We all know the phrase, Go big or go home, right? When setting wellness and life goals, bigger isn’t always better or the only option for creating lasting change. Sometimes the best way to start moving forward with your vision for a better you is to start small. Consider a layering-in approach that builds toward and supports the path to your main goal—motivation intact. Here are some examples of what starting small looks like and how it sets you up for big success.
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Phase in clean eating
You want to go clean, organic and healthy, but when you’re in the high-end store, you freak at the price tag attached to starting a brand-new pantry. Instead of a complete pantry overhaul, throw out the worst stuff first. Replace those not so healthy items with clean, organic and healthy options. Remember, it’s about layering in, so replace some food items with each shopping trip. Before you know it, a month or two has gone by and you’ve accomplished the goal of cleaning up both your eating and the contents of your pantry in an affordable, realistic way.
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Phase in meditation
You want to learn to meditate or wish you could meditate more often. You have the cushion, the quiet space and maybe the downloaded MP3, but when you sit down with your eyes closed, your mind goes into full-throttle thinking. Ugh! The lists of to-dos start mocking your attempts like a monkey dancing around on each synapse. But here’s the layering-in and starting-small part: Don’t try to stop the thinking — instead, notice your thoughts and refocus. Start by meditating for two minutes, then refocus and add two more minutes, and eventually work your way up to 20 and then 30 minutes. Begin and then begin again.
Phase in positive thinking
You want to be a more positive person. Shifting from a negative outlook to a more optimistic one seems daunting, especially with what the world can throw at you each day. The start-small approach works here, too. Begin by starting each day with a positive thought or intention, and practice doing that until it becomes a habit, which usually takes three weeks. Then add to your positivity by adding a midday outlook shift, which may include affirmations and a gratitude ritual before bed, where you review all the positives of your day.
Start small, go step by step, and you’ll reach that big goal!