spark a desire to make small improvements.  Spending time luxuriating in positive thoughts about how you feel when you harness the power of your imagination will help to solidify the belief that your intention is possible.  The idea will take root in your mind, and you will eventually begin to believe it and naturally want to take another small step.    

Once you have pondered making a change, begin to think about a small action you can undertake to move you in the direction of your intention.  The key is to start small and focus on the fact that you are actually starting to move forward.  Compare the potential progress you are capable of making to doing nothing at all.  If I hadn’t started thinking about losing 100 Pounds and making small changes, I believe that at the very least I would still be 100 Pounds overweight.  More likely, I would have continued to gain weight and my health would have begun to suffer as a result of it.  In contrast I’m in excellent health, full of energy, and very active.              

Years ago I couldn’t imagine getting up early in the morning to workout.  I liked to sleep as late as possible and rush out the door without a moment to spare.  Spurred on by my successes eating better and incorporating more activity into my life, I started contemplating adding more exercise into my day.  For months I thought about getting up earlier to exercise.  When I assessed my lifestyle, the morning appeared to be my best option for consistently exercising.  Getting up early would allow me to start my day off on a positive note.  In addition, it could easily be integrated into my lifestyle and wouldn’t interrupt my after work routine.  One spring I took advantage of the sun rising earlier and began setting my alarm clock a couple of minutes earlier than usual.  At first when I woke up, I would just lie there and think that I could get up and exercise if I wanted.  Some days I decided to forego exercise and just stayed in bed.  I congratulated myself for waking up earlier instead of chastising myself for not exercising.  Other days I got up but still decided to forego exercise.  Eventually, I chose to get up and do a few minutes worth of exercise.  Slowly but surely, I got into a morning exercise routine.  Big things did occur as a result of these small improvements.  The amount of sleep I required greatly decreased, my energy increased, and I continued to lose weight and felt great!  I’m still a morning exerciser and can see myself continuing this routine for the rest of my life.  Getting up early and exercising was a huge accomplishment for me that started with a series of very small steps.        

A wonderful thing about small changes is the feeling of success that sneaks up on you.  Because the changes are easily and painlessly incorporated into your life, they slowly become part of your lifestyle.  One day a sense of accomplishment and serenity settles upon you as you reap the benefits of small changes and realize the big things that have occurred. 

I invite you to gently contemplate making some small improvements in your life by asking yourself each day what small changes will take you in the direction of your heart’s desire.  Planting those delicate seeds of change in your mind and cultivating them by speaking to yourself with kindness and compassion will lead to small successes that build momentum and propel you forward to accomplish big things.  In addition, I invite you to tell your friends and sign up for weekly e-mail updates at www.belightandhealthy.com to get informed and inspired to Be Light and Healthy.  When you sign up, you will receive an e-mail requesting you confirm your subscription.  After you confirm, you will begin receiving weekly updates.

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