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Why the secret to getting healthy is not a lifestyle overhaul

I love getting up early but it is really hard to do. I love drinking coffee. multiple times a day. I love painting my fingernails to relax. I love Netflix binges. I love running with my dogs. I love the 'lightbulb' moment ...

Instead of overhauling your diet, try to change just one thing

It's the new year and that always means you'll want to get healthy — again. January is like the Monday of all Mondays: It's really hard not to want to be inspired to change some part of our efforts to get healthy.

It's the new year and that always means you'll want to get healthy — again. January is like the Monday of all Mondays: It's really hard not to want to be inspired to change some part of our efforts to get healthy.

Let me help you build momentum so you can still desire to get healthy come February — because the average person who sets an intention to get healthy in January gives it up by mid-February.

I totally get it, by the way — why we give up in February. Change is hard and it can be exhausting without seeing any successful results for all the effort you are putting forth. I have a small feeling that if we were to change our approach to getting healthy this new year, we might be more successful come February.

What if we decided not to wipe the slate clean and start over, but rather we decided to only change one behavior?

Let me give you a few ideas that come to my mind:

  • What if we decide to just start drinking water when we reach for the juice or soda?
  • What if we decide to change into our exercise clothes before we leave the office and go for a walk around our neighborhood when we pull into the driveway?
  • What if we decide to always put a vegetable on our plate for dinner, regardless of how "unhealthy" our meal might be?

Success is contagious

It's such a good feeling to have inside. When was the last time you felt successful? Didn't it feel really good, positive and motivating?

What if the only secret we needed to keep our New Year's resolutions was to pick only one small change to implement? It's super easy to start completely over, to fill our grocery cart with only organic and non-GMO foods. It's super easy to join a gym and go to group exercise classes.

You know what's hard? Sticking to your plan when life happens.

Life is going to happen. I'm sure you know what I mean.

  • Your kid is going to forget his lunch, and you'll have to give up workout time to go deliver it during your lunch.
  • Your in-laws are going to want you to come over when you had planned to go grocery shopping.
  • Your boss is going to want you to finish the project by the end of the week, so that means you'll have to work on it tonight and not pop in the Insanity DVD.

Life happens, and when it does, we trade in our plans to accommodate. What if we didn't have to trade in our plans because our plan to get healthy was only one thing — not a whole lifestyle we had to change. Yes, getting healthy is a lifestyle change, but what the successful don't tell you is that lifestyle didn't change all at once. Those that are successful built momentum with one change at a time.

Make one change at a time

That's the secret to success that lasts: Make one change at a time.

Don't fall into the temptation to change everything at once. That never works — you could probably tell me that, right? Pick one behavior and do that. Get really good at it and then (only then!) consider adding another new healthy behavior.

Here are a few things that my clients have chosen:

  • Go for a walk in the morning.
  • Drink one less teaspoon of sugar and cream in their coffee.
  • Drink a glass of water in the morning.
  • Eat some type of protein for breakfast.
  • Stretch before going to bed.

There really are a million ways that you can start being healthy. Pick one that is simple and doable. Be successful at it, and then add in another. One day, you'll wake up and realize that you have completely changed your lifestyle and you're the healthiest person you know.

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