One Day At A Time To A Healthier Life

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Do you ever wonder why changes to diet or lifestyle can be difficult to stick to? It is easier to understand why the big things are tough, like quitting smoking, losing 100 pounds, or simplifying your life by 50%. But often a change you feel is reasonable will also fall by the wayside. Changes that are not accomplished can make you feel like you have no willpower, initiative, or stick-to-it-ness.

If it seems like some of the goals you set for yourself are not getting done, one of the possibilities is that you are trying to take too big a bite at one time. I know that for me, it works better to make small changes, often just one at a time and stick with them until they become habit. When you take things one small step at a time, you might find some of your goals are easily reached and maintained. Break the things on your list into smaller parts and you might have more success. If you make your lifestyle or diet changes small and reasonable enough, you will feel like you are making the progress you want. After you are living those small changes without even having to think about them, you can add something new that builds upon that success.

An idea that has been around for quite a while is to assign something you want to accomplish to a specific day of the week. Meatless Monday is a site that is a good example of that. I think the idea of using one day of the week to make a change is a good one, but be careful of over scheduling. If you try the Meatless Monday approach, don’t immediately assign something else to each of the other 6 days of the week. Stick with the Monday goal until it seems routine, then add to it.

You may want to change something that is not easily assigned to a single day. In that case, try to look for some other method of making it a routine. I think the key is to go after a change you want to make one step at a time, focusing on one that goal and trying not to get distracted by other changes you want to make. Save those for another day.

That having been said, also acknowledge the person you are. I had a friend who always did everything all the way, all at once. To stop doing something, he went “cold turkey”. If he was to make a change in his life, he just did it all the way and stuck to it. He was a very detailed, disciplined person who demanded that of himself. It was just who he was and that approach was what worked for him. I think most people are like me. I need to take things one step at a time. I need to constantly remind myself why I am trying to make a change.

Many habits, bad or good, become habits because we enjoy them. (Usually.) To change something in our lives we need to understand both why we feel the change is important and how best we adapt to these changes until they become a part of your new lifestyle.

When I post a small step suggestion for positive lifestyle or diet change that you think you might want to try, think about the “one step, one day” approach. Give it a try, then let us know if it helps.

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Will Sig
1 diet k plan special

great post again!

i am implementing in my life the tuesday and thursday for cutting the meat. i think my metabolism will feel better with this stuff.

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2 Will

I would think that going meatless on Tuesday and Thursday would be a good way to start. Then on days when you do eat meat, watch the portion size and go for something organic or humanely raised. Grass fed, hormone free beef or organic free range chicken come to mind.

I would also go easy on the Special K. A varied, healthy diet is your best choice. Also, only eating small portions of cereal all day until dinner would prompt me to over eat at dinner.

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3 Anonymous

great post again!

i am implementing in my life the tuesday and thursday for cutting the meat. i think my metabolism will feel better with this stuff.

Reply

4 Barbara Fox

I’ve started on a routine where I exercise during the 6’o clock news. Nothing too strenuous, just some light repetitions with (believe it or not) soup cans. I’ve found that this is beneficial as I haven’t really altered my routine of watching the news but am making better use of my time by exercising while I do it. I’ve also put myself into the habit of walking to the store which is about a quarter mile away instead of driving when I only need to purchase a few items. I’m getting exercise and the changes were pretty easy to make.

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5 Sally Casey

I’ve really struggled to lose weight over the past year or so! I’ve tried the Special K Diet but it just wasn’t for me! I’ve previously tried cutting out meat and it worked for me I just replaced it with fish which is prefer anyway.

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6 Will

Hi Sally – There are a few posts here specifically on helping you to loose weight. The main place to start is to think of changing your diet to healthy, wholesome foods. Then the weight takes care of itself to a certain extent. Of course, your diet can be great and you can still have a few extra pounds. (I am proof of that!) But you will be healthier than if you try the latest fad diet and lose a few pounds. Weight, up to a certain point at least, is only a small part of the health equation.

One thing that has worked well for me is to look at white carbohydrates as bad for you. Cut out white bread, regular pasta, white rice, etc. And use whole grain products. This alone will not only help you lose weight, but is much healthier and tastes better.

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