A Month of Little Steps Adds Up to a Big Change
By Melissa Ford on January 31, 2011
BlogHer Original Post
January is BlogHer's Month of Little Steps to Health & Fitness, and we want you to share your favorite easy health tip! Click here to see how to play along. And check out all the tips so far in the Month of Little Steps to Health & Fitness series.
A month of Little Steps to Health and Fitness has come to an end. You are hopefully on a better road than you were on January 1st, but good health is just that -- a long and winding road rather than a location that you reach and party at for the next few years.
The point of this month-long project, of course, was to give a nod to how difficult it can be to make a change. It's easy to make resolutions -- we can all come up with things we'd love to do differently -- but most resolutions are unkeepable in their current, enormous form. Which is why it's frustrating when people give the unhelpful advice of "it's easy! Just do it." Obviously, if people could "just do it," health issues wouldn't exist.
Instead, we gave you small things you could do, tiny tweaks you may barely notice. And those small steps could snowball, leading to bigger changes down the road. We asked you to change the way you move through the grocery store, filling up your basket with certain foods before others. You didn't have to go in with the intention of changing your shopping list, but certainly, once your brain registered that you had food already in the cart, there was a possibility to skip some of the more processed items on your list.
We asked you to change how you do things in the morning in order to shake yourself out of your rut, to swap out one five-minute activity for another. We asked you to choose one day a week and go to bed early (while keeping your normal bedtime all other nights). We pointed out ways to get a cheap or free workout, to be conscious of your movements by using a pedometer, try to replace one cup of coffee with tea, sit down while you eat, and take a vacation from healthy acts every once in a while.
Maybe Lao Tzu wasn't talking about getting in better health, but his thought rings true -- the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. People aren't meant to jump straight to the end-point. We need to learn better health and feel success in the small steps. They can't be a stopping point either; we need to always be moving forward. But you've hopefully gotten a sense of satisfaction this month experiencing a new way of eating or exercising. And that will be the fuel you'll need to keep moving towards better health and fitness.
If you ever feel like you lose your way, start back at the beginning and read through the ideas again. This series is here to guide you, to keep giving you a new way of looking at the world, and seeing that small isn't something to write off as not good enough -- small is something beautiful.
What small step did you take this month and where do you hope it ultimately leads you?
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