Health

As resolution season draws near, we are all reminded of those insurmountable goals that we set time and time again: shrink to a size two, keep our home as organized as June Cleaver’s, start getting more sleep, et cetera. But when we attempt a complete overhaul of our lives, discouragement often comes before any sizable progress.  Instead, making baby steps towards your goals is the best way to ensure success.

If magazine covers are any indication, dropping a few pounds is a major priority for many people. Like many others, I have tried and failed to completely overhaul my diet and exercise routine. Instead, I have had much more success by making very small changes. For example, adding spinach to almost every meal, trying one new vegetable or fruit each week, and walking for a minimum of thirty minutes each day. Keeping the focus on ramping up the good stuff rather than fixating on getting rid of the not-so-good stuff makes it easier to stick with the changes.

Those of us without the innate ability to keep our homes in perfect order make the goal to get organized year after year without any long-term results.  Instead of attempting to organize our entire home in one afternoon, it’s best to do it in stages. For example, start with the smallest room of your home, probably the bathroom, and decide on a set place for everything. Your hair products should have a specific spot on the shelf, as should your eye makeup, towels, and so on. Maintain this order in the bathroom for at least two months, then move on to the next smallest room and implement the same rule. Again, maintain both rooms for two months before moving on to something bigger. By this time next year, the changes you implemented will still be there!

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Stress balls may be fixtures on almost every office desk, but they do nothing to deal with stress long-term. Learning to manage stress will majorly benefit your health, but it can’t be dealt with in one day. The small change: use some general methods for stress reduction, like addressing your stressor, getting more exercise, or taking up meditation.  The stress will not dissolve immediately, but over time you will find that you are more at peace.

We have decided that a warm bed is one of the things we are most thankful for this holiday season. Not only does it feel great to get some one-on-one time with our pillows, but it’s essential to our health to catch enough zzzs. The small change: power down all your electronics before bedtime to optimize your relaxation and try to hit the hay ten minutes earlier than you did the night before. Continue this pattern each night until you’ve reached the optimal amount of sleep for you.

You can’t go from overweight, disorganized, and stressed to svelte, neat, and relaxed all in one day, or even in one week or one month. All of these changes take time and patience. My advice?  Don’t wait until New Year’s Day to start implementing these changes! Start today, and by January first, you may already have improved your lifestyle by making these small adjustments.

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What are some small changes that you’d like to make for your health?  Tell us in the comments below!