Today, were talking about how small lifestyle changes can lead to big results. Have you ever given yourself a challenge only to realize that right from the start you didn’t really believe you could accomplish it? Whether it’s cutting out unhealthy foods, learning a new language or starting to exercise, you had great intentions but also felt overwhelmed by the task at hand.
That’s because you are projecting into the future and thinking of the long road ahead instead of just focusing on today. This is a major mistake people make when reaching for a big goal. Instead, why not try taking it one moment at a time? I am currently reading Wayne Dyer’s Change your thoughts-Change your life (Living the wisdom of the Tao) and today’s message from verse 64 was:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
Dyer gives an example of how he applied this philosophy in his own life. It has been almost two decades since he has had a drink containing alcohol. Had he thought about not drinking for 20 years, it would have been overwhelming and really difficult-and yet he has done it, one day at a time. He can’t speak for the next 20 years, but one thing he is absolutely certain of is that today, today alone, he will not be taking a drink. One step… one moment… one day at a time…
I can compare Wayne Dyer’s journey to mine regarding healthy eating. I started eliminating meat and coffee from my diet about 15 years ago when I noticed it was upsetting my stomach. For a while, that was the only change I made but with time, I became very aware of how my body reacted to certain foods and slowly cut out dairy and gluten. I also enjoyed discovering new foods that would give me the energy I needed for my active lifestyle which included daily workouts and eventually yoga.
This diet transformation has taken place over several years but it started one meal at a time. If I had tried to imagine making all these changes at once, I would have been totally discouraged. Just start with one realistic goal and once you see you are consistent with it, move on to another one. And don’t forget to be kind with yourself if your journey takes longer than expect or when you make mistakes.
Watch what you say
One last important note regarding being successful when setting goals and making changes in your life. Because our brain registers what it hears us say, be very careful of the wording you use when you are speaking to others about this new path. I hear so many people say “I am trying to loose weight” or “I am trying to be careful with what I eat”. When you speak like this, you are already setting yourself up to fail.
Using the word “trying” expresses the doubt you have on whether you can actually accomplish your goal. Why not just say “I am eating healthy today” or “I am setting some time aside to be active today”. And don’t forget to enjoy each step along the way and celebrate the small victories. By building on those little successes you will gain the confidence you need to take one more step ahead.