The Second Step

Okay, so now we have the mindset that we’re going to eat to be healthy and exercise to be fit. We also know that, at some point in time, the pounds and inches will follow these lifestyle changes. Meanwhile, we’re focused on building stronger muscles and healthier bodies while we consider exactly what it is about our current habits and customs that we want to change.

No, don’t run! We don’t have to do it all at once! Read my banner; we’re going to make small, gradual changes to get to where we want to be. If you’ve worked in a manufacturing or corporate environment, you might recognize this concept as similar to Kaizen, a problem-solving methodology that enables companies to make small, incremental, sustainable changes over time. That’s what we’re doing here–kaizening ourselves. Over time, we’re changing out things that don’t work well for us for the things that do. And we want these changes to last, to become everyday things.

Part of Kaizen calls for brainstorming, or listing solutions to a problem. We can apply that here by listing all the things we can do to improve our fitness habits. Even though we’re not going to do them all today, it will be nice to have them written down. In making our lists, we should focus on specifics: “Walk for 20 minutes per day, three days per week” or “Drink 8 glasses of water every day”, as opposed to “Exercise more” or “Drink lots of water.” Why? Because those changes are measurable. You’ll know for certain that you’re achieving the goal.

When you have your list assembled (keeping in mind that will evolve and grow over time as you think of new changes to make), choose one thing–two, at most–to focus on for your first step. Maybe you’ll want to begin by exercising, or perhaps you’ll just want to replace soft drinks with non-caloric beverages. It doesn’t matter where you start, just that you start. Period.

Personal notes: You’ll see my current list in the sidebar. The items listed there, under My Weekly Fitness Goals, are my lifestyle changes to date. You’ll notice that it’s a very short list. I’m not done yet. Remember, I’m tippy-toeing. :) My next change focus will be, I think, drinking 8 glasses of water per day. Ugh. Wish me luck. :)