In each of the 30 day challenges I’ve repeated the mantra of “progress not perfection”. I love this statement because it’s a reminder that you will get better if you simply keep taking that next step…from running to changing our eating habits it simply requires continuing to put one foot in front of the other no matter how fast or how slow it all adds up to get you the finish line.
The healthy living journey can begin to feel daunting after listening to the news or reading the latest magazine article about everything we need to cut out of our diets and all the exercises to start doing ASAP.
Luckily change is cumulative and there is no rush to do it all overnight. In fact we actually benefit by making changes more slowly. A Change Psychology report stated we have an 85% chance of success when implementing one change for 2-4 weeks. After that time it becomes a habit and no longer feels like a forced action. However, implementing two new behaviors at once results in only a 35% chance of success and the ratio becomes even more dismal after that.
Because change is often scary, I believe that this process of creating one new habit at a time is what allows many of us to be successful in any endeavor be it weight loss or running a marathon! This approach allowed me to lose 35lbs and maintain it for the last 8 years. However, the one change at a time approach also meant that my progress was gradual.
No one assumes that by signing up for a marathon they will be able to run it the next day, nor should we expect to start a healthier lifestyle and see an immediate change. In both cases there are a lot of LITTLE steps along the way that add up to major shifts.
What is one step you could make this week towards better health? Can you find a way of tracking that change? It’s been proven that what we measure we change.
For example, mark on a calendar every day that you are soda free and it
will begin to feel like success. Most importantly remember that if you
slip up on day 4, you have the right to celebrate that you made it
three days and now you have a new goal of going four days soda free.
I am grateful for pizza piled high with roasted vegetables…all kinds of goodness wrapped in one meal.