It’s about now that your new year’s resolution to be healthy is wearing off and the realisation hits that you can’t maintain this healthy lifestyle and do all the other things you want or need to do. This whole idea of becoming healthy, losing weight, looking nicely tight and toned, eating right and quitting various bad health activities (e.g. smoking) seems like such a big challenge to overcome; it requires you to completely change your diet, exercise everyday and do it all while still maintaining your daily routines, jobs or chores, right?. Well, that’s not exactly true; the real way to achieve the goals you want is to make small changes everyday or every week, depending on what you can manage with everything else going on in your life.
Goals, everyone talks on and on about setting specific goals and achieving them and make sure those goals are big. Setting a big goal is not a bad thing to do but its doesn’t have to be “I want to lose 20kg in 6 weeks” type of goal it can be as simple as you deciding what you want to work on or change and go from there. For example it could be to lose 20kg, tone up the arms, thighs and stomach, quit drinking so much or just feel better and healthier. You can even put a time frame on these big goals if you wish but the point of these goals is to know where you want to go because getting there is much easier and simpler once you know.
The real secret to achieve your ultimate goal is to start small. Don’t make your changes complicated and huge. Do small changes weekly or daily depending on what you think you can manage. This way you can do one change or two to three changes that are easy for you to stick to rather than changing everything at once, which is hard. For example if you want to lose some weight then maybe your first mini change for the week is that you will have an extra glass of water a day, or one less dessert item a day and you will use the stairs at work or go up and down stairs at home at least 5 times a day.
Your changes can reflect and be customised to your lifestyle. If you are a coke drinker maybe its one can less a day/week. If you love chocolate too maybe it's changing to dark chocolate this week for the next 4 four weeks, then cutting back on what you consume of that. If you have an office job it could be going to get lunch at the café further down the road or taking the stairs to work. Once you have made these changes, it’s relatively easy to stick to them and all you do is find something else the next week to change that’s small. The small changes to achieve the big change is about not shocking your system with something it can manage, everyone knows where they are going wrong with achieving what they want and this ensures that you don’t completely go out of your mind focusing on the one thing, the small changes provide balance. I mean have you ever decided to give up all junk food at once and then crave and pine after everything you can’t have, this way one junk food item at a time gets slowly filtered out and before you know it you don’t eat junk food a lot anymore. The small changes for ultimate change means your lifestyle will be healthier and your goals achieved and sustainable, without causing you to lose the plot.
Roberta McCowan graduated as a qualified Fitness Professional from Australian Institute of Fitness. She has been personal training for 4 years now. In that time she has managed a personal training studio and been the head personal trainer at the QUT gym including mentoring for physiotherapy students. Roberta now runs and owns a studio in Brisbane, Perfect Personal Training and Wellbeing Studio. She is also a qualified counselor, which comes in handy when dealing with clients as most of my clients have other issues that relate to them becoming unhealthy.