Distraction helps you ignore bad feelings. Things need to change, but the enormous task of changing bad habits is overwhelming. So you put it off.
Or you are so uncomfortable and desperate for change, you want a complete overhaul…yesterday. A sure recipe for short term gains and long term burn out.
Baby Steps Create Spectacular Results
What may seem like a mountain of change can be within reach by starting baby steps now.
Every journey begins with one step. There is a saying, “Little by little, a little becomes a lot.”
A small change can shake up our routine enough that it causes a wave of new habits to be developed.
Baby Steps Help You Get Unstuck
Baby steps sneak by fear.
- You don’t have to have everything figured out. Just one small step.
- You aren’t completely changing your lifestyle. Just one small step.
- No enormous amounts of will power to make a change. Just one small step.
Sometimes the hardest part is starting. Getting into action allows you to stay in action.
Baby Steps Get Rid of Overwhelm
Growth can be uncomfortable and scary. Trying to eliminate a major food group or start an intense exercise program is not only time consuming, but uses up energy that you need in other areas of your life.
Too many times, I have decided to overhaul a part of my life. By the middle of the day, my children wonder who has possed their mother. Life is full enough without making big changes all at once. Baby steps are less stressful for you and your family.
Baby Steps Increase Your Confidence and Integrity
They allow you to believe in yourself again. You’ve broken promises to yourself in the past. When you will go to bed, what you will eat, how often you’ll exercise, etc. After years of giving up, you feel defeated by your lofty goals.
Baby steps fix that. A small easy habit done each day builds trust with yourself again. They are doable. You can build on them.
They build confidence in yourself. Hopelessness and overwhelm is replaced by hope and excitement.
Baby Steps are Loving and Patient.
How well do you take care of that old tattered T-shirt you use for painting? How about the beautiful shirt that is just the right color and looks amazing on you? You take care of what you love.
Do you love yourself?
Baby steps are a way to be loving and patient with yourself. They nurture you by slowly building good habits into your life.
Little habits are easier to implement. If you miss a day. Start again the next. It is just a small step, nothing that you can’t pick right back up.
Baby steps build consistency
Starting new habits can be difficult, but staying consistent with healthy choices is what builds results.
After even a week of drinking more water every day, you’ll feel less hungry during the day. It helped me stop drinking hot cocoa in the morning. I just lost my desire for it. Even though I had wanted to give the habit up for months, I still craved it every morning until I was hydrated by my water habit.
Baby Steps Create Momentum
Habits grow faster when you build momentum. The feeling of success in even a small habit allows positive change to occur in other areas of your life.
One positive change leads to another. Instead of cutting out bad habits, you crowd them out with new good habits.
Your Baby Steps Need to Be Tiny
Just like a baby learning to walk can topple with too big of a step, your steps could be too big too.
If you’ve set small goals in the past and you weren’t able to achieve them, chances are they weren’t small enough. Identify the very next step. Here is an example.
Goal: Drink a green smoothie every day to increase veggie consumption.
There are lots of steps to make this happen.
- Put smoothie ingredients on your grocery list.
- After purchasing the ingredients, you’ll need to wash and prepare them unless you made it really easy and bought prewashed and cut veggies.
- Squeeze your fresh lemons into ice cube trays so they are easy to add to step #4.
- You can make a few days of smoothies ahead of time or freeze the ingredients in zip lock bags to add to the blender with water every day.
There are many next steps that may need to be worked on before you actually get to the goal of drinking a green smoothie every day. The easier you make your next step, the more likely you will be to achieve it.
Every step in the process needs to be easy and doable. Sometimes baby steps need to be so small no one else would see it as a movement.
Slow and steady wins the race. Small successes that are easy to keep up allow you to stay consistent. Consistency gets results.
Baby Steps are Easy to Re-evaluate
If you fall short, you can easily adjust. No need to beat yourself up. It isn’t a failure. You are on a journey. Sometimes plans need to change.
When you make a radical change to your normal habits it is hard to figure out what needs to change if something isn’t working.
With Baby Steps, it is easy to see what isn’t working and why.
When I first made the goal to drink 8 glasses of water a day. It was discouraging when I only drank 2 or 3 glasses a day. So I lowered my goal to 8 glasses of water a day for only 3 days a week. Still, I struggled to get all 8 glasses.
It wasn’t until I anchored my new habit to other established habits that I was able to successfully drink 8 glasses of water a day. While it was discouraging at first, I knew if I kept trying I would be successful.
Fear of failure is diminished because adjustments are easy to make when habit changes are so small.
Encourage Yourself Through Your Journey.
You encourage your friends and family. You know how to be supportive. Build and encourage yourself just like you would do for others.
Combat that voice of resistance with a voice of compassion. You may not be where you want to be yet, but you are closer than yesterday.
Implementing Baby Steps to Create New Behaviors
BJ Fogg has a great plan for implementing baby steps. In his Ted Talk below, he explains how you take a tiny habit and add it after an existing habit. The tiny habit is so tiny there is no resistance.
Bonus Tip: Once you complete the new tiny habit celebrate your success in a small way. Tell yourself you are awesome right afterward and watch your new habit take root and grow.
A small celebration might be as simple as a little happy dance and “Awesome!” or 2 fist pumps down and “I’m awesome!” Okay, now try it. Seriously. Right. Now. Felt good, didn’t it? 🙂
Baby Steps Create Lifetime Habits that Become a Part of You
An easy habit practiced over weeks becomes automatic. It becomes part of your identity.
It doesn’t feel right if you don’t practice it.
The benefits of an easy habit keep you on track. Imagine the feeling of forgetting to brush your teeth. It is the same with an exercise program, drinking more water or eating more vegetables. If you miss a couple of days, it doesn’t feel good. The habit has become a part of who you are. Healthy feels good.
Do you have any habits you’d like to add? Do they feel small or big and overwhelming? Have you tried to add them in the past? How did it go? What’s one habit you could change today to show yourself more love? Let’s talk in the comments below!
Weight loss is a side effect of healthy living which makes healthy ways – shapely ways.
Thank you for being here and chatting with me about all things health! I love and appreciate you more than you know!